THE SATURN

Presentation of this planet and its moons, including ring and creatures

- Chapter 26 -
The Saturnian lion, Horud, serves as a hunter and lumberjack. Method of catching the young Saturnian lions.


 
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he name of this animal is horud, which we shall now discuss briefly. Where does this animal belong in the order of animals on Saturn? If you observe the lion on earth, the horud has the same position on Saturn. But does this animal look like the earthly lion? The answer to this question is neither yes nor no. In many ways it resembles the lion of earth, but there are also many aspects that are not the same. A closer description will point out the differences in its shape from the earthly lion.
 
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What does this animal look like? It is just as large as the blue bear, but it has more than one color, in accordance with its body parts. The back of this animal is bright red, extending close to the middle of the abdominal area. The shoulder blades, the front legs and hind legs are pale green. The abdominal area itself is more of a dark green or a lush grass-green. The tail is white, whereas the bushy tuft at its end is light red. The upper side of the white tail is adorned with red spots in regular intervals. The claws on the feet are also white, and the backs of the claws are trimmed with a red stripe.
 
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Except for the different colors we have just described, and the neck and head, which do not resemble those of the lion on earth, the rest of the shape of the horud completely resembles that of an earthly lion. There is not an animal on earth which has a head resembling that of the horud. This animal has an almost square head, just like a die where the corners are rounded off. This head sits on the neck in such a way that the rear surface is attached to the neck, but not the front part because the front surface projects from the neck like a jaw by 3/4 of its diameter. On both lateral surfaces of this head are two crescent-shaped ear funnels which are located backwards from the surface on each side of the head by over 6 feet and have the colors of the rainbow but in very light shades.
 
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On the upper surface you find an almost 3-foot long, conical and completely black horn. That is the basic color of this horn; but on this black surface are round reddish disks with regular snail-like spirals which have a strong metallic luster. Around the bottom of the horn is a wreath of long light blue hair, which gives the horn the appearance of sitting in a basin. Towards the back of the head and the back part that connects to the neck, the hair becomes continuously longer and denser, whereas towards the forehead the hair becomes shorter and curlier.
 
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On the front surface of the head or face there are, in proportion to the animal, two very large eyes located in a cavity, each eye having a diameter of 3 feet in accordance with the measurements of earth -that means of course the actual eye itself. If the cavity and the corner of the eye would be included it would be almost 6 feet in diameter. The eyelids are a very dark red, above which are proportionately very large thick eyebrows, similar to those on human beings; they are curly, just as the hair around the horn towards the forehead.
 
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Now we have come to the most peculiar feature of this animal, which is its mouth. At one time or another you must have heard about a bird called the griffin. That is what this animal looks like, with the exception of the wings. Instead of the usual mouth it has an enormously strong eagle's beak, which is similar in color to the horn on its head. The spots or disks are not snail-like, but in the form of rows from the base to the tip of the beak and decreasing in size. The upper part of the beak is like any other bird which you know on earth. The upper part does not move, whereas the lower part of the beak, inclusive of the lower surface of the head, is movable right to the neck. At the base of the beak, this animal has mighty crushing teeth. Instead of the incisors or fangs it uses its very mighty and strong beak which protrudes by almost 9 feet from the face, and at the base it is almost as wide as the main surface of the face.
 
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The horud also has a tongue that can be remarkably extended in length, and it has almost the attributes of a trunk. Therefore this animal has the capability to seize all kinds of things by force with its tongue and draw them into its mouth. Around the base of the beak there is also curly light blue hair that turns greenish towards the neck.
 
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What is usually the color of the head? The head is light ash in color; under the eyes as well as on the forehead there are three bright red circles one on top of the other. As far as the other parts are concerned, only the two lateral surfaces with the ears are visible and are also of an ash gray color, but are plain without ornamentation. As you know, the back surface, beginning with the upper surface, is adorned with long hair, and the blue color becomes livelier the closer it comes to the neck. The neck is fairly massive and its length to the head is just as long as the entire back part (that is, beginning from the shoulder blades, the front legs to the tail) and covered throughout abundantly with manes of a bright blue color. That is what this animal looks like.
 
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What is its usefulness? What kind of character does it have? Where is it at home? And what is its relationship to the Saturnites? We shall briefly answer these four questions. The horud is usually of a gentle nature, and is frequently kept by the Saturnites as a tame animal. They enjoy this animal's splendor and beauty as well as its willingness to work, provided it has been properly trained.
 
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What kind of work is this animal used for? Usually to hunt several other kinds of animals, which are of the kind that do little harm and at times great harm. This animal is also employed as a lumberjack during the time of the shadow; with its beak it bites off thick branches from the pyramid tree with one bite, and it can climb this tree to the top with the greatest ease. The branches often have such a circumference that on earth it would take five men to encircle them. It does not take any more effort for this animal to bite through such a branch than it does for you to bite into a tender apple.
 
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Once the horud has bitten off enough branches, it will then pull these with its beak to the dwellings of human beings after being given the proper signs to do so, and while there it will bite off smaller pieces as indicated by its owner. These pieces of wood are then used by the Saturnites as firewood. They also employ this animal for many other kinds of work such as biting and carrying.
 
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The only prerequisite is that this animal must be captured when young in order to be trained. Because if a mature animal is captured, it will not become accustomed to this kind of work, and as such would be of little benefit. Besides, when it is not provoked the animal will run away as soon as a human being comes close, and when it is surrounded by human beings it cannot be trusted for the longest time. Because as soon as it begins to dig into the ground with its strong claws, that is a sign for the hunters that it is high time to leave. If the hunters do not leave, this animal will begin to jump and roar, and whomever it strikes will discover the power of its beak and will feel as if he has been hit by a big tree trunk. That is why the hunters retreat when this animal begins to behave in this manner.
 
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If the horud is this dangerous, how are its young captured? The Saturnites use their cunning. Because the people who live in the regions where this animal is at home know that it is very partial to intoxicating alcoholic beverages, but only at those times when they have young; this applies to the male as well as the female, which are the same in appearance except for their genitals. When this situation arises, the hunters on Saturn carry fairly large containers of such beverages into the vicinity of these animals. And it does not take long until they take the bait. As soon as the horud has emptied the container, it very gently returns to the place where its young are, and there are usually two, three or four. Once it reaches the spot it falls into such a sound sleep that it does not even notice when its young are taken. The young are taken to the homes of the Saturnites and are trained for their particular purposes. The mature animals are left alive for further propagation.
 
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That is everything you need to know about this particular animal; the only thing which you do not know is where its home is. Its habitat is only in the southern regions of Saturn and only on those continental countries which do not extend beyond a 45° southern latitude. Since this animal loves the ocean regions, it is only at home where it can enjoy the necessary temperature it requires. Should a country exceed this degree significantly, naturally it will get colder, especially by an ocean, and climatic conditions like that would of course be completely unsuitable for this animal.
 
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The horud has this special instinct in that it will not inhabit the western or the eastern parts of a country; it will only inhabit the southern center. Should this area be large enough, then it will live in such a country. If this type of environment does not exist, then it cannot progress and cannot therefore maintain itself. That is why the horud will not be found inland, but always in the regions of the oceans. Sometimes, however, it is taken there as a curiosity, but it will not survive for long under those circumstances.
 
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Now you know everything about this animal which is of importance. And now we shall turn to one which can be found only on this planet.