Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Big Fella

 In life there are consequences ...

When one bids a stupidly low price on a stupidly large taxidermy stag head at an online auction, then one must prepared to transport the lot, however unlikely winning the item may seem.

Such was my lot in life, as "Big Fella" at Ryedale Auctioneers in Yorkshire unexpectedly came through.

Big Fella

I phoned Ryedale's to ask if I could leave the pick-up for a week so I could collect in person as I drove from Scotland to England. Thankfully they agreed, and I was able to avoid the hassle and expense of a courier. 

The drive yesterday to the auction house was across the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. This was my first visit and the scenery in the glorious sunshine lifted my mood.

The auctioneer kindly carried "Big Fella" to my pick-up, but was clearly unconvinced that the statuesque stag would fit into my back seat. However, I could visualise that a rotation while inserting would do the trick, and I handled the final spatially-informed thrust myself.

Apparently, a mature stag has 12 to 17 points on its antlers, but Big Fella is a mere 10-pointer and so would have had a little more growing to do. Here are the names for stags with certain numbers of points or tines which must be evenly distributed between left and right, for your handy reference.

number of points








I am very much put in mind of the pivotal scene of the film "The Queen", in which the Queen, played by Helen Mirren, has a spiritual and almost magical encounter with an Imperial stag in the woods. This is the moment when she bends to the public will over the death of Diana by leaving Balmoral for London.

The screenwriter, Peter Morgan, once commented on his use of an Imperial stag:

It sort of dawned on me as a metaphor, really, when I learned that, you know, a stag that has 14-points is a stag that should generally already have been culled. It is something that has somehow escaped capture. It resonated for me. You know, I feel pretty much the same way about our monarchy. I feel that, for some reason, they've managed to get away with it. They've survived, perhaps longer than one might have expected.

Anyhow, Big Fella caused me to have my own magical encounter with the North Yorkshire Moors. His transport back to Balintore will be coals to Newcastle. :-)

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