The Great Spider Owl
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The Great Spider Owl is the central figure in the Christmas holiday. It is more commonly known as Santa Claus to the general unsuspecting population, but this is merely a disguise (constructed both by it and the governments of the world) of its true identity. All official information regarding this creature is considered top secret, given the enormous danger one's life is in if they know too much, especially children.
The Great Spider Owl is shrouded in mystery, but recently declassified government documents from Area 51 shed some light on the creature's origins. During the cleanup of the Roswell incident, federal agents discovered an egg buried within the remains of the crashed spaceship. Figuring bringing it back for incubation might yield important insights in the field of xenobiology, they took the egg from the wreckage.
This was both humanity's biggest mistake and the first true Christmas miracle.
Back in Area 51, the egg hatched to reveal a spidery-looking creature whose head can swivel 720 degrees in any direction and with two venom-filled fangs which can separate to become beaks, leading the workers there to dub it "the spider owl". After trashing the facility, it crawled out and fled across the desert, and hasn't been captured since. The destruction it caused to the facility ruined many of the alien experiments the government was conducting at the time, forcing them to turn their attention to stealth aircraft instead (partly to try and capture the spider owl).
Shortly afterwards, the first sighting of the modern incarnation of Santa Claus was reported. Careful observation reveals that this is, in fact, the Great Spider Owl finding its purpose in life on Earth by inventing a cover-up to avoid detection.
The Great Spider Owl typically appears in public just like any other rendition of Santa Claus commonly recognized. What's really noteworthy is its appearance in private, as gleaned from leaked CIA and NSA information.
Its true form is some type of spider-like alien creature, with the swiveling head and transforming fang-beaks mentioned above. It is quite rotund, and has eight eyes (two large central ones, with six typically hidden under its beard unless it gets hungry and searches for prey). It wears a bright-red Santa Claus suit stained with the blood of its previous owner (originally pure snow-white), with two arms and legs typically shown to resemble a humanoid figure, but two additional pairs of limbs can pop out the sides to aid it in crawling on virtually any surface. It carries a toy sack spun from its own silk, which also contains its eggs mixed in.
Santa Claus is known for his hat with a poof ball at the end of it. The Great Spider Owl still wears a similar hat, but the poof ball at the end is actually replaced by an elaborate compound eye at the end of an eyestalk hidden under the hat. This compound eye is made up of billions of individual lenses, each tuned to a specific child somewhere on Earth. Given that the Great Spider Owl never sleeps, it always knows when you are sleeping, when you're awake, when you've been bad or good, and when you know too much and need to be eaten.
The Great Spider Owl resides at the North Pole, which may be due to its biological attraction to magnetic poles. Given that it hatched in the northern hemisphere, it makes sense that it would venture to the North Pole and not the South Pole. Also, it likes the taste of the occasional polar bear it catches.
Its nest is dubbed "Santa's Workshop", and is constructed inside the previous Santa's facility. Inside the buildings now lays a massive beehive-like honeycomb structure, where larval elves are incubated (see the Life Cycle section below for more info). The honeycomb structure is a composite material consisting of regurgitated milk, gingerbread cookie crumbs, peppermint and crystallized spider owl spit, forming a glossy cement which is approximately 42 times stronger than the sturdiest steel alloys. The Great Spider Owl spends much of the year crawling across its surface, stopping periodically and spraying its stomach contents like a lawn sprinkler to harden. When moonlight hits the surface of this material, the sheen given off creates the Northern Lights.
Despite residing at Santa's Workshop 364 days out of the year, it cannot be captured or killed there by any current known methods. Secret operatives, classified military missions, and nuclear weapons have all been tried and ended in disaster (and a somewhat annoyed Great Spider Owl with a full tummy). Current policy agreed upon by the United Nations is to avoid provoking its rage against humanity.
The Great Spider Owl is often heard hooting much like an Earth owl would. However, humans mishear it as the Great Spider Owl saying "Ho, ho, ho!" It is still laughing, but not out of good-natured merriment; rather, the thought of a foolish child clutched in its grasp, ready to be eaten.
edit Life cycle
Not much is known regarding where baby spider owls come from; it appears that the Great Spider Owl is the only one of its kind we know of in existence. It does produce eggs though, and these are used to establish a kind of hive society.
Seeking followers, the Great Spider Owl opted to take advantage of China's One-Child Policy. Chinese parents have a strong preference for sons, so daughters are typically disowned at birth and left to wander the streets. The Great Spider Owl picks these infants up and carries them back to the North Pole after injecting them with paralyzing venom and wrapping them in silk. Back in the honeycomb hive, it crawls across the structure on all eight legs, searching for empty cells to seal the babies inside along with a single egg. When the egg hatches, a facehugger latches onto the baby's face and implants an as-of-yet unidentified gelatinous organism directly into the brain.
After approximately 11 months, the new hybrid creature crawls screeching out of its cell, where it is given a green silk suit by the Great Spider Owl. The resulting creature is referred to in scientific literature as an Entomological Life-cycle Fauna, or "elf" for short. It is immediately put to work, creating new toys to be distributed on Christmas Eve. Thus, unwanted Chinese girls are saved from a life of childhood labor in factories under Communist overlords, by instead living a life of childhood labor in a factory under an alien overlord, demonstrating a surprisingly symbiotic relationship.
edit Christmas Eve
After eating the original human Santa Claus, the Great Spider Owl assumed many of his habits. This may have something to do with how it digests brain matter and incorporates it into its own. Fortunately, it still continues the tradition of delivering presents every year on Christmas Eve, if only to convince the world that nothing has changed.
After the toys are made by the elves, the Great Spider Owl loads them inside its silk sack and gets into its sleigh. The original Santa Claus got his reindeer to fly by feeding them carrots; now, they fly only in a vain attempt to get away from the horrifying Great Spider Owl.
At each house, the Great Spider Owl spits webbing to secure the reindeer's feet to the roof of the dwelling, thus preventing their escape. Then it crawls down the chimney with all eight of its legs, and consumes any fire left in the fireplace to keep its stomach contents molten.
It then emerges from the fireplace and inspects the inside of the house. If it finds a shiny Christmas tree (which reminds it of the foliage on its homeworld), stockings hung on the fireplace, and offerings of milk and cookies left out by the parents to appease it, the Great Spider Owl is satisfied. It will then deposit its presents and consume the milk and cookies, left to cook inside its gut. This is where it gets the raw material for expanding its honeycomb hive back at the North Pole.
Not a creature should be stirring during its visit, not even a mouse. Any mice it finds will be eaten, and the carbon in their bodies turned into dark black lumps from the internal heat and pressure. These are then regurgitated much like an owl pellet in houses where mice are found. This is where the misnomer that bad children will get coal for Christmas comes from.
It will then crawl back up the chimney and back into its sleigh, then free the reindeer's feet so they will take off terrified again to the next house, where the cycle repeats.
edit Relationship with other holiday figures
The Great Spider Owl is not the only prominent holiday figure whose identity is kept obscure to the general public. The NSA lists it among several others in a top secret dossier leaked by Edward Snowden in late 2014 and fully analyzed during the summer of 2015. In fact, just about every major holiday celebrated today has at its center a prominent character simultaneously representing it and harboring a much darker side.
The Easter Bunny is one of the more notable examples listed in the dossier, known to have killed all children in Austria in 1709 and fed them to his 187 brothers and 139 sisters, following his parents' death at the feet of the Pope. This had a direct effect on the number of available children to consume for the Great Spider Owl later that year, and the two engaged in a feud lasting several decades. The Great Spider Owl was reported to leave mouse-derived coal in the Easter Bunny's basket, while the Easter Bunny responded in kind by egging the North Pole. The number of human lives lost in the crossfire was much less than that lost during each of Godzilla's visits to Japan, making the fight easy for government operatives to cover up. The two creatures are currently in a cease-fire, although the animosity likely remains to this day.
Following the fight, the Easter Bunny decided he needed to develop an additional holiday to gain the advantage over his old nemesis, so he "invented" the turkey. Just as he turned them loose along the eastern coast of North America, however, pilgrims arrived and shot them with their muskets for eating. Turkeys are now associated with Thanksgiving and not the Easter Bunny, as their origin was deemed too horrific to let Americans know. How the Great Spider Owl feels about turkeys is unknown, but any left at the North Pole for observation are never seen again.
The dossier also contained documents detailing the existence of leprechauns, which are not magical, rich little cereal peddlers, but escaped elves from the Great Spider Owl's North Pole factory. Their elusiveness was developed as a survival mechanism to escape being recaptured by their former master. St. Patrick's Day was founded by the leprechauns to celebrate the day of their escape from the North Pole, but they too do not want anyone to know where they truly came from out of fear of being found.
edit Secret identity
It is very important to note that the Great Spider Owl needs to be assured that the children in the house see it as Santa Claus, and not as its real self. This is why children need to believe Santa still exists and be asleep at midnight, as a precaution. If they are awake and discover the true nature of today's Santa, the Great Spider Owl will abduct them much like infant Chinese girls and seal an egg inside their cocoon with them. However, since this is not in the controlled environment of its honeycomb, the egg will actually spill its acidic contents and liquefy the child, whose digested juices the Great Spider Owl will slurp out of the cocoon for sustenance. One such egg was accidentally left behind at a house; scientists recovered it and performed tests, discovering that its contents tasted eerily similar to eggnog.
Charles Schulz made an unreleased Christmas movie called It's The Great Spider Owl, Charlie Brown! which was meant to share the true meaning of Christmas. The script had the Peanuts characters worshiping the Great Spider Owl, complete with offering it Snoopy as a sacrifice to appease it since they unknowingly discovered its true identity. The movie was never released at the request of Homeland Security, who feared it would jeopardize the lives of millions of children if they discovered the truth. A Charlie Brown Christmas was released instead to brainwash the masses for their safety.