There are several questions that remain answered as I approach senectitude. Senectitude is 20 years older than you are not matter how old you are. I take comfort in that. Questions still rattle around in my brain like the windows on a 1962 Dodge pickup truck used to haul firewood in the Smoky Mountains.
Why do we have apple and peach orchards but orange, grapefruit, tangerine, and lemon groves? Can you explain to me why we have raspberry, cabbage and tobacco patches and grape vineyards? Why not grape patches and raspberry vineyards? We have pumpkin patches and watermelon fields and a garden spot. We have fields for corn, soybeans, wheat and rice but land for pasture and wood. And then we have a herd of cattle but a flock of chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese or some choose to use gaggle of geese. Why a flock of sheep and a pack of dogs and a drove of pigs?
This has my brain all roiled up like Dead Horse Creek full of rooting pigs looking for a cool place to wallow. Some say my mind doesn't exactly track like a black and tan coon hound at the bay on a Friday night in late October. But what do they know.
I went to the San Diego Zoo through the wonderment of the Internet and found an interesting list of names for groups of animals. Did you know that a group of baboons is a troop and that bears come in sloth and sleuths? But swallows are a flight and a group of crows is a murder. Murder? In Africa you would see a memory of elephants and a business of ferrets would greet you in North America. Camels come in caravans, buzzards in wakes and baby chickens in a peep. Of course fish swim in schools where they often take "debate", [get it, debate?] flamingos are groups of flamboyance and hippos are a bloat. That is funny. Why don't we say, "There sure was a huge bloat of people at the dinner last night?" And jelly fish associate in smacks, owls in parliaments, peacocks in an ostentation and porcupines gather in prickles. That seems appropriate. I don't understand that we have a troubling of goldfish, a gaze of raccoons and a rhumba of rattlesnakes. If I ever contact a rattlesnake you can bet I will be doing some kind of dance but it likely won't be the rhumba. Most likely it will be the shoe leather express to anywhere but "hereville."
I understand a lounge of lards because of the use of the term in Vegas. But a pandemonium of parrots, a coterie of prairie dogs and unkindness of ravens? When we were at the Tower of London we encountered ravens and we were advised by the docents not to make contact with them because they were unpleasant toward humans. I did not test the information. There is a scurry of squirrels, a bank of swans and a wedge of swallows. I know what a wedge is when splitting wood and when one is given a wedgie but swallows?
Wouldn't it be simpler to just use one word to indicate more than one animal? I suggest bunch or gallimaufry. That bloat thing might work.
Larry Vandeventer grew up North of Calvertville, graduated from Worthington High School and can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or at 6860 Sunrise Drive, Plainfield, IN 46168 or by phone at 317-839-7656. He has written five books about his experiences. Contact him or AuthorHouse.com to purchase.