The Hidden Almanac for
Friday December 13th, 2013
Episode 40
Previous episode: 2013-12-11
Next episode: 2013-12-16


It is Friday the 13th. Today the Highland Blue-Nose sheep was first recognized. It is the birthday of Calico Jane, and the day the Autumn River froze. It is the Feast Day of St. Gerald, and in the garden we read about a radish.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord. Today is December 13th, 2013.

It is Friday the 13th. Please make a note of it.

It was on this day in 1782 that the sheep breed known as the Highland Blue-Nose was first recognized by the International Sheep Council. The Highland Blue-Nose is a small, compact sheep with excellent wool production. Nose, ears, and legs range in color from blue-gray to lilac. It was recognized as a Breed of Distinction by the ISC and a ram named Sturdy took the Exceedingly Honorable-We-Really-Mean-It Award[1] at the city fair the following year.

And today is the birthday of Calico Jane, one of the most notorious outlaws in history. She wore women’s clothing during bank heists, which she would tear off to reveal men’s clothing while making her getaway. Newspapers of the day were extremely confused. She was never caught and dropped out of sight in 1849, having racked up nearly a hundred thousand dollars in stolen banknotes. Various parties, both male and female, came forward over the years claiming to be Calico Jane, but none could produce the money and the mystery appears to have gone with her to her grave.

And it was on this day in 1544 that the Autumn River froze over. Residents of the city took sleds and sleighs onto it and the papers lauded it as a “winter miracle” until the wolves arrived. They had used the river as a highway to reach the heart of the city and terrorized residents for some weeks. Rumors abound that feral dog packs in the less savory parts of the city are actually led by the descendants of those wolves.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Gerald, patron of cryptozoologists, who leaned out of the boat too far while seeking for the elusive sea monster of Lake Jordania, known as “Jordie.” His last words were “I see him! I think I see—oh, bugger, it’s got my leg.” [2] Saint Gerald is widely worshiped by the hunters of cryptic beasts. Hagiographers point out that Saint Gerald is not a saint, merely a guy trapped in a fishing net, and anyway there are no records of him before 1937 and whatever he is, he was definitely never canonized. Perhaps this is appropriate.

In the garden this week, another selection from the Rare Earth Seed Catalog.

Cream of the Highlands – This very large, pale radish was collected in the northernmost highlands and ideally suited to winter sowing. Sturdy white roots grow 18 inches long and nearly 2 inches wide. Crisp, pungent flesh is served fresh with mustard, on bread, in the popular “Auld Tom Sandwich,” a delicacy of the winter highlands.

The Hidden Almanac is brought to you by Red Wombat Tea Company, purveyors of fine and inaccessible teas. Red Wombat — "We Dig Tea."

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That’s the Hidden Almanac for December 13th, 2013. Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, written by Ursula Vernon and performed and produced by Kevin Sonney. Our theme music is Moon Valley and our exit music is Red in Black, both by Kosta T. You can hear more from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. All other content is copyright 2013, Ursula Vernon.


  1. The decree forbidding numerical placings was still in force, apparently
  2. The script includes this sentence: "His remains later washed up on shore, tangled up in a discarded fishing net" which was skipped by the esteemed reverend.
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