Friday, September 28, 2007

Our furry, winged and finned friends

Animal Meme

Wouldn't you do absolutely ANYTHING for him? I found this meme on one of the science blogs I read - Pondering Pikaia. The Ragazzo and I desperately want a dog but neither our apartment building nor our lives will admit one right now, so it appealed to my puppy-envy. I’ve adapted it slightly for us literary types.

An interesting animal I had:
The only pets I have ever actually owned were two gerbils – frisby and scooter - not very interesting, I know. But in the realm of stuffed creatures, we have an elephant and a pink pig that oinks three times.

An interesting animal I ate:
I’ve eaten ostrich and bison (grilled), goat (sauteed with cilantro), and sea urchin (as sushi) and I confess, I liked them all.

An interesting animal you’ve seen in the Museum, library, or its natural habitat:
I remember being about 7 years old and going over to my friend Larry’s house. His father was a physicist and had a beautiful library of science books including some beautiful old research volumes on natural history. We had a ritual where he would look up unusual animals and we would act them out – dress up like them, move like them, make sounds like them. I remember remarkably clearly his reading about a bird with a large tail (a colorful blanket tucked into the back of my pants) that ran backwards. I don’t remember its sound, but I remember running backwards in a circle for quite a while in the kind of hysteria kids can get into. Does anyone know what bird this could be? I’ve tried looking it up with no luck.

An interesting thing I did with or to an animal
Oh dear, what a question. The most interesting story that I’ve done to an animal, unfortunately, was kill it. I was in charge of tending to the snails in a parisitology lab many moons ago. One day I had to anesthetize a few but I killed them outright because no one had taught me to use the lab’s digital scale to measure and I put in one decimal place too much (10x too much) anesthetic. Ooops. That limited my interest in escargot for several years.

And a question I am adding for the bookish among us – a favorite literary animal (that can be a literary character or a whole piece about an animal)
Virginia Woolf’s Flush – the story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s spaniel. It’s delightful fun. I also remember enjoying Paul Auster’s Timbuktu quite a lot. I’ve read neither of them recently enough to say anything more meaningful.

I won’t tag but please join in if you’d find it fun.


Anne-Marie said...

Hey glad you enjoyed the meme! I like your addition about animals in literature, I think one of my favorite fiction books features animals is Yann Martel's Life of Pi . . . although I must give credit to a childhoold favorite: I think that the Dr. Doolittle series (I must have read each book eight times when I was a kid) was part of what inspired me to go into zoology as a career.

I actually write fiction as a hobby and have always had aspirations of being an author as a side from my day job as a scientist, so I am very glad that you left a comment with a link to your blog, thanks so much!

Ted said...

Anne-Marie - I haven't read Life of Pi yet, although it's sitting around the house. That's right! I hadn't even thought of childhood favorites. Freddy the detective, who was a pig, was a favorite of mine. And, of course, Wilbur from Charlotte's Web - I read that book so many times. And Lyle The Crocodile!

Anonymous said...

The picture of that dog is absolutely killing me. I love him so much and I want him to feel comfortable, and know that he is loved so that he doesn't have to be so WORRIED anymore.

Ted said...

S - I know he would appreciate that. Life seems to make him a little unsure.

Ted said...

S - The Ragazzo says that he thinks the puppy probably just pooped in the corner.

Dewey said...

I had a professor who was always talking up Flush. Yet somehow I never got around to reading it. I should!

Favorite literary animal... hmmm....I really like Rabbit. You know, the grumpy vegetable gardener who was Winnie the Pooh's neighbor. Poor guy, he got so frustrated when Tigger bounced on his carrots.

Anonymous said...

Ted - yes, there is a bit of SHAME on that little face. Like: I know I have just been so bad, but I am just so dern LITTLE I couldn't help myself!!