Piccaeolus is a musical deity with equivalent avatars in the pantheons of many cultures. He is also known as Kazooka, Flautulus, Djethro and Flautingale. He watches over all wind musicians, particularly the little baby piccolo players. The story of his origin states that he was a mortal war child (yes, he was living, in the past) from Rock Island. He shot to fame with his musical performance in a benefit Passion Play. Whilst out one night on storm watch, he was wearing the crest of a knave and a broadsword. This attracted a lightning strike which scorched him and the tree he was stood under from roots to branches. He was resurrected by a remorseful thunder god and elevated to the godhood to serve as minstrel to the gods. Initially the thunder god wanted to keep this under wraps, but Piccaeolus couldn’t wait to stand up and was soon bursting out.
The Temple of Piccaeolus is located in Galway. It is a tall, narrow, cylindrical stone tower with nine ovoid windows. It is carved from silvery andesite and features elegant fluted columns. It, perhaps sensibly, does not have any glass in the windows. At all times within the temple there will be two flutes being played by a minstrel in the gallery. They play the sacred music of Piccaeolus in unison with a minor second interval. There are no temple cats. If there were any they fled long ago. The temple has never ever been cleaned inside, although the outside is very shiny. Hidden to the rear is a constantly dripping outflow tap from which a clear, slimy substance drips constantly.
At the Temple flautists can partake in lessons from the priests. The priesthood are renowned experts in tonging and you will marvel at their fingering technique. You cannot help but improve under their tutelage. They can even teach you the techniques of “Survival Musicianship”. For example making emergency flutes carved from cucumbers. These makeshift instruments are known as Pickle-os. The sacred text of Piccaeolus “Songs from the Wood” will form the core of your syllabus. Be sure to be attentive and keep up in lessons. You don’t want them to think you’re thick as a brick. (Sadly Piccaeolus himself is illiterate. He doesn’t reed at all.)
The priests and priestesses of Piccaeolus also often act as trusted, secure couriers of valuable and sensitive items. They place the items in their care into flute cases, as this means they will never, ever get stolen. However, should you attempt to intercept them, beware! They practice a deadly martial art which involves firing darts from transverse blow-pipes whist standing on one leg to confuse the enemy. The priesthood and more devout followers of Piccaeolus can be recognised by the wearing of the traditional “Soul Stice” prayer bells around the feet. The most devout sect of all go everywhere riding heavy horses and wearing aqualungs.
The followers of Piccaeolus are renowned for all being a little eccentric. In truth every one’s a fruit and nut case. Within the faith of Piccaeolus it is possible to marry one’s musical instrument. In fact, many senior priests do this as an act of devotion. This unusual wedding ritual is very beautiful and moving. Guests will often tear up when the High Priest says “I now pronounce you Man and Fife”. The faith of Piccaeolus is for life. You are still welcome in their community when you’re too old to rock and roll.
Piccaeolus is a joint effort between Wendy Barrows, Pascal Harper, John Kennard, Carey Anne Boyce and Ju Haynes. Thank you for your puntastic assistance. We would jointly like to send our humble apologies to Mr Ian Anderson for the liberties we have taken.
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