Featuring Patty Kaishian, Mycologist
Join the Endless Beautiful team and Mycologist, Patty Kaishian, as we explore fertile fields filled with magical mushrooms and other creative surprises!
Patty Kaishian is a PhD student studying mycology at SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry in Syracuse, NY. She is interested in celebrating the unsung heroes of our biological world.
The beat of the drums rattled the cages of chickens lining the dark hallway. Mottled birds squawking, seemingly clucking along with the rhythm. Perhaps not. Perhaps they always moved this way thought Ohan.
He pressed on. Long robe, tattered at the hem, out beyond the building and into the hot, yellowish light. Clusters of people had assembled along the oxen carts. Children ran after one another with sticks. A mule chewed anxiously as two young boys raced around it.
A great horn sounded, and the crowd cheered. Mothers snagged their loose children and fathers sat resolutely, tensely.
Ohan could feel a rumble beneath the earth in his large feet. They called him blubber tail in the seminary, after the large, fat sea-lions on the coast. A bright orange stalk punctured the center of the courtyard, about five feet. The crowd gasped and cheered and it swung wildly like a pitched snake.
A thud and another rumble.
Orange turned to green as the stalk pushed up through the wet earth in the courtyard. Now it was as high as the two-story domes. Another stalk burst through. Children screamed and retreated behind the men feigning disinterest.
Ohan watched a boy put the end of a dog’s tail in his mouth. The dog paid no attention.
Another thrust. This time much larger. The size of a large tree trunk burst upward. Blue, orange, and green, and finally, the features of a face.
Red eyes the size of half-cut watermelons, a rubbery nose with a long, green tassle that quivered in the wind. A frowning mouth that resembled two stacked logs, and a chin with a wide dimple and tufts of roots growing from it
The ground rumbled as it rose to 50 ft, dwarfing the crowd and the courtyard. Ohan fell back and sat upon the ground, dumbfounded.
The powerful surge from beneath the surface of the earth ceased and a new one began, and dozens of well-suited attendants rushed forth, pillows, fans, and wooden buckets of slime in hand.
“Your majesty!” they yelled, splashing the green muck on her face. She, the queen of the swamp, opened her mouth wide as the muck was dumped down her throat and her tongue.
She suddenly snapped her mouth shut. And the crowd held their collective breath in nervous expectation.
The queen’s scanned the breadth of them with her bulging eyes. Ohan spent 10 hours a day studying pictures of the queen and her brethren, but the sight of her gaze was disturbing for him. He shuddered.
The great fungi queen opened her mouth again, “Thank you so much for coming to my birthday party!”