by Timothy Lane 9/23/15
The first is adapted from a tale by a friend. The noted botanist Joseph P. Edgar was famed for his botanical inventions, which he named after himself (he was a distant cousin of Donald Trump). ONe day he showed a visitor his latest invention, self-planting rice. He pointed out that the soft ground of rice paddies made it difficult to use machinery, but convenient for his new breed. So he tossed some ordinary rice on the ground, and then some of his new breed. The latter dug into the ground.
“You see,” he said. “Ordinary rice just lies there, but Edgar rice burrows.”
The next two are from my family lore, though I’ve seen vairant forms elsewhere.
There were as an Indian maiden who had a boyfriend from the neighboring (and fortunately friendly) tribe. Unfortunately, they lived across a lake from each other. One day, the boy just had to see her again even though it was a very stormy day. So he paddled his boat across the lake, only to be upended and drowned in the storm. The Indians never forgot this, and named the lake after him — Lake Stupid.
A British couple were serving in a British imperial outpost back in the old days. One day they took their young son to see the large statue of British general Chinese Gordon on his horse. They just pointed to the statue and said, “This is Gordon.” The boy was entranced, and soon wanted to visit Gordon every day. The couple were naturally very pleased with this, though occasionally it got a bit tiresome having to make time for the daily visist.
Sadly, the time came when they were to be statrioned at a new post. The boy naturally wanted to say good-bye to Gordon, so they took him to see the hero. The boy was in tears as he said good-bye to the statue. Finally, as they left, he decided to ask what he’d always wondered about. “Mommy, who’s that man on Gordon?”
Timothy Lane writes from Louisville, Kentucky and publishes the FOSFAX fanzine.
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