Avis was paranoid, not about spiders, oh no! Not about centipedes, oh no! Not about bugs, or birds, or even terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs, oh no!
Avis was paranoid about tadpoles. If those little slimy eyeballs with a tail could grow legs, what else could they do? Grow claws? Tentacles? Great gnashing teeth?
And the fact that they grew into land-hopping creatures, would they jump out of their pond and leap into her bedroom at night? Avis shut her bedroom window and drew the curtains.
And then the inevitable happened, for this is a story is it not? Avis overcame her paranoia when she kissed a frog and turned into a reptile herself. They married and lived happily ever after.
She and her husband produced a bunch of sprogs, and the sprogs lived happily ever after too. One of them was able to transmogrify into a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusc when it was called for, although eventually it was devoured by a hungry sibling.
I cannot love the sky
until I know the scientific names for all the clouds.
Look! how dramatic is Cumulonimbus!
I cannot love the garden
until I know the scientific names for all the flowers.
Oh! such lovely Lobularia maritima!
I cannot love the song
until I know the scientific names for all the birds.
Hark! to the rapture of that Turdus philomelos!
I cannot love reflections in the water
until I’ve checked for giardia,
those anaerobic flagellated protozoan parasites of the phylum Sarcomastigophora.
I cannot love you
until I have dissected your opinions
tested your resolve
verified your good faith
and checked that you don’t have a Daucus carota stuffed up your Sphincter ani externus
like some overcharged know-all who
George lived on his own with only the one broken marriage behind him. He thought he shouldn’t live the rest of his life on his own; he needed to find a companion.
He’d always been mildly interested in bird watching (the feathered sort), so he joined the local Bird Watching Society in the hope of furthering his interest and also of finding a lady of interest.
And find her, he did! Eadlin Aislabie was so knowledgeable about birds; where to see the rarest; how to photograph them; where and how they nested… She was an ornithological encyclopaedia. George was spellbound. He was captured! Enraptured! Entranced! Within weeks they were married and living in the same house.
That was a mistake. It drove him nuts. She wouldn’t stop talking about the bloody things.