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is at it again, by replacing the eight reindeer of Santa's
sleigh with a single spider-legged reindeer. He considers this "more authentic" because Santa Claus is based on Odin (among many
other things), the chief god of Norse mythology. On the pagan holiday of Yule, Odin was said to ride his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir
, across the land. Children would leave one of their boots out and fill it with hay for Sleipnir to eat, then Odin would refill the boot with gifts. This presages the Christmas tradition of hanging stockings by the chimney.
The intuitive interpretation of a horse with eight legs is probably making the body longer to make an additional set of normal equine legs fit in. Such a creature could be made to look natural. Black Hat's interpretation is to change the type of legs in order to fit all eight legs in there. Many people do think of spiders when they think of "eight legs." But the result of this is to make a chimaera (Greek word for any animal with body parts from two or more different animals), and a terrifying one at that. Black Hat also thus plays upon arachnophobia, or the quite common fear of spiders.
The title text is a parody of two lines from the poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas", "And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof / The prancing and pawing of each little hoof." The lines are changed to what they could have been if Santa had a spider-legged reindeer.
The title text refers to the sound of "eight tarsal claws" but in reality, spiders only have tarsal claws on two or (rarely) three of their legs, so for eight tarsal claws to be making the sound, there would likely need to be multiple mutant reindeer on the roof which is at odds with the description and picture in the main panel.
Black Hat: In earlier Norse myths, the eight reindeer were actually one steed with eight legs.
Black Hat: So I think this is more authentic.
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Captcha does not work on mobile browser. (Android Firefox) Had to switch over to laptop to make edit. Also, it's two words, not one as the thing above implies ("To help protect against automated edit spam, please type the word you see in the box below:") ~Dartania 184.108.40.206 14:03, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
- This post was made with Firefox on Android. Are you sure you didn’t just get a difficult CAPTCHA? 220.127.116.11 14:32, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
- The captcha from my most recent edit had a total of four words and 23 letters. These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk)
Title text could be a parody of "When what to my wondering eyes should appear/but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer" from "A Visit from St. Nicholas" ('Twas the Night Before Christmas) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus's_reindeer#Eight_reindeer
18.104.22.168 14:42, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
- Seems more likely to be a few lines later, “And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof / The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.” 22.214.171.124 15:19, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
To pick nits, an octopus has eight arms and no tentacles. A squid has eight arms plus two tentacles. --126.96.36.199 15:21, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
- To pick further nits, some instead argue that octopuses have 6 arms and 2 legs. Hppavilion1 (talk) 20:14, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
Is the octopus tentacle comment adding anything? I believe octopodophobia is substantially rarer than arachnophobia (to the extent that it doesn't seem to have an official name); Cthulhu aside, I suspect a deer with octopus tentacles would mostly look weird (or comical) rather than scary. To most, I suspect octopus tentacles are only scary if you're on a ship being attacked by a kraken or if you're a diver and one is playfully tugging on your respirator. Of course, I speak as an arachnophobe who cringed when I saw this comic... Fluppeteer (talk) 15:39, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
In the Odin myth, he rides Sleipnir while he distributes gifts. Black Hat isn't all that authentic if he got that mixed up with the more modern "Santa Claus" mythology. These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk)
- Except that Black Hat doesn't actually care about being authentic, he just discovered a new fact that he wants to use to mess with people. 188.8.131.52 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Fun bit of trivia: Loki is Sleipnir's mom.184.108.40.206 19:23, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
- One of many ways that Loki's life kinda sucked. He starts Ragnarok for a reason. --220.127.116.11 21:21, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
- What makes you think that? Sure, there was lot of things which sucked in Loki's life, but we can't be sure what his sexual preferences are ... -- Hkmaly (talk) 07:05, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
Does Randall's repeating interest in spiders have any relevance here? --18.104.22.168 21:32, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
I think Randall screwed up with the title text. Spiders only have two (or, rarely, three) tarsal claws (See last line here: https://www.amnh.org/learn/biodiversity_counts/ident_help/Parts_Arthropods/male_spider.htm). So either BlackHat has been doing more agressive genetic engineering than you'd think or Randall screwed up! 22.214.171.124 21:44, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
- Maybe he's keeping it simple for people who didn't know that. That's right, Jacky720 just signed this (talk | contribs) 00:32, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
- I think the link provided above says that spiders have only two (or, rarely, three) tarsal claws per leg. This site (http://www.findaspider.org.au/info/glossary.htm) mentions that each leg has these claws, and some spiders have a median claw behind their main pair. This refers to the third claw spiders sometimes have, mentioned in the previous link. 01:37, 24 December 2016 (UTC)Count Schlick (talk)
- Ah...that makes more sense. OK - so "the sound of sixteen to twenty four tarsal claws"...unless the reinspiders are standing on tippy-toes? 126.96.36.199 01:55, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps a nod to Love Actually - one of the holiday season's more popular movies - which notes, "Eight is a lot of legs." ~Dave 188.8.131.52 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)