For the second year running, I represented the brilliant Peter Cua of Singapore, who crafts beautiful, lifelike miniature animal sculptures. This year, Peter submitted a gorgeous sculpture of a whitetail buck:
Once again, I was in awe at the painstaking attention to detail that Peter puts into his work:
It was an honor to present such a lovely sculpture, a dainty deer with a pelt of goat skin. My medium is quite a different barnyard product, so I sculpted a cock-and-
Ladies and gentlemen, once it again it gives me great pleasure to present another work by the brilliant Dr Peter Cua of Singapore. If you attended last year's Carnivorous Nights event, you will recall that Dr Cua is the master of mammal miniaturization- his specialty being even-toed hoofed mammals. He puts the "art" in artiodactyl.
A couple of years ago, Dr Cua was approached by members of the International Venison Board, who wished to boost worldwide sales of venison. The obstacle preventing home cookery of deer is the size of the animal- an adult deer is simply too big to fit into the kitchen of the average household, and the sale of juvenile deer for consumption is impractical because of the Bambi barrier. The solution to this dilemma was to develop a tiny deer which could fit in a typical roasting pan, a Cornish game deer, if you will. One of the board members recalled seeing an ad in the classifieds section of Split Hoof Quarterly: Dr Cua's got know-how, to shrink an antelope or cow! Why not a deer? Why not, indeed?
Dr Cua decided to undertake the Kitchen Deer project- through a process of selective breeding, undertaken at his diminutive ranch on the outskirts of Singapore, Dr Cua's deer became smaller and smaller with each generation.
The specimen presented tonight is the prize breeding buck of Dr Cua's herd... the penultimate pygmy of the deer world. This tiny buck met its untimely end last spring. It had slipped under the perimeter fence of the Cua Compound and was wandering down the access road, when it was hit by the miniature car of a Shriner from the Indonesian island of Flores. The driver of the car escaped a serious brain injury due to his enormous brow ridge. The deer, however, did not fare so well... tough luck, buck!
Heartbroken, Dr Cua brought the deer to his laboratory and attempted lifesaving surgery to no avail. The miniature organs of the deer were simply too small, too delicate to operate on effectively. Unable to save its life, Dr Cua decided to immortalize it through the taxidermist's art. The deer is mounted, and displayed in front of one the signs which now mark the perimeter Dr Cua's ranch, warning drivers that they on private property.
I invite all interested audience members to inspect the deer at close range, because most of you will be unable to travel to Dr Cua's facility.
Once again, it was a fun night, though I had to skip out before the end of the show to get my ass to work. There were a couple of interesting trends- the show featured two monkey-riding-canine pieces, and three of the attendees had bright magenta hair. While I heartily support both of these trends, I think I prefer the magenta hair trend, even though I won't be adopting it any time soon.
Oh, and while I am on the subject, if you are looking for an entertaining, informative book to read, I recommend Carnivorous Nights, though I am hardly a disinterested party, because the authors are friends of mine.