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From: "cilluff1@optonline.net" 
Subject: RE: (urth) The leatherskin
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 09:39:53 -0500

W=2E Ansley wrote, in response to Crush's leatherskin vision:

<<>Crush blunders forward:
>Ok=2E I think I have an understanding of what a leatherskin looks like=2E=

>The leatherskin is giant dugong with six pectoral flippers and a
>The reason "half its weight" was on the starboard gunwale was because its=

>massive tail-end was dangling in the water=2E

Oh happy day! Finally, someone is arguing with my conclusions!

If I am to buy your argument, I have to believe that Horn doesn't=20
know the difference between flippers and legs=2E Maybe he doesn't=2E=20
Maybe he has never seen any creature with fins or flippers on the=20
Whorl, so he calls all such appendages "legs=2E" But, until you can=20
show me a quote where Horn or some other former Whorl denizen talks=20
about fish legs, I will remain doubtful=2E
-- >>

I always pictured the leatherskin as more of a gigantic, mulitegged
aligator or similar creature (mostly because, as W=2EA=2E noted, the creat=
had "legs," not "fins," but also because of its name, "leatherskin,"
reminded me of aligator skin leather products like cheesy cowboy boots)=2E=

As for how many legs, the quote is susceptible to both the six or twelve
(indeed, or more) legged interpretation:

"The leatherskin, one of the largest I have ever seen, stood with six
>legs and half its weight on the starboard gunwale=2E=2E=2E=2E"

I tend to think the leatherskin had more than six legs, simply because I
think Horn would have said something more along the lines of "all six of
its massive legs" or such if six were the creature's total=2E  Of course, =
quote is not exactly definitive, especially because it is not really Horn
but Gene Wolfe talking, and Horn's description really is just GW's choice
of words for us to know that the creature is multilegged beyond what we on=

Earth, rather than Urth, would think normal=2E

My feeling that there are more than six legs also goes back to my
aligatoresque vision of it, if half the creature's weight were on the sloo=
then it probably had other legs still in the water -- an aligator's four
legs are roughly evenly divided between front and back of the torso, with
its tail accounting for not much of the creature's weight relative to the
rest=2E  Similarly, in my vision the leatherskin with half its body on the=

sloop would have legs still in the water=2E =20

mail2web - Check your email from the web at
http://mail2web=2Ecom/ =2E


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