This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Monday, 14 July 2014

Spot the frippet: saddle.

Where will the next saddle you see be?

On a bicycle, a horse, a camel, a donkey, a pig?

What?

Oh yes, a pig can have saddle. Here's one:

File:Saddleback pig, Norfolk.jpg
Photo by jon smith 'una nos lucror' wikimedia commons.

See the pale band round its belly? That's a saddle, and that's a saddleback pig.

Where else might you find a saddle? On a motorbike, a mule, a caterpillar:

Saddleback caterpillar moth on leaf

(That's a saddleback caterpillar Acharia stimulea, which lives in North America. Although they have saddles they aren't ideal for riding on: apart from the size problem, these beasts are covered with stinging hairs. Ouch!)

Here's a New Zealand saddleback:

Saddleback tiritiri.jpg

Its saddle is special because it was given to the bird by a god. The god Maui was thirsty after a battle with the sun, and he asked the Tieke or Saddleback to bring him some water. But the lazy bird pretended not to hear, so Maui seized it with his hand, which was still hot from battle, and left a scorch mark across the Tieke's back.

Stinging hairs, scorch marks - here's something more soothing:


That's a saddleback anemonefish. Photo by Diane Bray

And if all those saddles are all too annoyingly small to ride on, how about this fellow:

Giant Galapagos tortoise saddleback.

Lastly, here's a saddle that's not on a back at all:

File:Saddlebill Stork 756.jpg
That's a saddlebill stork from Africa. It's also called a jabiru. Photo by Ltshears

There we are, practically a whole zoo. Saddles all over the place - and that's without mentioning the cuts of meat called saddles (it seemed a bit cruel, in the circumstances), two-peaked hills called saddlebacks, and roofs with two gables.

As I said, it's all as easy as pie.

Well, I wouldn't want you to feel I'd saddled you with anything too difficult, would I?

Spot the Frippet: saddle. This word has hardly changed since Old English, when it was sadol.



 

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