b Papa Dog's Blog: Faluting Highly with Fuzzy Bee (and Compatriots)

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Faluting Highly with Fuzzy Bee (and Compatriots)

One thing that happens when you have a small child is you get the opportunity to memorise a lot of simple verse. Baby Dog’s favourite book these days is something called Fuzzy Bee and Friends. She’s not taken so much with the story, which admittedly is somewhat thin; each page contains a simple drawing of a little critter, most of them insects, with a rhyming couplet describing that critter’s nature. Nor is she drawn particularly by the funny drawings and bright colours. Mostly, she’s attracted by the fact that she’s allowed to thrash the book around and stuff it in her mouth to her heart’s delight. It’s a cloth book made expressly for that purpose. Most other books we read to her carefully beyond little arms’ length, partly so we can preserve them until she’s old enough to understand the words, but mostly because we’re The Man and we have rules to keep the people down. This book she can chew on.

Anyway, I noticed about a month back that without realising it I had memorised the words to this fluffy volume. I would entertain Mama Dog by reciting it at dinner or in the car or while taking a family stroll. Each It goes like this:

Fuzzy Bee and Friends (by Roger Priddy, ©2003, St. Martin’s Press)

It’s not an ant, a snail, or slug./It’s spotty, dotty ladybug!
It’s such a hot and sunny day/that baby worm just wants to play.
The beetle bug is rather shy./He likes to watch the world go by.
“Oh me, oh my! I wonder why/I’m such a splendid butterfly!”
Sally spider is so busy./All her spinning makes her dizzy.
Don’t be fooled by a scary name./This dragonfly is really tame.
Keep moving snail, you’re really slow./You’ve got a long, long way to go.
“I’m coming in! Watch out!” says fly,/as he appears from way up high.

It’s simple stuff, but strangely irresistible once you start saying it out loud. One day Doggy Dog stopped dead in front of me – something he is wont to do, as noted previously – and I made Mama Dog cackle aloud by saying to him, deadpan, “Keep moving, dog, you’re really slow. You’ve got a long, long way to go.”

A thing we do sometimes to amuse ourselves is what we call faluting. Specifically, faluting highly. We’ll take a simple phrase and try to think of the most complicated and verbose way to say it. A favourite tactic is to eschew acronyms – like, saying “Los Angeles Law” or “New York Police Department Blue” – but often we just use pointlessly big words, like “I shall endeavour to do so,” instead of “okay.” Mama Dog suggested recently that it would be a laugh if I were to translate Fuzzy Bee and Friends into High Falutery. Anything to please my darling wife, particularly after last night’s crappy Valentine’s showing. So here, with apologies to Roger Priddy, St. Martin’s Press, and all the ships at sea, is:

Velutinous Apian and Compatriots

It is neither a formicid, a gastropod, nor a mollusc. Rather, it is a variegated and vacuous beetle of the family Coccinellidae!
The diurnal hours are so repellently calescent and fulgent that the nematode larva wishes only to gambol.
The Coleoptera is somewhat diffident. He derives delectation from observing the planet’s rotation.
“Goodness gracious, golly gee! I can only speculate on the cause of my evident status as a superlative Lepidoptera!”
Sarah the arachnid is occupied to an overwhelming degree. She suffers vertigo as a consequence of her filament production.
Do not be misled by a bloodcurdling appellation. The Anax junius is in truth quite docile.
Persevere in locomotion, gastropod, you are absolutely dilatory in your movement. A noteworthy distance remains before you.
“Observe carefully! I am entering!” Thus speaks Diptera, as he materializes from the stratosphere.


Blogger Twizzle said...

I had no idea that "Sally" was a nickname for "Sarah."

You done larned me something new today, Papa Dog! (says Mama Dog, falluting lowly.)

8:57 PM  

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