Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Story of Quadruped

The Story of Quadruped

A Tale Twice Told

For quite a while now, I've silently lamented the fact that one of my favorite personal projects is as well-hid as pirate pajamas. Buried in the depths of the infrequently-updated Quadruped, The Story of Quadruped was my first contribution to our four-person website.

I've always wanted to preserve it here, in the various articles of Bearskinrug, so that the art and story I worked so hard on could at least be indexed and enjoyed by googlists for the ages. Plus, I was particularly motivated to post it because I depart for South by Southwest this week, and wanted to provide a lengthy narrative that will take exactly one week for everyone to read. No one will even know I'm gone!

So, without further ado, I present the Story of Quadruped.

Chapter 1: Animal of the Future

Animal of the Future

By 1902, Albrecht Sutterschmidt, self-proclaimed scientist and inventor, knew just what the world needed.

"What is desperately lacking," he wrote in his Quadruped Manifesto, "is the animal of the future — one which far exceeds the capabilities of our forefather's tired and outdated beasts of burden. I foresee a magnificent super-animal, that can outperform these remnants of a soon-to-be-forgotten past."

Sutterschmidt called this "super-animal" the Quadruped; and took upon himself the task of breeding the twentieth-century beast.

Chapter 2: Mammal Stew

Mammal Stew

Sutterschmidt, though unfamiliar with almost every aspect of breeding and biology, was enthusiastic at the start. Excerpts from his experiment log reveal the initial direction of the project.

May, 1902After much consideration, I have selected the appropriate species with which to construct the "Quadruped":

For its hardy nature and durability, the Tibetan Yak;

To ensure efficient, nutritious milk production, the Holstein breed of dairy cattle;

Certainly for the beast to yield numerous delectable cuts of meat I will have to introduce the versatile Pig;

For loyalty and companionship, the noble German Shepherd;

And lastly, for its great intelligence and marine adaptability, the Porpoise.

Chapter 3: Shepherd and Swine

Shepherd and Swine

By September of 1903, Sutterschmidt had secured the first two ingredients in his biological vichysoisse — a fertile sow from his brother's farm, and his own pet German Shepherd, Pipihund. But there were problems from the start. Sutterschmidt writes:

Pipihund seems to have difficulty beginning the courting ritual. In hopes of encouraging him I have dressed the sow in patters similar to the upholstery of my ottoman, which Pipihund has mounted and soiled numerous times.

Much to Sutterschmidt's pleasure, Pipihund successfully mounted and inseminated its partner. The sow gave birth just a few months later. The scientific community was abuzz with the success of the interspecies breeding — skeptics, however, vocalized their doubts:

"For being half-dog, the offspring lacks numerous canine characteristics."
Dr. Jean Behard, Leinholm Veterinary Practice

"I do not believe a half-dog/half-pig creature would remain so undisputably pig-like!"
Dr. Morgan Stueben, Aspergund University

"As sows go, Bernice is about as promiscuous as a pig can get. I'd go so far as to call her a pig-whore. Yup, a pig-whore."
Mert Sutterschmidt, Albrecht Sutterschmidt's brother

Chapter 4: Cow and Porpoise

Cow and Porpoise

Despite the criticism, Sutterschmidt moved on to the second phase of the experiment; breeding of the Holstein with the Common Porpoise. There were numerous setbacks, beyond the obvious difficulty in procuring a porpoise.

Though Sutterschmidt would be the first to admit he lacked even rudimentary understanding of porpoise anatomy, none foresaw the eventual suffocation of the marine animal by the insertion of the bull's member into the porpoise's blowhole. Even fewer foresaw Sutterschmidt making the mistake a second time, and probably a third if not for the lucky intervention of local officials.

Disheartened, but not disenchanted, Sutterschmidt returned to dry land to rethink his experiment's direction.

"The problem," reasoned Sutterschmidt in his experimental log, "is one of logistics. I have erred in my impetuousness to bring such distantly related species as the cow and the porpoise together. But this very error is in fact a blessing, for I can now pursue the correct direction — for it is intelligence I wish to breed into the Quadruped, and there is nothing smarter than man!"

Chapter 5: The Golden Years

The Golden Years

Progress was slow. Sutterschmidt labored daily, year after year. His application for a grant from Leinholm University was eventually rejected. The scientific community denounced Sutterschmidt for what they termed "the unconscionable exploitation of science to justify intercourse with a cow."

Despite all, Sutterschmidt himself remained optimistic. "I think the increased amount of copulation is beginning to stimulate the cow's reproductive abilities. I've never felt so productive!"

In his personal diaries he writes in reference to the period between 1905 and 1935 as "the most exciting period of the experiment," and refers to it as, "a time I thoroughly enjoyed."

Chapter 6: Quadruped's Last Days

Quadruped's Last Days

In late 1936, after much struggle, Sutterschmidt dissolved the Quadruped experiment. By that time, the automobile had become firmly cemented in society, and offered many of the same benefits that Sutterschmidt's prototype Quadruped would have provided. The "Mad Scientist of Leinholm" closed the lid on his experimentations, but still maintained that he would have prevailed given enough time.

Chapter 7: Sutterschmidt's Last Days

Sutterschmidt's Last Days

In the late 90's, as the miracle of cloning became a reality, Sutterschmidt revived the Quadruped experiment, and approached it with renewed zeal.

However, years of smoking and his long fight against bovine-related venereal sicknesses took its toll. Sutterschmidt passed away in 1995, leaving a substantial sum of money dedicated to funding the continued development of the Quadruped.

Chapter 8: The Future of Quadruped

The Future of Quadruped

In May of 2002, the last surviving relative of Sutterschmidt, Matthew R. Sutter, received $120,000 worth of funding for the upkeep of the Quadruped website, created to document the research of Sutterschmidt. Though skeptics still abound, Sutter has reassured both the scientific community and the animal rights group PETA that Quadruped research will steer clear of the ethical intersection which his great-grandfather so boldy crossed and re-crossed. "I'm not really into that sort of thing," says Sutter, "I'm more of a transexual deviant."

Comments on this Article

There are currently 16 comments.

[ Add one of your own! ]


SOOO long, have to read it in the morrow! (it's too late here in Swedenland)


yup, that there is a commitment that requires some time. And glasses. And a cocktail.

Dan Mall

It's a shame that Quadraped isn't updated very often. If you could post the names and numbers of your offices and bosses, I can spread tales of sexual harrassment and insubordination such that Quadraped will have never seen such a return!


and from this beast…hidden in the depths of the beautiful design, came one of my favorite toys:


of course, not as fun as the original "Design-O-matic" that I'm sure is lurking in your closet.


Good stuff. Like bacon. Can't get enough.


You sir are a legend.

Terry Tolleson

Man, I totally forgot about the compositionals.

Compositional II. Submissions
Launch Sequence
June 21, 2004

Good times...
This story is giong to take a read and I will read it. Just not right now. Maybe in a minute. And by minute, I mean a day or two.


this is just an incredibly elaborate and cruel way to call me a transsexual deviant. I resent half of that!


When I finished reading this, my first reaction was "Holy Cow," but in retrospect I'm not sure that phraseology would be in good taste.


I've been here for three years and I must tell you that I thank you for everything I saw. You are a great artist and I've learned a lot in all the visits I did here. Some times I think your site is only for people you know, but when I think I'm here, in Brasil, I realize that a lot of people around the world must visit you. Thanks for everything and keep on the road. I will always be here.


Dan - Or I could just post that video of you robbing a bank. I'd be guaranteed all those law enforcement viewers, as well as the entire jury.

Tom - Ah... the days of coding 100+ tiny buttons to change colors. If I only knew about functions back then, it would have been MUCH simpler...

Monkeyinabox - "Pieces of Bacon" is actually a legitimate measurement for goodness.

BigA - So does that entitle me to some kind of cake? That'd be sweet...

Terry - Haha - yeah, that was a good one! I remember it took me a while to see what it "was", but then suddenly... "pop"!

Sutter - Yes. It was. And I'd do it all again, to maintain my place as Mayor of Quadruped.

Testmonkey - Maybe more along the lines of "Ewwwww" would work better!

Paulinho - Thanks so much! That's always super-encouraging to hear. Hopefully I'll be doing this for another three years, if not more. :D


There are so many great things about this I can't even breath. The animal-friendliness, the design, the entirely unreasonable amounts of energy and man-hours put into cheaply insulting a friend. It's like my entire life's ambitions have been carefully distilled into ten minutes blog-reading suitable for an over-tired Friday afternoon.

You know, the wear looks incredibly convincing. Is it bad manners if I ask whether you did it all digitally or did you print all this on paper and then use it to block a hole in the kitchen window for three months?

Terry Tolleson

yo - Kevin! I am at SXSWi as well. I'll keep an eye out. Could be a swanky button in it for ya.


wow... cross breeding to create a super-animal, an uncooperative porpoise, a man's love for his cow and good old-fashioned bestiality...

man, this tale's got it all.


"Pipihund"...teehee! ^^

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