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Brown Jenkin is a rat-like creature with a human-like face who is a familiar to Keziah Mason and a secondary antagonist of H.P. Lovecraft's short story "Dreams in the Witch House". He is also part of the same race of strange rats with human faces called the Rat Things or Ratlings.

Brown Jenkin, Mason's Familiar is "a small white-fanged furry thing", "no larger than a good-sized rat", which for years haunts the witch house and the town of Arkham in general, "nuzzl[ing] people curiously in the black hours before dawn". The creature is described:

Witnesses said it had long hair and the shape of a rat, but that its sharp-toothed, bearded face was evilly human while its paws were like tiny human hands. It took messages betwixt old Keziah and the Devil, and was nursed on the witch's blood, which it sucked like a vampire. Its voice was a kind of loathsome titter, and it could speak all languages.

During the Salem witch trials, it was captured but disappeared mysteriously along with Keziah.

When Walter Gilman, student of mathematics at Miskatonic University stayed in Keziah's former home, he began to dream about her and Jenkin. He dreamed that Keziah took him to the city of the Elder Things, and when he woke up he had a mannequin figure from the city. He also dreamed that Keziah and Jenkin forced him to sign the Black Book of Azathoth, at the demand of the mysterious "Black Man".

Soon after, Gilman dreamed that Keziah forced him to kidnap an infant to sacrifice to the Black Man. Waking up, he saw that an infant in the local area had vanished, and realized that he really did kidnap it. The next night, he saw Keziah try to sacrifice the baby, but attacked and killed her. Brown Jenkin then killed the baby anyway. Gilman awoke, and only had time to tell his story to fellow student Frank Elwood before Jenkin appeared and ate his heart.

Soon after, the Witch House was destroyed in a storm. Workmen found the corpses of the baby, Keziah, and Jenkin in the wreckage. They were unsure of what Jenkin was, but knew it was evil. They lit candles in celebration of its demise.

Trivia

  • It has been speculated that Jenkin is the offspring of Keziah and the Black Man. This is backed up by the deity Yog-Sothoth mating with a human woman and spawning Wilbur Whateley and the Dunwich Horror.

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