Byword of the Republic of 'Llome

The byword of the Republic of 'Llome, in the Llohmbic (luh-lomm-bic) language is:

'Ll Stipe 'Llome

whose meaning has been lost to obscurity (so has the origin of the word 'Llome itself). Parma scholars operate on the most likely theory that the word "STIPE" is borrowed directly from Latin, referring to the stem of a mushroom. Indeed, mushrooms are very important to the 'Llombics, who are generally smaller than the mushroom itself. The stipe can feed them for days, and of course, the cap offers shelter from the elements. On sunny days, smaller residents often climb atop the caps to bask in the sunlight, or use the mushroom as a prop so that they may better communicate with the ruling Puffins (who tower over most of the other residents).

The puffins, descended from the Manx Puffins, often display a fopish sophistication. Born rulers, with an English background, they employ Old English amongst themselves, dating to the style of speech and spelling found in Colonial America back in the 17th century. Truly, the puffins are often dandies. They spend their time making the rules, passing judgement, and issuing various edicts. They possess an almost intolerable amount of noblesse oblige.
Edict of the Council of 30 Puffins tolerating others.

The ruling puffin class has one major indulgence, one social treat, moss. In puffinic society, moss (moffe) is as valued as tobacco or coffee, and used as a reward or offered as a hospitality. Many grades of moss are manufactured, and the quality thereof varies widely. A Tick Puffin is known by the brand and quality of moss he caries, and it is considered a great offense to be offered moss of a quality lower than your presumed status. Puffinic philosopers and ethicists have pondered this particular topic for centuries.

A puffin, having been offered low quality moss, will invariably say "Keep thy Moss!!". But as in all social interactions, the offerer is in a genuine moral quandary. Should he keep the moss, which of course is adequate for his own needs, or should he persist in offering the gift until it is taken? This eternal question of what one is to do when told "Keep Thy Moss!" is discussed at length at all stratae of Puffinic Society. Do you, when someone says "Keep thy moss!"?

Two 'Llombic Tick Puffins initiating a potential Moss Transfer

The drama: Will the Moss (moffe) be offered? Will it be accepted as a gift? Will it be retained upon refusal? Life in the Puffinic Class of 'Llome is certainly a complicated affair!

Evolution goes wild...see the next page!