Sunday, August 26, 2012

Even Odder Riding Rhyme

I posted on my childhood "trotting rhyme" from the Piedmont earlier, but Peculiar found a modern one that is... well, merely descriptive words fail. It is about riding on a Tardigrade, the enigmatic microscopic beastie also known as a "water bear".

I want a bonny tardigrade to serve me for a steed.
I'd harness him with watercress and provend him with mead.
We'd leave the hillock for the plain, forth to the desert wend;
from each bright globule of his brow a dock leaf I'd prepend.
His limbs, gone leathery with thirst, would lose their lustrous sheen,
and then I would rehydrate him with pulls from my canteen.
His feet would clasp the dunes beneath, his snout survey the sky,
while I, upon his back, sought out our caravanserai.
Unendingly we'd course the earth, our fortune never fixed --
the West Wind gee, the East Wind haw, and him and me betwixt.
My Octopod Bucephalus, my ally and my charge!
I'd do it all, were he less small, or I less sodding large.

Perhaps we will get Eli a plush one like this:
Or a dancing one?


Anonymous said...

Shades of the thoats on Barsoom.....L.B.

Retrieverman said...

Water bear is also the old name for polar bear.

Peculiar said...

As far as plush tardigrades go, I think the blue ones on GiantMicrobes look rather more apt than the pink one.

The poem really needs a musical setting; I wish my grasp of harmonics were up to it. Think what a Lied a microbiologically informed Schubert could have made of it!

Wilhelm Durand said...

Tardigrades are not all cute and fluffy:

Anonymous said...

I *love* GiantMicrobes. They make great gifts. I gave Plague, Giardia and E. coli for the vet clinic Christmas party a couple of years ago.

Wilhelm, I think your image was photoshopped! Water bears *are* cute and fluffy. They don't blow up cities.