A Spoof For Fred, by Wayne Clifford

If Adam was the first to name the beasts,

their memories were lost at Eden’s gate.

The incognito herds browsed wide as feasts

undesignated hunters stalked for fate.


Then Noah had them two by two and seemed

to call them just to dinner, while the waves

embittered every sea-sick one that dreamed

of pastures stocked with what a critter craves.


So much for biblicality. The truth

is that they rarely name their kinds at all.

My otter conversations, though quite couth,

don’t go much, for names, beyond “y’all”.


However, funny noggin bumps and marks,

or this with thing’mabob or that with gear,

deserve their Latin so each sample harks

its mating call, should it have ears to hear.


And if it doesn’t, well, we need a name

for “earless”, or “unhearing”, or plain “deaf”,

a name to set the sureness of its fame

on this ark earth, when we look up the ref-


erence to drop politely in a pack

of bioblitzers stuck on bio-yack


my lontra fat-chewer with mammalian brain

would have found otterly inane.




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