Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Country pursuits

I have just trodden on something. With bare feet. I couldn't exactly tell you what it was but I know it must be something that has internal organs because now they are all over my toes. And I can also tell you it was not furry but more smooth, going on slimy. Yes, the countryside continues to be all manner of fun. This morning my nephew told me that cows lay eggs. How I love that boy.

"Later I can take the children to watch the farmer cut barley!" says the Bearded One, with all the pride of one who has just discovered the secret of cold fusion.

"Oh, can they go in the combine harvester?" says the CFO politely, trying to generate a particle of enthusiasm.

"No" says my father. They can stand at the side of the field and watch".


In any event he sloped off, shifty eyed, mid morning and has not been seen since. I imagine he is sitting in some sepulchrally dark, silent pub with a pint and the paper. Presumably the great barley extravaganza is off.

With such a dazzling programme of entertainment laid out for us, we have made a pygmy jerboa for the fete instead. The CFO insisted on calling it Djerba, or Jerboam, or Gerbera or even, memorably, Jellaba, but had some excellent ideas for construction. The body is clematis blossom. Yeah, it's probably not edible but it's ALL JERBOA ALL THE TIME. Look:

Its feet are yellow courgette, its beak lemon peel (does it have a beak? I can't even access sodding You Tube to check. Bloody country) and its legs, uh, twigs. Its eyes are not currants but I could totally have lied to you and pretended they were and you would never have been any the wiser. What? It's a good jerboa, OKAY?

Flushed with the success of the Jerboa I mistakenly attempted Helena's' challenge of making a dung beetle. It is atrocious, but I include it anyway.

Actually, the first one was so awful, I made another, this time from plums. Sadly it was even worse.

There is something about the way it is sort of splayed, belly flopping over its dung ball that is frankly unseemly, isn't there? Moreover, having finally looked at a picture of a dung beetle I realise it is pushing its ball of poo the wrong way round, I am a total vegetable beetle loser. Sorry, Helena.

In both the vital role of the ball of dung is played by a wormy potato. There are a lot of those around and I had to put my hand into a stinking sack of them to select dung balls. Never let it be said I do not make sacrifices for you and for my art.

I have to go now before someone falls into a slurry pit or something. Tomorrow, Nathan willing, I will be returning to sweet, sweet Belgium.


@eloh said...

An excellent Jerboa nonetheless. I could tell that was a Dung Beetle, good one there also.

screamish said...

oh my god. the thing is, when i look at the dung beetles (is number 1 aubergine?) my body signals "food" and then i have this intellectual response which says "dung beetle". the result is this wierd hunger-followed-directly-by-disgust-effect.

i feel i have just been experimented upon by some Austrian psychologue. help!

Chic Mama said...

Wow! They're excellent! The dung beetle is a bit creepy isn't it, not because it isn't good but because it looks very life like. What is it made from?
A very productive day for you...I wonder if my children would like to do that?

H said...

Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod! Not one but 2 fucking dung beetles!
Emma you rock, at the highest level of awesomeness.
Well done. No matter that they are the wrong way round. They are magnificent and I bow before you. I had a half arsed idea about chocolate truffles and cherries with stalks for beetle legs, but I couldn't even be bothered to tell you, let alone make it. It would have been so shit in comparison anyway.
I am truly honoured (and terribly embarrassed about my laziness too).
Dung beetles are amazing. I have a bit of an obsession because my Mum's best friend from University, Doreen, is a biologist and once when I was tiny spent a whole tea time telling me about dung beetles. She inspired a weird interest, and also earned herself the title of 'Doreen Dung Beekle'(sic) forever more. Even 25 yrs later that's how my Mum refers to her when talking to me.
I will take those pictures to the heart of my family. Thank you!
(I really want to eat the plummy one a lot)xxx

H said...

Will send dung beetle related present...Don't your hopes up.

H said...

er...don't GET your hopes up. I am assuming you got that anyway.

livesbythewoods said...

Nice bird! Most impressive.

Mr WithaY has been making louche marrow cocktail gorillas but the bird is far cuter.

redfox said...

The jerboa is adorable. I regret to tell you that they do not quite have beaks, being rodents, but the nose of the one in that video is really quite beakish for something that isn't technically a beak, so well done you.

Here's a photo, in case you can have better luck accessing that.

GingerB said...

I don't really believe the jerboa is real anyway, so your version rocks. I do, however, believe in dung beetles after visiting Florida. I prefer yours.

Inkey41 said...

Your Jerboa is really cute, and quite decently compares with the picture posted in one of the comments. I knew nothing about them, so learned something. I have heard of a Dung Beetle, and prefer yours to the original. You would be the one to know when I am giving a party! :)

Unknown said...

Wuaaa...Cute! lol! ;D Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see your next post. Have a great day. ;D

Travel and Living
Job Hunt Pinoy

Miss Whistle said...

I love your Jerboa. And he has excellent taste in footwear.

-- Miss W x

bevchen said...

The pygmy jerboa is amazing! As is the first dung beetle. The second one kind of makes me think of a really fat ant.

Mr Farty said...

The Jerboa is most excellent. Just like the real thing, only better.

Waffle said...

@eloh - thank you. I'm guessing the dung helped there.

Screamish - this made me laugh so much. Which wins out? Hunger or disgust? Does it differ between Beetle 1 and Beetle 2 (yes, 1 is aubergine)?

Chic Mama - I should tell you I didn't let my children anywhere near this, though Fingers made his own potato parrot.

Helena - ah; thank you dearest, though I am sure the truffle/cherry beetle would have been a triumph, and also more delicious.

LBTW - "louche marrow cocktail gorillas" is now my favourite phrase.

redfox - does it actually truly exist, the pygmy jerboa? IS THERE PROOF? Have any wafflereaders ever SEEN one?

GingerB - I'm a bit jealous you saw real dung beetles.

Inkey - I would so not be the one to know when giving a party. First, I would accept and then not turn up due to intense social anxiety. And if by some miracle I did turn up, I would be tongue tied and too idiotic to make a single vegetable animal.

Miss Whistle - courgette yellow! I'd buy shoes that colour.

bevchen - it's lame, isn't it? Never mind.

Mr F - the """real""" thing. I am a jerboa conspiracy theorist.

carolinefo said...

dung beetles v. scary.
am trying to forget them now.

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