Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Sunday song book - εξάπόδι

Following the fate of the needle-tailed swift a few weeks ago comes news of another rare creature's early demise:
'A holidaymaker who caught and ate an octopus was "horrified" to learn it was only the second rare six-legged specimen ever found.'

(With apologies to Rodgers & Hammerstein)

Where the skies are all bright, a lucky fellow
Splashing in the waters of his native Greece
Might just find him a tasty octopus
Brought ashore for a family feast.

And it’s too late to rant and rave and bellow,
Now it’s done and the creature is quite dead,
That it sure was a cockeyed octopus;
Only six legs attached to its head.

The creature in the case
Was just the second of its race
Discovered in the waters below,
But our hero had the will
A cephalopod to kill
And serve up with a nice merlot.

You could say that this hungry tourist fellow
Should have known it was rare right from the start,
But there's now no hope;
That American dope
Flash fried it and tore it apart
A la carte.

(As an extra trivial treat, the singer is Reba McEntire, who plays sharp-shooting, vowel-torturing survivalist Heather in the cult film 'Tremors'. Also, if you missed it, here's a link to Mark Wadsworth's inspired plot conflation 'South Pacific Rim - the Musical'.)


  1. Yuk - just about to have lunch too.

  2. That'd be a "Hexapus", surely??

  3. Sorry, JH!

    JP, it's problematic; I suppose that's always the difficulty when you name a species after its salient characteristic.

    Despite its six-tentacled radial symmetry, the concensus seems to be that it was an octopus, biologically speaking at least; after a while it all starts to make your brain ache, so I just contented myself with using the neologism in the title.