Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Son of Strelka

This is chapter 3 of the Obama project, entitled Son of Strelka. A previous version was posted as Birth of Anubis, but I decided (a) to change the title and (b) to refocus the end of the chapter so that it concentrated more on his parting with his mother.

The story is fairly simple: our narrator is born fully-formed, but with the head of a dog. His family and village had counted on his birth to help them out of their troubles somehow, but instead they are freaked out by his general dog-headedness. His mother is forced to leave him to wander the world alone for reasons that are somewhat obscure.

The name Strelka comes from history. Strelka was a dog, one of the first two animals to return from space alive (Laika died in transit). When she was brought back she was bred with another dog in order to determine whether there were permanent side effects due to the radiation she received in space. One of the pups from that mating was then given to the Kennedy family, and when he grew up he sired puppies with one of their other dogs. JFK apparently called these puppies "pupniks".

The suggestion from the title is not that the narrator's mother is the actual Strelka - she's human, for one thing. It's just that the whole radioactive space dog connection makes that the perfect name for his mom, so I decided to go with it. In fact, I'm renaming the entire project either "Son of Strelka, Son of God", or maybe just "Son of Strelka". Haven't decided yet.

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