Sunday, 9 November 2014


The nocturnal Egyptian Ichneumon
eats crocodile’s eggs by the new moon
on the banks of the Nile;
a habit so vile
one could almost believe he were human.

‘Ichneumon’ derives from ancient Greek ‘Follower of a trace’. No I don’t understand either, but never mind. He is also known as the Egyptian Mongoose, which sounds better, especially to those who remember Kipling’s story ‘Riki Tiki Tavi’, of the mongoose whose flying leap at a snake saved a small child.

By the way, is the plural of ‘Mongoose’ ‘Mongeese’ or even ‘Mesgeese’?

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