Aesop - Balbus Phasmatis - Babbling Spector
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amed after the Greek Storyteller who was born a “most deformed” slave and who “coulde not speke”. However one day he fell asleep under a shady tree where he was visited by a spector, the goddess of hospitality, who gave him the gift of speech and storytelling.

This beast is the only one of its kind and was kept as a pet by Berlin (Kitchener) resident Fred Krug. Master Krug was also the super-intendant of the Arnott Institute for Stutterer and Stamerers.

The Institute was one of the first in existence in Ontario while it ran from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Its mission was to treat Dyslalia-a difficult, interrupted speech. During this time, the approved method for treatment was ·disciplined excersize of respiratory, vocal and articulating organs·

Master Krug first became aware of the beast during a lesson when he was showing an example off an excersize to a student in a mirror. When he went to the window the beast was gone. Clearly the Beast was attracted to the repeated sounds and not surprisingly, the beasts call sounds a bit like a stuck hiccup or a woolen woodpecker.

Krug immediately saw the beast as a good omen and encouraged the Spector with treats. Apparently Doerr’s Cream Soda biscuits and taffy were Aesop’s favorite. The Spector would have been a sight to see in the wild, since it sits in trees with a human quality. He was about three tall when standing, with long arms and a tail reminincent of a beaver.

As mentioned before, the spector was very skiddish and only made contact with people struck the worst with stammers. It seemed as if the contact called both the students at the institute and Aesop.

Not much can be drawn about the community or where the Spectors came from. It appears as if this was a unique beast and a reminder of the peculiar way nature works. While the Spector was drawn to the stammerers, many students at the time said that the existence of such a beast gave them resolve to move beyond the Arnott Institue.

Aesop remained in Kitchener, Ontario in 2002, but we are unaware if he is still there.


To find out more information about subjects related to Aesop please follow the links below:

CAFKA- the Contemproary Arts Forum of Kitchener Ontario

Famous Stutterers

Doerr's Biscuits

Original Berlin town's shield

Master Krugs, the Superintendent of the Arnott Institute

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