Animals: Duckbill Robe

Odd things amuse the Australians. One was a comedian named George K. Fortescue. A massive man, he paced the boards in an opéra bouffe of the 90s wearing a gargantuan pink ballet skirt edged with pompons, roaring out feminine lines in full bass. So thoroughly did he delight the fun-loving citizens of Sydney, they gave him an indigenous and characteristic present: a robe made from 80 pelts of the weird duckbill, or platypus. There seems to have been none like it before or since.

Though still to be found in its exclusively Australian habitat,...

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