In the Beginning...
It is told that there was shapeless form. It wasn't really quite as shapeless as that; it did in fact have SOME shape, but not quite as much as, say, a pencil. The form, as an act of the Otter, became the world and the space around the form became the stars.
This part isn't really very important, so let's skip to 1621 AD. Harrod Poth, a mere peasant in northern England, saw a vision-- there, upon the dock, was an Otter. He killed it for food.
Had he not done so, it would have spoken to him, and it would have said, "Follow not your brothers, for their path is short."
The next Otter, sitting in exactly the same place on the dock, DID manage to tell him this, just before meeting the same fate. Harrod was confused for several hours.
By the time Harrod was on his 6th Otter, he was fairly sure they were trying to tell him something. He was going to sit and chat with #7, he decided, but he undercooked the meat from #6 and died of food poisoning a week later.
After the Beginning...
For exactly 300 years, nobody heard Otters talk without the aid of psychotropics or simple madness. Then, in 1921, John Frenmeyer IX of Upper Manhattan chanced across an Otter who delivered the same message. "Follow not your brothers, for their path is short."
He startled, pondered, and Saw The Wisdom of the Otter's words. He spread them far and wide. He was locked up at the Kessler Institute in Albany for 17 years.
John Frenmeyer IX was released to his own care during the spring of 1939 after convincing the doctors of his sanity. He moved to a small town in northern Ohio and there, far from Otters of any nature, he quietly founded the Church of the Quivering Otter.
John Frenmeyer IX, henceforth called Our Founder, organized small meetings, wrote pamphlets, and occasionally made pilgrimages to Columbus, searching for Otters with which to commune. There, a man we call The Pathfinder spoke the True Words to Our Founder. "Otters," he said, "don't live around here. Try Seattle, you loon."
This event changed the direction of The Church of the Quivering Otter forever.
The Recent Past
Our Founder immediately moved to Portland with both of his followers, Inky and Bill (both goldfish). There he set up COQO's first headquarters, and made his daily sojourn to the sea to talk with his Otter friends.
From these many talks came our treasured writings, "The Treasured Writings."
On August 3, 1947, Our Founder announced that he "had something important to do"-- he would answer no other questions-- and he walked out of our Temple/Fast Food Restaurant for the last time. He disappeared and has never been seen since. Hushed whispers can still be heard, speculating on his fate, suspecting that he went to his Final Judgement, and hoping that he will return again.
Today the Church of the Quivering Otter is no longer the stealthy, secret cult of the Otter Elite, but the stealthy, secret cult of the masses; we have temples in 73 cities around the globe, and our numbers mass in the thousands. Join us, and you too will Belong.
We sponsor charity events under the pseudonym "Frank Bluchotowitzenstein", and we own 18 Fast Food Restaurants, 37 car washes, and 1 Used Kleenex Shoppe. Many illustrious actors, politicians, and business and community leaders rank among us. You will know us by our symbol-- worn somewhere on the body-- the Floxant Brumbt:
If you seen one of us, say "Hello, friend COQO" and introduce yourself.
He to whom the Otter comes shall receive his due.
Copyright (C) 1996, 1997 by Kevin Kelm & Nick King