The intrepid souls over at have blown the lid off one of the most peculiar cryptozoological mysteries of our day: the non-existence of the Short-toed Treecreeper.

However, perhaps due to the involvement of the enigmatic Richard Meinertzhagen in l’affaire Certhia (as the scandal has been dubbed by the cognoscenti), Corey implies that the Short-toed Treecreeper was created in a fit of what can only be described as drunken malice. This, I feel, is a misapprehension. As Machiavelli or someone once said, never attribute to malice what can be explained by cultists.

As I pointed out in the original post:

“I think it’s a bit unfair to call this a hoax. Like the Chase Vault of Barbados, the Short-toed Treecreeper is clearly a Masonic allegory about the pursuit of true wisdom.


The Treecreeper uses its toes to cling. The shorter toes of the Short-toed Treecreeper represent a less firm attachment to earthly things, and a willingness to let go of safe, comfortable preconceptions in order to enter the “the ancient mysteries, symbolic of death, where alone Divine Truth is to be found”, as Joe Nickell puts it. Likewise, the fact that the bird is a “purer” white below and a “warmer” brown above than the commonplace Treecreeper of mundane reality is suggestive…

No doubt the whole process of taking an American, or British, or merely noobish birder in pursuit of the Short-toed Treecreeper is a form of initiation rite that contains elements of both hazing and the Campbellian Hero’s Journey. When you look at a ‘common’ Treecreeper and truly see the Divine Truth of the Short-toed Treecreeper within, you achieve a level of wisdom and become a Secret Master.

Of course we must ask, why the Treecreeper? Shouldn’t Masons have chosen the Wallcreeper? I suspect that this may point to Meinertzhagen’s involvement with the Bavarian Illuminati, but the subject demands more research.”

Of course, this can only mean that Jochen, who has provided an additional, more elaborate cover story for the ‘hoax’ (in which the British play the role of the questing Fool of the Tarot, while the German ornithologist is the hoary Mage) is also an agent of the Illuminati! Indeed, the threat at the end of his post seems to imply the existence of shadowy forces possibly beyond the ken of mere ornithology dedicated to protecting this secret wisdom.

As such, and pondering the fate of Casaubon, I shall elaborate no more.

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