Sir B dipped the pen in its pot and handed the instrument over. He then bent over Lord P’s shoulder as the other, holding his breath and concentrating, started drawing something a few miles inland from Virginia’s undulant coast.
“There” he finally said with satisfaction.
“What is it?”
“What is it?” asked Lord P, hurt. “Why, it’s a hippogriff, of course.”
“Hippogriff. Mythical beast. Head of an eagle. Body of a lion. Tongue of an estate agent.”
“I admit,” said Sir B, who had never really listened to fairy stories in the nursery unless they involved fair princesses or damsels in distress, “that you’ve done a tolerable job of rendering the eyesore. But to what end?”
“You admit no one really knows what’s in Virginia, right?”
“And you also admit that these wack-job religious literalists we’ve been cooped up with for weeks on end only believe something if they see it on paper, right?”
“Right” said Sir B more slowly, wondering where this conversation was headed.
“So, if they see hippogriffs on the map of Virginia…”
There was a long pause as the sheer brilliant simplicity of idea dawned on Sir Basil.
Lord P took Sir B by the sleeve. “Make sure tomorrow to start planting the good seed. Go about on deck saying things like, ‘My, I hope there aren’t too many hippogriffs when we land’ and ‘Does anybody know how to make hippogriff chowder?’”
You can read the rest at Patum Peperium.