Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Read With Daddy

First of all: apologies and congratulations to my mother in law who bought the fine books I am about to reveal to you. They really are appreciated and Roshni's going to love them. OK, Indian picture books to read with baby. Harmless enough titles.




Let's take a look at Indian domestic animals then. First of all we have the chicken:



Fair enough. When I go to the shop to buy my dinner one of these will be placed on the scales, live and clucking, for my approval. A few minutes later the still warm flesh is returned to me. I had heard that Jamie Oliver had outraged Daily Mail sensibilities a few weeks ago by slaughtering a sheep. Where do these people think their meat comes from? It's honest over here.

Next is the cow. Not to be eaten in India! Indeed, our milk is from buffalos and not Bovis domesticus. The BJP party are busy pushing through anti-cow-slaughter legislation in their fiefdoms: surely a top priority for Shining India.



But what is this? It looks awfully similar...



And another bovine substitute:


My wife justified its inclusion on the basis that they are used for milk up in the northern mountains. Fair enough I suppose; although the creature does wear a very disturbing expression. I've not seen a yak in the flesh, perhaps they all look like that. Turning the page allowed me to use San's previous domestic justification to allow the following as a reasonable domestic companion.



I always knew they made sense. It gets better though. How about a 'Cynx'? No, I'd never heard of one either; I guess they meant Lynx. Even so, I checked on Google Images to make sure I didn't expose myself as a complete fool: the number one hit was some German Goth girl, so I reckon I'm safe.



I hope real Lynxes are prettier than that chimera (the image above, not the German Goth). Whatever they look like, I don't want one in my house (chimera or German Goth). What other examples of domestic husbandry does India have to offer? Well, how about a pet Giraffe?



Nah! Once the height novelty wears off they're no fun. Good job that the Lion is considered domestic by my reliable guide.



But, if the king of the jungle does not provide enough of a thrill then fear not, for no Indian home is complete without an Apatosaurus:



Now, I didn't know what an Apatosaurus was. Fortunately Wikipedia, the reliable online encyclopedia of fabricated Kennedy assassination libel, knew the facts: 'Apatosaurus, often mistakenly refered to as Brontosaurus'. What? When did borontosaurus change its name? When did we realise that it didn't like it's original moniker? At least the book has taught me something. Still, don't have room for a bronto^W apato in the house.

After such magnificent domestic animals will the wild fauna be eclipsed? It appears so, none of the initial beasts can match a lion, let alone a renamed brontosaurus. An elephant comes pretty close though.



Normally a tiger would beat a lion in top trumps - stripe count would be the best category to play. However, this one loses points - surely they could find a realistic tiger image in India!



The wild beasts could provide a last minute challenge. For they had sauropods of their own, Behold the stegosaurus - still roaming the plains of India to this day.



Scarier yet the mosasaurus



The image appears to be a Mozilla fluffy marketing toy made flesh by overactive Indian imaginations. Wikipedia to the rescue once more: it's a real crocodile like dinosaur, but with even more powerful jaws. Who knew what lurked in Indian rivers.

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