15 June 2008

Rats, hats and oranges

Unreal Nature carries, in yesterday's post "Rats and Hats", an extract from an American Scholar article.

I recommend both Unreal Nature's post and the full article which it references. For now, though, I am preoccupied with a memory triggered by Julie Heyward's description of keeping a dead rat in her dresser drawer when she was a child.

A million years ago, at a tropical primary school, I once found half an orange deposited in my desk by some unknown passer by. I left it where it was and, over the succeeding weeks, documented its mouldering, its decay, its colonisation by small brown and grey toadstools, its gradual shrinkage, and finally its systematic removal by a column of ants until nothing remained but a slight stain on the wood.

I was, clearly, already destined to be a scientist ... and a sad git...

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