Posts Tagged ‘Thurber’
… imitating life (readers will recall Thurber’s “cast-iron lawn dog”).
Your correspondent’s daughter, exercising caution
Officers in Independence [MO], a Kansas City suburb, responded to a call on a Saturday evening about a large alligator lurking on the embankment of a pond, police spokesman Tom Gentry said Thursday.
An officer called a state conservation agent, who advised him to shoot the alligator because there was little that conservation officials could do at that time, Gentry said.
As instructed an officer shot the alligator, not once but twice, but both times the bullets bounced off — because the alligator was made of cement.
[Reuters, June 3, 2011]
As we get in touch with our inner Pygmalion, we might light animal-shaped birthday candles for zoologist and ecologist Warder Clyde Allee; he was born on this date in 1885. Allee is best remembered for his research on animal behavior, protocooperation– he’s considered by many to be the “Father of Animal Ecology”– and for identifying what is now known as “the Allee effect”: a positive correlation between population density and the per capita population growth rate in very small populations… an effect that might well impact the seemingly-frozen alligator population in Missouri.
Readers will recall that before the exquisite Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson drew political cartoons…
Before that, he drew for his college newspaper, The Kenyon Collegian…
These and more, from every stage of Watterson’s wonderful career, at Rare Bill Watterson Art.
As we remember that this was why we used to subscribe to newspapers, we might send birthday smiles to another Ohioan, humorist and cartoonist James Thurber; he was born (in Columbus) on this date in 1894.
Q. No one has been able to tell us what kind of dog we have. I am enclosing a sketch of one of his two postures. He only has two. The other one is the same as this except he faces in the opposite direction. – Mrs EUGENIA BLACK
A. I think that what you have is a cast-iron lawn dog. The expressionless eye and the rigid pose are characteristic of metal lawn animals. And that certainly is a cast-iron ear. You could, however, remove all doubt by means of a simple test with a hammer and a cold chisel, or an acetylene torch. If the animal chips, or melts, my diagnosis is correct.
– The Thurber Carnival (1945)