Pygmy Puffs

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Post  Potteraholic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:42 am

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing, which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. It was copied/saved by Lady Arabella and reformatted/reposted by Potteraholic. ~Potteraholic

Pamzter - May 18, 2006 8:08 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Jun 30, 2006 7:18 am

Can't find a thread on this -- please point me to it if there is -- I'm dying to hear people's theories on what role Ginny's new little pet will play.

Last edited by Potteraholic on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Pygmy Puffs Empty Pygmy Puffs (posts #1 - #47)

Post  Potteraholic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:43 am

Thora - May 19, 2006 5:35 am (#1 of 47)
Edited May 19, 2006 6:36 am

They remind me of the Tribbles in that episode of Star Trek (the original series), perhaps she will use them to rat out the bad guy. (Okay that was kind of punny)

I doubt it though.

haymoni - May 19, 2006 7:23 am (#2 of 47)

Thora, that was EXACTLY what I thought!

"These things sound like Tribbles to me!"

Wonder if Jo is a Trekkie???

Choices - May 19, 2006 9:36 am (#3 of 47)

They may play no real/important role whatsoever - they may just be JKR's salute to Star Trek.

Madam Pince - May 19, 2006 10:09 am (#4 of 47)

There's another potential question to JKR at the authors' chat thingy in New York -- "Are the pygmy puffs supposed to be your salute to Tribbles?"

Not a very enlightening sort of question maybe, but one she'd be likely to answer at least!

Pamzter - May 19, 2006 12:57 pm (#5 of 47)

If Jo wrote them, they'll come in to play - in a couple of different ways! I just can't think creatively today. It's another double initial: PP. They're from the twins shop. C-A-N-'-T T-H-I-N-K.

Miss Black - May 19, 2006 1:09 pm (#6 of 47)

Hmmm. I have a half finished fanfiction about Harry accidently stepping on and by doing so killing Arnold.

Mediwitch - May 19, 2006 1:26 pm (#7 of 47)

There was some discussion about Arnold the Pygmy Puff on the thread "A Treasure Hunt: Looking for Literary Symbolism in HBP". Here are a couple of quotes from Round Pink Spider (RPS) regarding the symbolism around Ginny's furry little friend.

RPS #306: Then we have the Pygmy Puffs. They are pink and purple, authorities with secrets. They are tiny, indicating lots of weaknesses, and they are "puffs," so they are weak before the danger. Their name has double Ps, the Untransformed letter. And they're squeaking, again indicating awareness of danger. These make me think about the Ministry, ordering all those Shield Hats, and Scrimgeour and Fudge wanting Harry to make them look good before the public.

Having a series of objects or animals like this that give hints about the story is actually not unusual. I remember in OotP, after Harry gave his interview to The Quibbler, Professor Flitwick gave Harry a box of "squeaking sugar mice," which were actually symbolically warning Harry of the danger of his mental weakness.

RPS #312: Yes, I've been thinking about Arnold. My guess, since we're talking about someone in a position of authority, is that "Arnold" might represent Slughorn, who does have symbols of vulnerability around him, and who came to the school partly to be safer from Voldemort. Ginny became one of his chosen students and a member of the Slug Club. The name Ar-n-old might imply a person who joins others together (ar/er), and who rejects (n) Transforming Knowledge (old). Or that he has Transforming Knowledge (about Tom Riddle). OR... it might just be a cute name.

You might be interested in that thread.

Pamzter - May 19, 2006 2:29 pm (#8 of 47)

Mediwitch - Wow, I think that thread is probably too brainiac for me. I was thinking like maybe they'd explode in a billion colors and blind a Death Eater or something sophomoric like that. *sigh*

Mediwitch - May 19, 2006 7:33 pm (#9 of 47)

Pamzter ~

The real brains of the thread are great at explaining their interpretations to us more linear thinkers! Just lurking on that thread (and the alchemy one) has really enriched my understanding of HP.

Choices - May 20, 2006 7:45 am (#10 of 47)

I agree - I really have nothing to contribute to the Alchemy thread, but I do try to read it and apply what I can comprehend (LOL) to understanding HP better.

Catherine - May 24, 2006 5:18 am (#11 of 47)

And...back to Pygmy Puffs....

far from prefect - May 26, 2006 2:40 pm (#12 of 47)

I wondered if the name Arnold referred in some way to Mr. Weasley. Draco laughed that the Daily Prophet got Ron's dad's name wrong in the article about the flying Ford Anglia. Not that I can extrapolate that into any kind of symbolic meaning... just that we've seen the name used before.

jm2k :-)

haymoni - May 27, 2006 4:34 am (#13 of 47)

Extrapolate something into some kind of symbolic meaning???

Would we do that????

Pamzter - May 28, 2006 7:48 pm (#14 of 47)

Hmmm . . . double initials (PP), double name (Arnold) . . . double trouble? Since the twins (oooh, double!) don't always seem to know exactly how the items they procure work (and because JK doesn't add things willy nilly), I'm going to keep on eye on Arnold's behavior and reactions. If they're a nod to Star Trek Tribbles then maybe the Puffs are able to sense Death Eaters.

Soul Search - May 29, 2006 6:01 am (#15 of 47)


"... maybe the Puffs are able to sense Death Eaters."

I like that! I think you are on to something.

far from prefect - May 30, 2006 2:24 pm (#16 of 47)

Pamzter, great idea! Are there any full size Puffs? These ones are the pygmy size... maybe the full size have even more powers. Or maybe they are more concentrated because they are little...

Catherine - May 30, 2006 3:10 pm (#17 of 47)

OK, forum members....

At the risk of being a female Im"Percy"onator, I suggest that some real discussion take place about Pygmy Puffs.

Pamzter - May 30, 2006 9:18 pm (#18 of 47)

Actually I was being quite serious about the Puffs being able to sense Death Eaters.

far from prefect - May 31, 2006 9:42 am (#19 of 47)

I looked them up in Fantastic Beasts and it doesn't sound like they will have any remarkable powers. Puffskeins have a charming habit of sticking their long pink tongue up wizard-kind's noses and eating the "bogeys". Well, we know that Ginny does the best Bat Bogey Hex in all of Hogwarts.

They make a pleasant humming sound when they are happy, so maybe they can make an unpleasant shrill sound when they are not. There may be something more than meets the eye here...

jm2k, ffp

Choices - May 31, 2006 9:51 am (#20 of 47)
Edited May 31, 2006 10:56 am

Far from Prefect, you just gave me the best laugh of the day! I had forgotten about the Puffskeins penchant for eating wizard bogeys. LOL What a hoot! They would certainly have trouble drilling for bogeys in Voldemort's squashed little serpent nose. LOL

far from prefect - May 31, 2006 11:26 am (#21 of 47)

I can't quite picture the most evil wizard in the history of the world snuggling with a pygmy puff... snuggling with Nagini, maybe.

But, you are right, it would have a heck of a time getting its tongue in those slits! Thanks back at you for the day's chuckle...

:-) ffp

M A Grimmett - May 31, 2006 12:37 pm (#22 of 47)

Well, obviously, LV's troubles can be traced to not having a cuddly little pet when he was younger. Who knows what might have happened if he'd had a pygmy puff as a kid...

far from prefect - May 31, 2006 3:12 pm (#23 of 47)

Really, Pamzter, I hope you are right and Arnold the Pygmy Puff has special powers.

You know, I was always hoping we'd see more action from Kneazles. Clearly Crookshanks is a Kneazle, or at least part Kneazle, and Arabella Figg raises Kneazles... Mr. Tibbles was on duty the night the Dementors attacked Harry and Dudders in Little Whinging. I just thought there would be more heroic action from the Kneazles... But, this is not the Kneazle thread...

Die Zimtzicke - Jun 19, 2006 3:41 pm (#24 of 47)

Crookshanks interests me in regard to Arnold, because he showed keen interest in Arnold, and Kneazles can sense those who are untrustworthy. I wonder if Arnold is more than he seems to be. I don't think Jo would pull the old unregistered Animagus thing again, God knows, but could Arnold be some kind of spy or plant?

geauxtigers - Jun 19, 2006 4:13 pm (#25 of 47)

Well even if Crookshanks is half Kneazle, he is still half cat so it could be just him playing with it. My cat plays with things that I would never thought would interest her. I think that Arnold is just something else to play with, cats really will play with anything that moves so I dunno. But hey ya never know!

far from prefect - Jun 20, 2006 1:50 pm (#26 of 47)

I agree, geauxtigers, I think it is just that he wants to play. He also wants to catch one of those fanged frisbees... Ginny should let Crookshanks have a good sniff like Ron did with Pigwidgeon. Then we could relax!

Detail Seeker - Jun 27, 2006 12:33 pm (#27 of 47)

If Arnold were untrustworthy, Crookshanks would not have tried to play with him, but to kill it.

Die Zimtzicke - Jun 27, 2006 1:36 pm (#28 of 47)

Do we know for sure WHY Crookshanks was eyeing the Pygmy Puff? How do we know if he wanted to play or was stalking him?

Choices - Jun 27, 2006 4:28 pm (#29 of 47)
Edited Jun 27, 2006 5:30 pm

I agree Die - it really is not stated clearly whether Crookshanks was stalking or simply curious and playful. He could have caught Arnold and ripped him to shreds, or they could have had a friendly game of cat and....Pygmy Puff.

Denise P. - Jun 29, 2006 2:40 pm (#30 of 47)

I am once again attempting to plow through HBP and something jumped out at me.

We already know in the first year, students are told Students may also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad. (which opens up the age-old discussion how Ron could have Scabbers)

As far as we know, that rule has not changed yet Ginny brings Arnold, her pygmy puff with her to Hogwarts. I would think pets would be frowned on and while the owl, cat or toad is a pet, they also have a useful function. As far as I can tell, the puffs only look cute.

Die Zimtzicke - Jun 29, 2006 4:19 pm (#31 of 47)

I think it's a case of Ginny bending the rules and no one calling her on it AGAIN, but then I don't like Ginny much.

Soul Search - Jun 29, 2006 4:33 pm (#32 of 47)

Of course, Ginny's best friend and brother are the prefects that would call her out on having Arnold. Ron, at least, wouldn't dare.

Choices - Jun 29, 2006 5:24 pm (#33 of 47)

Obviously the rules about what pets can and can't be brought are rather lax. Wasn't it Dean Tomas in one of the books that had a big spider in a box as he boarded the Hogwarts Express?

Mediwitch - Jun 29, 2006 6:33 pm (#34 of 47)

I think it was Lee Jordan who had the spider in a box. There does seem to be a certain amount of disregard for the pet rule for several students; sorry you don't like Ginny, Die Z., but she's not alone in breaking this rule.

Choices - Jun 30, 2006 10:14 am (#35 of 47)

Thanks for the correction Mediwitch, I think you are right. I knew it was either Lee or Dean and I picked the wrong one. Ginny is definitely not alone in breaking this rule (if it is a rule - maybe the letter only suggests what pets can be brought). I happen to like Ginny - she is feisty, inventive, quick thinking, brave and loyal, etc. She's a Weasley, for goodness sakes, what's not to like? LOL

Mattew Bates - Jun 30, 2006 10:20 am (#36 of 47)
Edited Jun 30, 2006 11:21 am

If there was ever a student that broke this rule, Denise, it was Hagrid. I think that rule may have been implemented when he was a student (like so many rules have been implemented because of the Weasley Twins), and its enforcement has been unnecessary in recent years due to students bringing relatively benign pets.

Matilda the Pygmy Puff - Jul 1, 2006 2:05 pm (#37 of 47)

I just have to post in this thread. Smile I think it would be safe to say that Arnold must have some powers, since most magical creatures do. Are Pygmy Puffs mentioned in FB? Are they actually mini Puffskeins, or are they something different? I think that having the ability to sniff out DE's would be an awesome skill to have. I wonder if they fact they are only pink and purple, which are very feminine colors, means that they only react to or "perform" for females, similar to unicorns. I am also perfectly content in having him just be a regular animal who looks cute.

Choices - Jul 1, 2006 4:42 pm (#38 of 47)

I think it would be great if Arnold had some wonderful talent to sniff out evil (if he does he is hiding it well), but alas, I tend to think he is just a little critter who looks cute.

Miss Amanda - Jul 2, 2006 6:03 pm (#39 of 47)

Doesn't anyone else think that it is significant that Ginny made up a tattoo for Ron and it was a Pygmy Puff?

Well, one obvious reason would be that it wasn't "macho" but could JKR be suggesting that the Pygmy Puff should be a symbol that we link with Ron as well as Ginny?

Pets have played an important part in the story. I still am opting for Trevor to be important, and I believe that Arnold will also be important. In my mind, JKR has used pets to help reveal secrets. I can't name a pet that hasn't been around when someone FINALLY catches onto something or led someone to new knowledge. Crookshanks led everyone to Scabbers and Sirius. Trevor has been around VERY often; one such incident is in PS/SS when Neville is holding him before he gets the Full Body Bind from Hermione. Pig and Hedwig, as bringers of messages, are obvious. If it comes to Hogwarts, it is special.

Choices - Jul 3, 2006 10:37 am (#40 of 47)

Edited Jul 3, 2006 11:37 am

Miss Amanda - "Doesn't anyone else think that it is significant that Ginny made up a tattoo for Ron and it was a Pygmy Puff?"

I do think it is significant. I think it signifies that Ginny loves to tease her brother and so she gave him a tattoo of a cute, puffy little critter, sort of girlie and purple, to embarrass the heck out of him. Ron loves to be noticed and feel important, and Ginny likes to bring him down a notch or two. Typical brother - sister stuff. LOL

ex-FAHgeek - Jul 16, 2006 7:06 am (#41 of 47)

Of course, she throws in the backhanded compliment with "but I didn't say where..." Aside from the blatantly obvious sexual innuendo and its accompanying intrigues, there's certainly a twisted machismo in gritting through the implied pain that a shallow, lustful person like Romilda Vane would definitely savor, regardless of how wimpy the actual image itself is.

I'd say the backhanded compliment is really the point of the entire exchange - sure, your siblings may love and respect you deep inside, but you'll never get them to admit it without a humiliating comment from the peanut gallery as well.

Phoenix - Sep 21, 2006 9:55 am (#42 of 47)
Edited Sep 21, 2006 10:56 am

This is a copy of my post #1169 from the Treasure Hunt/Symbolism thread. I'm not sure how relevant it all is, but I thought I'd post it for reference-sake. I kind of went off a bit on them, as is my tendency! Hope it's helpful!

Ok, I hope you'll bear with me again, as I'm off on Pygmy Puffs! I think I found some significant stuff, but how important it is, I don't know. Well, here goes...

First, the 'Pygmy Puff' is a miniature Puffskein. 'Puff' is an emission of air or smoke (DD's silvery instruments emit puffs of smoke, and air represents transforming knowledge). A synonym is also 'to swell'. A 'skein' is a fixed quantity of yarn, thread, silk, or wool wound and knotted. It's also a measure of length 360 feet. This is a reference to weaving (thread), spinning (silk), and knitting (yarn or wool). 360 is also the number of degrees in a full circle, which is interesting - ourouborous.

The word 'pygmy' is interesting - at first I thought it just meant small to describe the Puffskein. However, when I looked it up, it's a reference to people in Equatorial Africa, the Philippines, Andaman Islands, and Malaya that are 4' - 5' tall. Pygmy is also interchangeable with 'Pigmy', which is defined as small. But JKR chose the spelling 'pygmy'. The French did colonize parts of Equatorial Africa from 1897 to 1957 or 1958. Perhaps a clue to a horcrux?

The description in FB is full of symbolism:

"The Puffskein is found worldwide. Spherical in shape (360 degrees -- and circular, which represents 'secrets') and covered in soft, custard-coloured fur (Ginny's is purple, representing authority), it is a docile creature that has no objection to being cuddled or thrown about. (Ron or Harry put a notation in the book - "I had one of them once what happened to it? Fred used it for Bludge practice.")

"Easy to care for, it emits a low humming noise when contented." I found no reference to Ginny's Puffskein emitting this noise in any part of the book, but I may have missed it in my search. The noise they emit at the shop is "high-pitched squeaks", which represents 'mortal danger'. HRH sneak off shortly after this scene in search of Draco, which turned out to be mortal danger.

"From time to time a very long, thin, pink tongue will emerge from the depths of the Puffskein and snake through the house searching for food." This is interesting, because 'long' and 'thin' represent magic power/wands. 'Pink' is secrets, and it 'snakes' through the house searching - snakes represent 'secrets revealed'. So, it finds secrets in the house - perhaps the House of Slytherin?

"The Puffskein is a scavenger that will eat anything from leftovers to spiders," Interesting word JKR chose for this description, as spiders represent secrets as well.

"...but it has a particular preference for sticking its tongue up the nose of sleeping wizards and eating their bogies." Well, at least we know Ginny is keeping her nose clean! Looking past this a bit, noses represent mind/memory, sleeping is a symbolic death-like state, and bogies are a water/phlegm reference again. So, perhaps it extracts secrets from the element water from the dead. This seems so symbolic (grossly so!) of Harry going into the pensieve, going through memories of people who have passed on. And exploring Voldemort's past, he's exploring the water element.

Regarding the cleaning of noses, it goes on to say that, "This tendency has made the Puffskein much beloved by wizarding children for many generations and it remains a highly popular wizarding pet." When Harry goes through the memories, he's going back generations.

Ginny named her purple pygmy puff 'Arnold' - The name is a combination of 'arn' - eagle, and 'wald'- ruler or king. Purple, being a color of authority, the name is fitting. JKR said people's pets represent the owner in some fashion. I can only imagine that Ginny is going to represent some kind of authority and she's going to assist in uncovering many secrets in the next book. Perhaps in this book, the pygmy puff, being a loving creature and holding secrets, represents Ginny's secret love for Harry? I'm not sure on all it may represent, and I'm especially not sure of the significance of Equatorial Africa, etc. Is anyone familiar with any myths from these areas? The only reference I found was Nathan's 'Belcher' who explored parts of West Africa.

Well, anyways, I'm done for now! Thanks for bearing with me! --yet again!

Oh, one last thing, Ginny jokingly said that Ron has a tattoo of a Pygmy Puff, but wouldn't say where (Probably his rear). Don't know if that means anything.

Meoshimo - Sep 22, 2006 7:17 pm (#43 of 47)

Yes, it means that Ginny has a sense of humor.

Die Zimtzicke - Sep 23, 2006 9:27 am (#44 of 47)

Who's British here? Is "pygmy" or "pigmy" the common way to spell the word in Britain, like "colour" is the British way to spell what we spell "color" in the United States?

I hope I have that right...I concede that Britpicking is not my strong point.

Phoenix - Sep 23, 2006 11:10 am (#45 of 47)

Meoshimo, yes, you're right it could be a joke! On the Treasure Hunt thread, though, we've found lots of 'innocent' comments in the books to have deeper meanings. For example, "Potty and the Weasel" - just an insult by Malfoy? This phrase brings to mind "Pop Goes the Weasel", and if you'll recall, "...the monkey chased the weasel.." is part of that. Salazar Slytherin happens to have a monkeyish face, and the follower of the heir of Slytherin (Lucius Malfoy) certainly caused some problems for the Weasley's by planting that diary on Ginny! Coincidence? Maybe....

In speculating that Puffskeins represent 'secrets', perhaps Ron is hiding something there? There may be a secret around him that he's not aware of, since it's on his backside!

Of course, it is possible I am grabbing at straws, and you may be right - it's just a joke. But it's fun speculating!

DZ, you may be right about the spelling, since I'm not British. I'd like to know myself! If it is relevant, I was also thinking that the equator is the center between the poles - or polar extremes. Perhaps it represents a 'middle ground' or compromise of sorts? On the Treasure Hunt Thread, Nathan did find a reference to a Runespoor, which is a 3-headed snake found in Africa. It's supposed to be a favorite pet of dark wizards (Fantastic Beasts).

haymoni - Sep 23, 2006 12:03 pm (#46 of 47)

Die - I cannot spell any more - gray/grey, rumor/rumour.

HP has done me in!

Soul Search - Sep 23, 2006 12:29 pm (#47 of 47)

Actually, just all this reading of posts with different English origins has to affect us as well.

Not me though, I never could spell.

"Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind either. There's talent - and a nice thirst to prove yourself ..." (PS/SS)
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