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A grumpy daemon

Jason Gurley
Jason Gurley
1 min read

This weekend, Squish and I watched the 2007 movie The Golden Compass, based on the first novel in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series. While the movie is not terribly beloved, Squish was enthralled. She was heartbroken to learn that there are no sequels (and only mildly reassured by the existence of HBO's TV series adaptation).

Unsurprisingly she was terrifically delighted by Pullman's concept of "daemons"—that is, every human has an animal partner who represents their very soul. Lyra, the main character in the film, has a shape-shifting daemon; daemons "settle" into a form as a child becomes an adult, but hers has not yet.

Squish informed me that her daemon would be a rabbit—she was born in the Year of the Rabbit—and perhaps even a ghost rabbit, with glowing blue eyes. We decided to take a brief intermisson and draw our daemons.

I had no idea what mine would be, so I Googled "grumpiest animal" and then sketched up the first result: The black rain frog, a little ghoulish thing with big black disappointed eyes and an almost comical frown.

I added a personal rain cloud over the frog's head, and a speech bubble—"Hmph."—to finish the drawing. Squish insisted he needed a name, so I gave him the name "Grumple". It all felt quite appropriate.

You'd assume, perhaps, that this drawing suggested I didn't enjoy the movie, but you'd be wrong. How could a dad fail to enjoy a movie that so delights his child that she quivers and squeals with excitement while watching it? Hollywood, I'm going to need sequels. Now, if you would.