I thought that groups of animal and/or object names had a specific rhythm and form to them, like a “gaggle of geese”. Not always the case, to my surprise.
Harlee, my amazing Standard Poodle, deals daily with several major disturbances in her life. When she barks at any of them, she’s sent to her “place” until she stops barking. Totally unfair, but she goes nuts otherwise.
I looked up the real names for these critters, but think, to her, this describes it better:
— A Trauma of Turkeys (wild, who wander by her window several times a day, tromp through territory she considers to belong to her and her pack)
— A Sh*t-load of Squirrels (who torment her repeatedly, run up and down the deck railing, moon her when she looks at them, and otherwise create chaos for her. )
— A Damage of Deer (who eat “her ivy”; property of our next door neighbor, but which she’s very possessive towards)
These are my names for them. A Rafter of Turkeys, a Herd of Deer — boring. However, a glaring or clutter or nuisance of cats is so right on.
Here’s a science lesson, in poetic form, to teach you some of the true names:
The Grand Scheme of Things
… set out as “a/an … of …”
you can figure it out
imaginatively, I presume
(banish “bison” — such a dirty word!)
ooh, Cultured Bacteria!
a Stud of Mares in confusion?
Jellyfish Flutter or Smack
by Squadron of Pelicans
and Penguins Huddle Proud
Buzzards hold Wakes
Cormorants Gulp, poor creatures
can’t swallow the fish they catch
watch Woodpeckers Descend
and Kangaroos Troop and hop
Unkind, Conspiratorial Ravens
watch Sharks Shiver, while
Swans of the lake, do Ballet
Murderous Crows can’t be trusted
a Convocation of Eagles
Emus in a Mob
Crocodiles Float like logs
a Tribe of Goats
Storks Muster for their appointed rounds
while Cobras Quiver
and Moles Labor and Mumble
with the Zeal of Zebras
while the Lounge of Lizards
croon amphibious songs
Note: I took great poetic liberty with some of these, but used the following sources for inspiration:
All photos c. Michele M. Graf, 2007-2016