Wednesday, December 28, 2005

LC's Tree: The Voice of the Lobster

'Twas the voice of the Lobster; I heard him declare:
"You have baked me too brown; I must sugar my hair." -- Lewis Carroll

You may wonder why I have a lobster hanging on my Christmas tree.

My mother does. She hates the lobster, which is why he is relegated to the back side of the tree, where he will not elicit negative commentary like, "Why did you ever buy that thing?"

But I was very happy to have found the lobster, because I needed a Christmas crustacean.

It's like this: I have always, ever since I was a little kid, loved the old-fashioned German blown-glass Christmas ornaments, representing all manner of thing from the sublime to the ridiculous. When I grew up and began shopping for the latter-day reproductions on my own, I determined that I would collect one representing every major classification of animal. (Plants are a little harder; I do seek out fruits and vegetables of all kinds -- my collection includes everything from a lumpy brown potato to a tiny raspberry, and once I almost succumbed to the lure of a purple-tinged artichoke.)

I've done very well -- I have various mammals and birds, a couple of insects, a few mollusks (a snail, a scallop and a nautilus shell), a frog and a fish. I don't yet have a reptile; my usual source for seasonal bling-bling does have a turtle that may find itself in my ornament stash some year, and I'm suprised there isn't a snake as well (perhaps with a divine foot whomping it in the head). I don't think I've ever seen a blown-glass worm, or anything farther down the zoological tree. But finding a representative of Crustacea was a shopping challenge for a long time. Since so many of us are crabby at Christmas, you'd think there might be one of those around...or a cute little shrimp. But no.

Anyhow -- as the Song of the Three Young Men says, "All ye whales and all that move in the waters, bless ye the Lord; praise him and magnify him forever."

Rudolph the Red-Shelled Lobster Posted by Picasa

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