Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Saturday, December 3, 2011

(Part One) Mooresville's Victorian Christmas Celebration

"Flat" Dovydas Balčiūnas, our visitor from Lukšiai, Lithuania, wanted to experience our Victorian Christmas Celebration in downtown Mooresville, Indiana. Since this was THE happening event so far during the holiday season, we wanted to see everything.  Accompanying "Flat" Dovydas were our own "Flat" Cauli III and my minions.  I was doing the roving reporter bit and was roaming around getting news stories.

The MPL Community Room hosted "Animals of the North Pole," a program presented by Silly Safaris.  Our wildlife commentator, who was dressed like one of Santa's elves, showed many intriguing animals that live in the Arctic Circle (such as an Arctic Fox and Eurasian Eagle Owl), and some that don't (like a bullfrog and a tortoise).  He was funny and informative, which is a tough combination to master.  The audience of youngsters, teenagers, and adults was enthralled and entertained.

Silly Safaris "elf" with an Eurasian eagle owl

"Flat" Dovydas became quite excited about this bird, since the Eurasian eagle owl is native to Lithuania, and it is on the endangered species list.  These owls live in several northern countries across Europe and Asia.  This particular owl, which was called "Hoosier" (because owls hoot and the State of Indiana's nickname is Hoosiers), was trained to fly when it heard the word wing, even if it were spelled out.  The bird didn't escape, however, because it was tethered to the handler's wrist.  I was impressed by the obvious intelligence in his (or her, not sure about gender) eyes, which are so large (to help with nocturnal hunting) that they cannot move in their sockets, like human and feline eyes.  To compensate owls are able to rotate their entire heads left or right nearly 180 degrees.

But the highlight of the program was definitely the reindeer, or elkenfroster, which is my name for reindeer.  (As I explained to "Flat" Dovydas, I try to invent cute "Cauli" names for animals.  People, too.)  "Flat" Dovydas asked for a celebrity-style photo.  We aim to please at my Library.

"Flat" Dovydas riding a reindeer (elkenfroster)

Next we listened to the Central Indiana Folk Music & Mountain Dulcimer Society performing in the Library's Grand Hall.  Although you can't see me in the photo (below), I'm sitting in the front seat to the right of where "Flat" Dovydas is standing.

Sweet folk and mountain dulcimer music

We then left the Library to attend the festivities downtown.  We were going to take the trolley, but it was such a nice day outside that we decided to walk.  It's only four blocks.

"Flat" Dovydas & "Flat" Cauli III
waiting for the trolley

The Lady With the Red Hair & "Flat" Cauli III
at the trolley stop

Scowl-Face thought he would be clever by giving "Flat" Cauli III a pair of "bunny ears" for the photograph.  It was typical juvenile behavior from him.

"Bunny ears" go behind the head, not the tail,
Scowl-Face (eye-roll)

Along the way we saw a horse-drawn passenger cart.  "Flat" Dovydas asked for a horsey ride, but we were heading in the opposite direction, so he settled for a quick photo.

You would have seen several of these horse-drawn conveyances a century ago in downtown Mooresville.  Here's a picture of one from the early 1900s outside Day's Grocery when it was located at 10 North Indiana Street (until 1909).

Horse-drawn delivery carriage outside
Day Grocery, 10 North Indiana Street
(photo before 1909)

Coincidentally, a new cafe and catering service, Ralph & Ava's, had its grand opening today at 10 North Indiana Street.  "Flat" Dovydas posed outside the restaurant, as the place was packed with lunchtime customers.

"Flat" Dovydas & the Lady With the Red Hair
outside Ralph & Ava's Cafe & Catering
at 10 North Indiana Street (2011)

I'll have more photos of the Victorian Christmas Celebration in my next blog post.

Stay Tuned,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Holiday Celebrations News Beat

P.S.  Since we usually close each blog with something musical, here's something appropriate for elkenfrosters.  It's "The Reindeer Herder's Song," performed March 11, 2010 by the Alash Ensemble at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts (Arts Council of Princeton).

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