- You may be looking for Bombinating Beast.
|“||At that moment I moved outside the boundaries of the law, just as The Thistle of the Valley had, and entered a wild, lawless place. I held the Bombinating Beast in my hands. It was why this night was different from all other nights.||”|
The Bombinating Beast Statue is a small black statue, made of a rare species of wood, that is sought after for its power to imitate the call of, and therefore control, the Bombinating Beast.
|“||Moxie had called it a gimcrack, and Mrs. Murphy Sallis had called it a priceless item. It was about the size of a bottle of milk and said to be valued at upward of a great deal of money. It was the Bombinating Beast, the statue we were looking for, as dusty and forgotten as the rest of the items in the room.||”|
The statue that controls the Bombinating Beast is about the size of a bottle of milk, and made of a rare species of wood that is very shiny and black in color. The eyes and mouth of the statue are small holes, with the teeth making thin lines over the mouth hole. The statue is completely hollow, with a paper patch on the base to breathe into. The slits and holes are carved into the body in order to release sound. The sound is described as not loud, but wheezy and buzzing. It sounds wrong, like "the wrong sound on the wrong night."
It is to be played like a clarinet, though that seems to only summon the creature; what must be done to control the creature is unknown. However, after the beast eats Feint, it looks to Snicket, and follows his directions when he points, perhaps implying that simply owning the statue is all that is necessary.
|“||I moved quickly. I moved quietly. The beast shivered in my coat. My apprenticeship was over, but there was work still to be done.||”|
— Lemony Snicket, Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?
While the origins of the statue are unknown, it may have originated with Lady Mallahan, who is renowned for slaying the original Bombinating Beast on one of her voyages. This is presumed, as the statue has been in the Mallahan Family for generations. However, its power was unknown to all but very few, and the Mallahans eventually regarded it as an "old gimcrack" and leaving it dusty and forgotten.
After Armstrong Feint somehow learned of the statue's power, he sought to obtain it in order to control the Bombinating Beast clones he and the Inhumane Society were attempted to create. When his telegram to the Mallahans accidentally went unanswered, he blackmailed Dame Sally Murphy into hiring S. Theodora Markson and Lemony Snicket to steal it for him. However, Snicket never made it to the rendezvous point, instead dropping with the statue into a tree near Handkerchief Heights, where Armstrong's abandoned daughter, Ellington Feint, rescued him and explained she was looking for her father, who she believed to be kidnapped. Unbeknownst to Snicket, Armstrong, under the persona of Hangfire, had contacted Ellington and offered to trade the statue for her father's release.
While Snicket was distracted by Harvey and Mimi Mitchum, Ellington stole the statue and mailed it to herself at Black Cat Coffee. However, Snicket again intercepted the package, and upon being contacted by Hangfire, hid it behind An Analysis of Brown, Black and Beige at Stain'd-by-the-Sea's Library. He and Ellington fetched it the next morning to return to the Mallahans, but Ellington stole the statue again, replacing it in Snicket's bag with a bag of coffee and fled into the woods.
Ellington contacted Hangfire, but he did not meet with her, likely to avoid giving himself away. She disguised herself as Cleo Knight and attempted to gain an audience via Nurse Dander, but upon being found by Snicket and informed that the real Cleo Knight was being held by Dander's associate, Ellington escaped while leaving the statue with Snicket, who wrapped it in blankets to conceal it. He met with her at Black Cat Coffee, but as she was soon arrested, he again left the statue to her to avoid giving it to Markson. When she escaped jail, she took the statue with her.
Ellington again attempted to find Hangfire by infiltrating Wade Academy, which had been taken over by the Inhumane Society; she avoided the statue being confiscated by hiding it in the false bottom of the false bottom of her bag. Due to this, she managed to keep it with her throughout her capture and imprisonment, and onto the Thistle of the Valley as she was to be taken out of town.
On the train, she finally traded the statue to Hangfire, however Snicket swiftly stole it from him and used it to summon the sole Bombinating Beast recreation that had managed to grow. After feeding Hangfire/Armstrong Feint to it, Snicket ordered the beast to leave. He eventually left the train with the statue still with him and went into the Clusterous Forest.
The statue's whereabouts following this are unknown.
- In the Netflix adaptation of the final book of A Series of Unfortunate Events, "The End," the statue appears on The Island, having washed up on its shores.
- Two false statues were created out of paper by Ornette Lost.
- The statue is described as being about the size of a bottle of milk. Standard glass milk bottles for 1-liters usually have a base diameter of 89mm, a neck diameter of 35-40mm, and 267mm in height-
- In the Imperial system, it would have about a base diameter of 3.5 inches, a neck diameter of 1.4-1.6 inches, and 10.5 inches in height.