We were not eaten by grues!

We spent a few hours at UMM’s EcoStation this morning. It’s out by the Grue Church, at the end of Grue Church Lane, just off of Grue Church Road. We made sure to visit in daylight — you wouldn’t want to be there after dark. You might get eaten.

Spoiler: We weren’t eaten. It was swarming with insects and spiders, though, which was the whole point — despite the ugly gray weather, we had a grand time lying in the muck and watching the spiders come out to play. And there weren’t too many ticks, and mosquitos didn’t bother us!

I put the rest of the story, including photos of some pretty spiders, in a public post on Patreon.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Etymological note: “Grue” centuries ago meant a prostitute, and “gruesome” meant overly made up (think: Tammy Faye Bakker).

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Glad to hear that you and Mary had a good time. I took the grue reference to be your definition, but as usual, I learned something from other commenters like PRB @1. I may be an old fart, but any day I learn something is a good day.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Never mind the grues, you might have run into Faucelme, or ,even worse, Iocounu the “Laughing Wizard”.

  4. blf says

    I’ve only ever seen grue in the sex-worker sense in French (not English); e.g., Ye Pffft! of All Knowledge says:

    A Lorette is a type of 19th-century French prostitute. They stood between the kept women (courtesans) and the grisettes. A grisette had other employment and worked part-time as a prostitute whereas a Lorette supported herself exclusively from prostitution. […]

    The lorettes evolved into coquettes under the Second French Empire and grues by the First World War.

    I assume “hunting spiders” is also an euphemism…

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    blf @ # 5 – The etymology of “grisette” shows how words evolve.

    Starting with “gris” (gray in French), “grisette” was a type of cheap gray cloth. Soon, it meant a dress made from that cloth; then, a woman wearing such a dress – at the time, typically, an urban prole working in a factory or as a scullery maid, etc. Eventually, as you note, “grisette” referred specifically to a part-time prostitute with other employment – and probably fizzled out from there as other types of cheap cloth became available.

  6. wanderingelf says

    With a moderate measure of perspicacity and an adequate allotment of luck, travelers may be able to avoid the unwelcome attentions of grues, deodands, and even rapacious pelgranes. Evading Chun the Unavoidable, however, is another matter.