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So What Was in That Lankville Time Capsule?

January 17, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments
By Phinn Cruikshank

By Pa-hinn Cruikshank

Pa-hinn Cruikshank is a special reporter on the Medievals.

Residents were excited last week when a small metal box (or “capsule”) was unearthed under the cornerstone of St. Amelia’s, the stately cathedral that towers over Pondicherry Square in Old Lankville.

Prof. Glenn Ogilvie of the University of Southern Lankville rushed back from his tent in the Partial Ice Regions, interrupting his vacation, to investigate.

“At one time it was traditional to bury a time capsule with some coins and keepsakes to be opened at a specified date in the future,” Dr. Ogilvie said. “This is not one of those, however.”

Instead, the historian believes the strongbox actually dates to the “middle period” in Lanque-Ville-sur-Lac, and that it was transported and built into St. Amelia’s along with other foundation stones brought over from the foreign city.

So what, eager residents and the Lankville News reporters have been wondering, is inside?

Mostly, it turns out, some dead animals, a miniature codpiece that seems to have been designed for a little boy or a dwarf, and a strange item that Prof. Ogilvie at first assumed was another dead animal.

“Dead animals are a splendid find, don’t get me wrong,” averred Ogilvie, who added that they can tell us much about the type of pets the medievals used to cherish. In this case, the box contained parts of a hedgehog, a common weasel, and what was at first assumed to be the pelt of a ferret.

An onlooker suddenly approached Ogilvie and opened a challenge. The situation was quickly defused.

“Women liked to keep ferrets up their sleeves for warmth during the long winters in the Lanque-Ville-sur-Lac Lower Icy Regions,” explained Dr. Emma T. Hogg, Visiting Professor of the Dark Ages at Lankville State University.

But when the pelt was examined more closely, it turned out to be a merkin.

“Women wore merkins over their pubic areas for added warmth, sometimes for purposes of fashion,” noted Dr. Hogg. She and Prof. Ogilvie have put the merkin through rigorous testing at a secret facility, and as of this writing have applied to the Lankville Foundation for Olden Times (LFOT) for funding to do further tests.

Medievals playing with their pets.

Medievals playing with their pets.

“We are not yet sure,” Prof. Ogilvie said, “but this particular merkin may have belonged to St. Amelia of Lanque-Ville-sur-Lac.”

Pilgrims, according to Profs. Ogilvie and Hogg, used to come from all over the foreign lands to visit the town’s cathedral and touch the dead saint’s merkin, said to have healing powers. “St. Amelia was sent to the Lanque-Ville region to try to convert the barbarians,” who at that time adhered to a strange, horrible religion that involved veganism, communal property, and speaking in riddles, Dr. Hogg said. The barbarian King Hwamstan fell in love with the beautiful Amelia. She agreed to marry him only on the condition that he renounce his religion and agree to worship the one true God. His lust turned to anger, according to Dr. Hogg, and he tortured her.

“Eventually, he had her tied to a stake outside his castle and burned off her pubic hair,” said Dr. Ogilvie.

“But the next day,” Dr. Hogg added, “her pubic hair miraculously grew back, thicker than ever.”

Seeing this, King Hwamstan converted on the spot, and broke ground on the church that is the ancestor of Lankville’s St. Amelia cathedral.

“Her pubic hair kept growing, however,” reported Hogg, and so Amelia cut it off every night and wove it into long merkins, some of which she bequeathed to her daughters and granddaughters, as well as women from neighboring towns.

If the merkin does come from St. Amelia, that would make the mysterious capsule under the foundation stone a reliquary of sorts.

“We need to do more tests,” admitted Dr. Ogilvie, who was suddenly challenged again by a second bystander.

For now, Lankville can rejoice in knowing that it houses some true treasures from antiquity.

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