Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Sky is Falling

High: 68° F
Low: 45° F
Conditions: Blustery winds
No doubt, you have heard the tragic story of one Chicken Little, a Gallus domesticus plagued by gravitaphobia. One day, poor Chicken Little was walking in the woods when she heard a sound described by several eyewitness accounts as “KERPLUNK.” This herald was then followed by an unprovoked assault by a most pernicious seed on her person (or chicken?). Understandably terrified, Chicken Little raced off to report this atrocity to the King, whose jurisprudence apparently included not only silviculture morphology, but atmospheric dynamics as well.

In a confused series of events the likes of which historians are still debating, Chicken Little was waylaid on her journey to the crown: she paused to alert other birds to the woodland crisis created by gravitational pull, was nearly consumed by a red fox for her efforts, and eventually concluded that a perambulation should always be accompanied by an umbrella or other protective shield. Logical? Perhaps not. Narratively sound? Doubtful. Relevant? Highly.

But why, the intrepid reader of blogs might reasonably ask, are you evoking this cherished fable now?


Meet Chicken Ari. Or Puppy Little. Either moniker will do, I think. What’s most salient about this association is this:
That’s right. Acorns. Lying, seemingly innocently, on terra firma. But as all poultry knows (and caninaturalists have quickly learned), acorns don’t grow on the ground. Oh, no. Their preferred habitat, of course, is high up in the canopy, where they remain sutured to stately oaks by way of an ingenious (not to mention fetching) bonnet called the cupule. That's true most of the time, anyway.

When the season is ripe and the winds quite blustery, these enterprising seeds and seed pouches launch themselves, missile like, from the heavens and then plummet towards the earth. As they do, they accelerate at a rate of g = 9.81 m/s2 . Physics is a mean taskmaster. It ensures, of course, that when said seeds thump an unsuspected canine on the noggin (Or the back. Or the shoulder. Or even just land in the general vicinity of said canine), they pack what scientists sometimes call a wallop. And a big one at that. Heretofore mentioned impact, in turn, often results in an acute case of gravitaphobia worthy of any children’s story.

Gravitaphobia is no slouch of a condition. Its symptoms include general wariness of the natural world. In extreme conditions, it can cause a stubborn refusal to take walks on shaded thoroughfares. If the sufferer of this condition happens to live in the woods of Maine, complications can ensue. Like refusing to walk. Anywhere. That side-effect, in turn, presents something of a quandry for a harried human who needs her dog to WALK before she goes to WORK so that another condition, often referred to in the medical world as carpetpuddleosis, doesn't become an epidemic.
As for canine naturalism, let's just say it's hard to investigate much of anything from one's front porch. Persuading a dog currently suffering from paranoid delusions of collapsing horizons can be an immensely frustrating exercise in the purest form of futility. Don’t even get me started about the sudden appearance of umbrellas throughout our house.


Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

Are acorns tasty? We don't have any, but we have lots of pine cones.


Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

And if it MIGHT resemble food, Steve will be all over it!


The Army of Four said...

Maybe there are SQUIRRELS up in the trees throwing them down! GIANT squirrels with GIANT claws and teeth. Ari could know something about this whole acorn assault that you don't. Really!
PS: We saw a Wooly Bear on our walk today! We'll post some pix tomorrow or the next day! It was VERY fluffy!

YourFireAnt said...

What about big huge golf umbrellas to hold over the dog as you walk?


Tracey and Huffle said...

I want to reply with something really witty but I am laughing too hard!

Huffle Mawson, Honorary Husky and Explorer Cat

Turbo the Sibe said...

Rooie likes to bring big burr acorns inside to crunch up and leave sharp remnants on the bed!

Kess And Her Mama said...

Oh dear...Hope Ari overcomes this acorn phobia soon!Pee puddles in the home are the bane of every human!

John Theberge said...

The other day I kept hearing something falling from the trees in the backyard and wondered what it was, it was quite loud. Turned out to be a squirrel knocking down pine cones, I found it kind of odd because the cones don't seem to be ripe yet.

umekotyan said...

Good evening Ari.
The ecology of the acorn is very interesting.
Here, it is one as for the talk concerning the acorn of Japan.
The movement that plants the acorn is done to the place where the mountain was destroyed in Japan. It has reproduced the mountain after we men does the destruction of nature.
Here, famous architect Tadao Ando is taking the lead worldwide.
And, it is called the common name and the acorn eyes to have big eyes.
Here, they are Ari of the acorn eyes. :D

from loved ume tyan

JB's Big World said...

Why are those acorns not in the cheeks of my friends, the squirrels?
Cute pic of Ari.

Me and my puppies said...

You have quite a way with words. Love it!

Kathiesbirds said...

Wind up the old comedy meter, you are spot on today. I'm laughing out loud and avoiding doing the physcis calculations. (Thank God you did them for me!) I hope Ari gets over her fear soon so you don't have to deal with any carpetpuddleosis any time soon!

Marigold said...

Ah, Chicken Little...always one of my favorite characters. Such an astute observationist. Ari is in good company. As for acorns. Well, we don't have any of those, but we sometimes get hit with Douglas Fir cones. We just butt them though. No umbrellas. They would make Watson faint. :)

Dmitri said...

I much prefer your spin on Chicken Little to Donald Rumsfeld's a few years ago.