Advice for mice. If Lanius excubitor (the Great Grey Shrike) should happen to impale you on a big sharp spike, it’s really nothing personal: it just intends to rip some chunks of flesh from off your bones and needs a better grip. They call the shrike the butcher bird and butchery is harder if you […]
Posts tagged with ‘napowrimo 2008’
Honey, of course, is made by bees but some may not have heard about the hives of Cornish wasps that make the lemon curd. ~~~ a bit late, but at least I’m back to only one behind schedule.
Barnaby the Wonderhound can leap tall buildings at a single bound and his amazing supernose can track a man wherever he goes. He’d be superb at fighting crime, but he prefers to spend his time looking for a place to snooze and widdling in his owners’ shoes.
In Italy there lives a fowl they know as Rooster Death; but mainly that’s because it has such dreadful garlic breath. So if you think your reputation’s getting rather ghastly then after meals be sure to eat a little bunch of parsley.
Because it’s Shakespeare’s birthday (probably), a poem inspired by a Shakespeherian bird reference: Lapwings Now begin; For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs Close by the ground, to hear our conference. Much Ado About Nothing, 3.ii.23-5 The winter flocks of round-winged lapwings with their creaking, bubbling song are sharing all the gossip gained all summer long. They […]
One night a belligerent young baboon decided he wanted to challenge the moon. So he pointed his colourful arse at the sky defying the moon until, bye and bye, just as his legs were starting to ache and his vertical bottom beginning to shake, along came some clouds and the moon went in; which he […]
If you stand on the beach on Holyhead and listen attentively, you may hear, above the sound of surf, an unearthly harmony. Upon a tiny rocky islet out of sight of land the world’s one and only seal voice choir are sprawled on a patch of sand; and sometimes, when the waves are still and […]
Deep in the forests of Finland where humans rarely go are sometimes found unusual tracks curving across the snow; they’re rather like those of the stoat but each is twelve inches by nine And often nearby there’s a tuft of blue hair caught in the bark of a pine. If you spend a few years […]
Birdwatchers know the Cinnamon Owl by its tempting aroma and blood-chilling howl. Indeed, with the owl and the Aniseed Swan the scent often lingers after they’ve gone.
A buffalo can make a quite delightful pet, as long as you can find an easy-going vet who doesn’t mind an animal that’s really very boring, apart from the occasional trampling and goring. ~~~ A buffalo will often make a charming household pet, but just in case, make sure you have an easy-going vet who […]
Music soothes the savage beast — or so the Romans said, at least — but you still need to identify what kind of beast you’re threatened by. Gators loathe Puccini but are calmed by Johann Strauss; crocodiles hate everything that isn’t acid house. » Actually, the main source of that quote in English seems to […]
Halcyon-dalcyon Littoral Kingfishers hover by seashores on flashing blue wings. Monarchs beware of their literal-mindedness; given the choice they’d be fishing for kings.
Privately, the platypus feels it’s only rotten luck that people don’t refer instead to the platypus-billed duck.
The remarkable nest of the weaver bird is passably well known; less famous is the mason bird which carves a nest from stone. The proportions can be clumsy; there’s a tendency to schlock, a rather Disney mixture of the Gothic and Baroque; some ornamental flourishes are let down by poor technique. But not bad for […]
The usual way to spot giraffe is by their penetrating laugh; so those which are a bit dejected frequently go undetected.
A chicken is really just a duck who makes the lifestyle choice to cluck.
There’s a bear at the end of the garden. I don’t know why she’s there; she just turned up one afternoon and dug herself a lair. She tends to squash the plants but I’m glad to have a creature who’s so majestic when she’s splashing in the water feature. I don’t see her in winter; […]
The loveliest of wild cats is probably the ocelot; it also has nice shiny teeth although it doesn’t floss a lot.
When having prawns for dinner, always drink white wine; whatever else you offer, they’ll tactfully decline.
On oceanic islands under endless sky many birds evolve without the ability to fly. The Inaccessible Island Rail, the Stephens Island Wren, the Réunion Sacred Ibis and St Helena Swamphen: all flightless; nearly all extinct; but none were stranger than the Flightless Falcon that once lived on an island near Japan. It was a ruthless […]
A bit on the paper-thin side even by this year’s standards; but during napowrimo you take what you can get. Storks In which a popular myth is dispelled, and some helpful advice is offered for homeowners living in those regions where this decorative species is most commonly found. Thanks to an early misprint, people think […]
The Wandering Pine migration’s an unstoppable stampede which makes up in tenacity for what it lacks in speed; usually they’ve travelled about eighteen inches when it’s time for them to turn around and head back north again.
The Great White Shark Carcharodon carcharias is sadly much maligned; they live on cheese and use their teeth to help remove the rind.* *Since in the Pacific cheddar can be hard to find, they sometimes snack on swimmers. But I daresay no-one minds.