The Graveyard Dalek

This instalment of the Dalek Game is for Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. It is something of an ueber-mashup since The Graveyard Book itself is a Gothic/Jungle Books reworking, and I started writing in “Here he lies where he longs to be” on one of the headstones before I remembered that’s Robert Louis Stevenson’s epitaph, not Rudyard Kipling’s. Rudyard Kipling’s headstone is quite austere but should have said “Good hunting”.

I am very fond of The Graveyard Book. My only complaint would be that it keeps to the Mowgli stories and doesn’t include Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, however Gaiman had already written the short, dark, wonderful “The Price”, which I can pretend is a Rikki-Tikki-Tavi tale.

When we were little, my sister had a tortoise-shell cat (she asked for a “puzzle cat”). It was christened Tootsie (probably for the movie), but proved to be a master snake-stalker and was renamed Rikki by my father, whose nicknames often stuck – see for example, the poddy-calf which started as Caramel and became Woolly-guts, and a vicious little beast. Tootsie/Rikki was only a small cat, so if she found a black snake she would stand on something elevated and stare and call until my father went out with a shotgun, which was all well and good unless the snake was under a corrugated iron roof. That time the echoes frightened her so much she took off to the scrub for three days. When we sold up we had to give her (and my cat, Panther) away because they were country cats. Rikki kept walking home through the bush, and so we gave her to friends several hours away, where I understand she settled down and amused herself beating up small dogs. Panther moved into an abandoned shed, grew very fat on mice and showed no signs of missing me.

(This Dalek goes with a shout-out to Angela Slatter, who has been bullying me about it. Peter M Ball, I’ve also drawn the one you liked and will post it soon. Tansy Rayner Roberts, I’ve drawn yours, I think – it’s a bit more violent than I expected but it was hard finding a title that translated to the theme adequately).