From Plastic Tub

(Redirected from Cowled child)
cowled child n. 1. A child born in big deficits of light, in darkness basically, but effulgent in the extreme, gasping for new breaths neath a forehead sheaf. 2. A congenital defect, particularly one which emerges from the head and dangles afore the eyes. 3. Archaic A foetus, especially one immersed yet by amniotic fluids. 4. Tuf. Street slang for an uncircumcised penis, an unshaved dong, a chinaman. 5. Obs. An enclosure or ensnarement.1  6. A condom.

Emerging Veiled

The cult of the cauled, or cowled, child has enjoyed the scrutiny of scholars from the classical world to the present day, evolving but very little beyond academic gape-mouthedness and heavily footnoted eye-rolling. Though rich in interdisciplinary possibility and ripened for historiographical extrapolation, contemporary surveys are very little in extant, the classic work in the field remaining David Ulansey’s 1972 Origins of The Caulic Mysteries, which reversed most previous scholarship in a gentle loving sort of somersaulting in revolution, a bean bagged naggie bin, which despite itself emerged truly alit and pining after truth and beauty and arrived on ticket, apunched through, nicely.

In it, the hints of a religious network of great antiquity; Ulansey perceived an enpanted power-source, operating with impunity, importuning Fate almost, whose bombs of joy narily evidence the big time engine power of The Sunrise. Describing this tradition as The Caulic Mystery Jam, Ulansey released a series of ruthlessly progressive rock and roll albums under the aegis of the Alpha Chimp. In the white hot beanpole of metaphor, he discovered the Cauls weild immense power in the field of body manipulation, political intriguery, assassination and a most profitable trade in organs, perambulatory limbs and sexual machinery.

From A Stone Ye Shall Rise

Ulansey’s story begins with Marie Devalius of Arles, a Cistercian nun who aroused passions and much apocalyptic speculation in the troubled realm of 14th Century France. Unlike the majority of Caulish children Marie not only lived until middle age, but retained the deformity, which was reported to have continued to grow into her old age, reaching a staggering 37 inches. All forms of wonderment were attributed to her, miracles which to the scholar run like a paranormal laundry list: levitation, a rosy or flower like smell, the gift of prophecy, unusual flexibility of skeleton and muscle and a beatific power to grace those around her with fortune, grace and the two fold pillars of divine beneficence --- the mysterious amassment of gold and silver and the equally baffling appearance of numerous children.

Ulansey reports that:

"According to the historical record and based on several etchings of her, Marie was an evidently comely woman, vivacious, energetically ruddy in complexion, full bodied and scandalously boisterious. Her remarkable beauty suffered but a single black mark -- the enormous flap of loosened skin which emerged from her forehead. The ungainliness of such an appendage troubled her not -- she wore it folded over-head in the manner of a close-fitting cap, or cowl, fastenened behind with clasps of her own device, manufactured of sheep’s wool and calfling leathers."

The skin pub, fortunately, has been preserved in the form of reliquary in Southern France. As in most cases of cowling, Marie’s body defied decomposition though it was later interred in the nearby church cemetery. The cowl, however, remained where it can be viewed to this day, having much the appearance of an oily wrinkle of brown paper. In 1995, scientists from Hamburg University were granted permission by the Vatican to examine the relic and submit to a series of tests and vigorous qualifications. Their findings were startling.

The skin pub was, as evidenced to the naked eye, remarkably preserved, and much detailed analysis was able to be performed. It was disovered that the cowl, particularly in it’s haunch and fore-ends, was a dense cluster of nerve cells:

"By all accounts this woman was wearing a bedsheet sized clitoris on her head."

Moments Away From Time

This might explain some of the odd behavior Marie exhibited in the historical record. For instance, in 1467, Augustinian monk Charles Yuilasand visited the monastery at Arles in order to verify outrageous claims of the townsfolk. When he was introduced to Marie , he found her in the garden, lying on her back, with the cowl spread forth from her head. His account reads like a fevered romance novel, shot through a sow’s ear of Peretian fancy:

"She lay on the ground, or rather perhaps she lay under the benightened sky cannily thrusting it’s mighty weight down upon her, like the endlessly feathering hammer of veal, impressing upon her auto-gyration a beguiling majesty, writhation witnessed by myself as occurring between the manicured hedges and a statue of Our Lord and Savior, his one good and loving eye casting a long intriguing glance, hinting of infinity. Her appearance to the mind was that of a spectacular and mind-numbing manifestion of Nature, a gleaming and rough-furrowed lake, begged of it’s placidity, unfolded by tortuous degree like a dangerous parasol; her forehead appeared to me overflowing as would the waters of the legendary Soul-Bead, bouncing out of her tightened pores with diadems of moon-illumed moisture - and though straining credulity, all the more was the spectacle, due to a contrast in the mind; her loosened caul was by all appearance becovered with a jolly variety of bird-seed and welpling acorn. Unnaturally engrossed by this amazing scene, I further witnessed a cloud of fowls, a cackled and fluttering gallimaufry of the local avian breeds, mongering over these delicacies and dipping their beaks, flecking not a little gore, making a frightful commotion of caged pinion and feather. In reaction and by mine own eye issuing unseemly encouragement, she recoiled not but leaned incredibly her head forward, aswifted about her jutting caul, surely astruck by a baffling kind of divine light-ning, her form rigid in the grip of epileptical throe but nonetheless becalmed, her mouth open slightly and loosening a pendulous groan, her eyes rolling into the rear of her lids, revealing a deep and glorious white, such as that found in the snippering keen of a pearl knife-handle or the opinous and importuning wink of an arse needing the whip."

Here one suspects Ulansey levies upon his readers an immense lark. And yet, recourse to Ullian’s diaries clearly posit a fantastical scene indeed. Another telling anecdote arrives from Father Aminian Farthing, an Orthodox priest from Byzantium. He made the long journey to visit Marie by onieric insistence, having been plaqued by “tortuous dreams and forlorn weepy-style nightmares, where one wakes in the middle of night, screaming in fright descending the next moment into near diabolical laughter, confusing me profoundly.” Apparently, Aminian consulted his Bible and performed the odd ritual now and again and was thus able to snoop out the cause of his nocturnal distressing - a gypsy caravan provided both the answer to his problems and transportation to France.

Drinking Aphid Hints

When Father Farthing approached the monastery, he was soundly rebuffed by the hegemonical qualities of the inhabitants therein. However, having been pelted both in internecine insultery and rotten vegetables, he resolved to spend the night on the road, hoping for better luck in the morning. That night, curled up in his cassock, he had another dream, this time more intense than any he had previously experienced. In it, he was dressed as porter, waiting outside of a door inlaid with fantastical carvings and elaborate bas-reliefs. He wished to scrutinize this marvelous sight, and to investigate the filigree to the fullest extent that his intellect would allow. However, dream life can be cruel. He could only see by a complex arrangement of his body parts, for otherwise his view was somehow obstructed, the world being rendered as if seen from a great distance. Hence, in order to more closely observe what appeared to be a highly skilled rendering of the story of Cain and Abel, he was predisposed to sit on the ground, his ankles behind his neck and his arms twisted to form a curl of knobbed willowill. And to see the elaborate inlays portraying the ascension of our lord and saviour, he was required to bend his back to the sky, his belly upwards and and crossed by his arms, meeting at the elbow with his right leg, ankle turned to the West. His other leg, meanwhile, was need underneath his arched form, pinched at a precarious right angle

Non-Canonical Text

The phenomena of infant morphology has long fascinated persons whose intellectual pursuits lay at their most comfortable in untoward position, reflecting spiritual traditions to which the researcher has -- perhaps only casually -- sworn fealty. Nearly without exception, human religious experience autogyrates between the idea of being and non-being, living and death. The lives of men appear in our soul dramas as but limping children, somehow muscled and terse, mouthing dangerously invented languages of body, motion, of sword's edge and needle's point. To muddle with spyglass and pencil in the naked twilight of this experience is the duty of a lone nut, the errant scientician, the Gnomic up-ender, the Catholic.

It should come as no surprise then, that Europe's Mother Church enjoys a teaming wealth of scholarly information concerning those states of mankind which split asunder the divisory connections between man and animal, angel and monkey, chirping non-life and the waxy glow of gloamy non-existance. It takes a strange kind of man, in other words, to study strange kinds of men -- or as the case may be, very strange examples of newly-birthed children and in particular those examples which display superfluous body parts, glaring omissions of design or unnatural developments requiring immediate medical and priestly attention.

The so-called cowled child, "so richly sensual under its severe, religious folds"2  is just such a spectular birth-object.

Threading The Nut

Characterized by a flap of hanging skin, the cowled child is often born in what it must perceive as a state of woeful blindness.

Tersely sorting this cry from the collective wilderness are the distinctive characteristics which, despite the regular appearance of cowled children, mark each one as unique. In certain Inuit myths, the "reading" of a cowled child's particular "meaning" provided the calendar for everything from seal hunts to making love. In the Algonquin, the word for a cowled child is the same as "imperfect stone." In Europe, however...

....duly manipulated by qualified "seers" or representatives ....

See Also

Monstrous Science


Note 1:  Caul's etymology traces back to Greek (roughly, in our alphabet, “kaulus”), meaning an elaborate ensnarement or an intricate weaving. The earliest noted usages of the word refer more specifically to sheep’s pens, fishermen's nets, the weave of fate, and the inter-lacing lines of leaves in a head of cabbage (hence “kale”). The term was eventually extended to refer to a spider's web and a women's woven hat or hood. By the Middle Ages, the term was associated with a fold of skin covering the head (as well as with the male foreskin and the female Mons Veneris), suggesting both an enclosure for the head as well as a type of psychic ensnarement, while continuing to carry forward the connotations of linear patterns, as seen in the elaborate wrinkles and veins of the skin flap--hence the term's later usage among “New Agers” for a Native American "dream catcher".

Note 2:  Proust, Marcel. Remembrance of Things Past.


A Brooklyn-based Puerto Rican Street Gang, the Kowled Kids, is so named in reference to their uncircumcised penises. The reference is thought to be a taunt to Jewish gangs which co-exist, not always peacefully, in certain neighborhoods near the Brooklyn Bridge.