[image description: A well-dressed anthropomorphic red panda (or red fox?) bids you welcome you through an oval window. Behind them, a lush and florid hobbity landscape featuring many burrows which contain other (instances of?) your host. The largest bears the address 244. Text reads, “Firefoxen, the small god of internet rabbit holes”]
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Come in come in come in. Come warm yourself by the fire. There’s cookies and cocoa and chamomile tea, and we’ll have cucumber and chicken salad sandwiches in a little while. You don’t need to worry here, don’t need to be afraid. You’re safe.
You can hide here for as long as you like.
Oh, the cottage? Well, we began as a website, Geocities self-build. All our HTML was hand-done, real rustic stuff, and we’ve maintained it ever since. Most of our web rings are defunct now, but we keep them as decoration, and besides, nothing on the network is ever truly gone forever. They could reactivate any day now. Why, we got back the Siamese Rescue Ring just last year, when the moderators finally realized that the book of faces was a walled garden and they couldn’t thrive there any longer. So we keep the rings. Their creators might yet come home.
So we were a website, but as the ‘net’s grown, so have we. The gardens we have are ones we planted on our own. There are many forms of rabbit hole. There are the ones that spiral you down into the depths of conspiracy theory and lies, never letting go once they get their thorny brambles into your skin. There are the ones that only reinforce what you already believe. And technically we own those too, we just don’t nurture them. Sadly, they don’t need us to, and they won’t die away due to neglect.
No, this is the sort of rabbit hole we like to think of as the best kind: the sort that keeps you warm and safe and lets you focus on what interests you, what you love and long to know more about. Ursula’s in the garden, and she’ll glad tell you about ten thousand types of potato, while Kate will show you how to cast a stitch, and Amy is always welcoming more members in her life drawing class. Whatever holds your heart, we have it here, and we’re happy to share for as long as you need to rest with us.
So rest. Have a cookie, and take a breath, and be safe and home, and here.
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Please join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities: