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Grunkle Sphinx - Fur and Feathers

Title: Fur and Feathers
Author: chilibreath
X-posted to: Tumblr / Archive / FF.net
Rating: G

The following day, everyone woke up to find that Ford was once again covered in fur. Dipper, Mabel and Stan were relieved but not surprised at this development.

"Eh, I knew you'd grow the hair back," Stan said nonchalantly. "Though I was expecting it to happen sooner. Like a minute after you were shaved."

Dipper, who learned about Stan's unusual chest-hair growth from Mabel, walked around his furrier Grunkle with a look of scientific interest. "It might have taken longer than usual because he's got more hair than you do, Grunkle Stan."

Stan rolled his eyes and muttered, "Quality, not quantity."

"And his fur is even softer than before!" Mabel exclaimed, burying her face in Ford's newly sprouted mane. "So floofy!"

Ford smiled and purred for his great-niece's benefit. "It was a nice surprise to wake up to," he said. "And there's a genetic explanation for the hair growth..."


That afternoon, Ford walked into the TV room and found Dipper and Mabel in the middle of an intense, hushed discussion.

"I don't think he can do it Mabel. He doesn't have enough wing span for it..."

"Psh! He can totally do it! With his smarts, he'll figure it out. He just needs the chance..."

"What chance?" Ford asked; he couldn't help himself. He figured that the children were talking about him.

The younger twins turned around and spotted Ford padding towards them. When Ford sat down, Mabel spoke before Dipper had the chance: "Dipper and I were wondering if you could fly. I told him you could!"

Dipper looked nervous. "I wasn't sure you'd be able to. I mean, there's the body size to wingspan ratio to consider..."

"But you said that lions don't purr, but Grunkle Ford was able to..."

"Actually, Dipper has a point," Ford interjected. He unfurled one of his wings and looked at it for a while before turning to the children. "What do you say we try to put these to the test?"

Dipper and Mabel looked at him with identical expressions of delight. Dipper jumped up and ran from the room, shouting, "I'll get the camera!"


In a clearing several feet away from the Shack, Mabel stood in front of the camera holding up a piece of cardboard. At Dipper's signal, she began to say, "Hi! Welcome to the Grunkle Sphinx Test Flight Experiments!" Mabel put down the sign and continued, "We're here to see our Grunkle Ford try out his Sphinx wings. Test number one: flapping!"

Dipper then focused the camera to Ford standing in the middle of the clearing. At Mabel's insistence, he wore goggles over his glasses and a football helmet that a customer left in the Mystery Shack for some reason (the latter was disinfected at his insistence). He stood on all fours, spread his great gray wings and started flapping.

Off to the side, Mabel beamed excitedly. The wind generated from Ford's flapping created dust clouds and put Mabel's hair in disarray. Dipper had to hold on to his cap to prevent it from flying off his head as a pair of gnomes tumbled past his legs in the draft ("SCHMEBULOCK!").

Suddenly, something soft and scratchy hit his face.


Dipper raised his hands and felt his face. His eyes widened when he felt a thick thatch of hair covering his mouth and chin. The tendrils of hair tickled his nostrils as Dipper became aware of a high-pitched purring.

"Dipper, why do you have a BEARD?" he heard Mabel ask beside him, her voice getting louder with each word.
Dipper turned to reply to his twin and jumped back instead.

"I'm not the only one with a beard!" Dipper yelped, pointing at his twin's chin. "YOU have a beard too!"

Mabel looked down at herself; sure enough, her jawline and torso were covered in a magnificent long brown beard. It was also purring like Dipper's beard.

Their combined yells spooked the birds out of their trees and made the Beard Cubs curl on their faces in fright.


An hour and a quick shave with Stan later, the experiment continued. They agreed to keep away from the woods and decided to make the trek up a hill nearby. This time, they were accompanied by Soos, who helped Dipper pull a large makeshift wagon up the hill.

"Remind me again why we need this wagon?" asked Soos as they approached the top of the hill.

"We--that is, I need to generate enough speed going downhill to get some lift," Ford explained. "Just to speed things along, we've decided to expedite this experiment by using this contraption."

Ford then let Mabel put the goggles and helmet on him before stepping on the wagon while Soos pointed the camera at Dipper.

Dipper looked at the camera and held up a sign. "Welcome to the Grunkle Sphinx Test Flight Experiments. We're now on test number 2: gliding."


Two hours later...

Stan and Wendy were restocking the gift shop when the door opened. Stan looked up to see Dipper and Mabel running inside. His niblings were covered in leaves, dirt, and what looked like multicolored, chunky paint.

"Yeesh, what happened to the two of you?" asked Stan.

"Well, the good news is, Great Uncle Ford can fly if he rolls down a hill and spread his wings wide," said
Dipper. "He was able to glide over the trees for several minutes."

"We got it on tape!" Mabel said cheerfully, holding up the camera.

"So, what's the bad news?" Wendy asked.

"He landed smack-dab in a large nest of barf fairies," Dipper muttered.

"They were beautiful, but gross!" Mabel added.

Stan and Wendy cringed at the same time when they finally realized what the multicolored stuff was. Stan walked around the counter, took the camera from Mabel and handed it to Wendy before leading the kids back out of the house.

"Wendy, get the soap, shampoo and towels from inside, would ya?" Stan said loudly over Dipper and Mabel's protests. "No one's getting inside until all the barf is hosed off."

Soos chose that moment to peek through the door. "We're gonna need a bigger brush, dawg!"

"On it!" said Wendy.


I wrote a theory about the spontaneous hair growth in Tumblr: