160 • Meet the team (16)

160 • Meet the team (16)

Look out for our caretaker, Ken,
And his heavily-hybridised hen:
With its modified beak
It can actually speak
Though not in the language of men.

In any business the janitor – or similar dogsbody – may prove the most interesting and innovative of thinkers. Unfettered by ambition, untainted by rivalry, he or she is free – like a Shakespearean Fool – to defy norms, and provide a foil to institutional formality through the creative quirks of an idiosyncratic mind.

2 thoughts on “160 • Meet the team (16)

  1. Hi Raven,

    One might indeed guess as much. I have to confess I did not meet the caretaker in question, and have no intention of seeking him out, now that my association with that workplace is terminated: so it must remain a guess.

    But Vaucanson, for all his ingenious innovation, was a charlatan – his ‘Mechanickal Duck’ was not genuinely able to digest food, and its fæces were fakes. As I understand it, the approach favoured by the caretaker, Ken, owes more to Mendel than to the gastrobotic school: ‘unnatural selection’ seems to have been his method.

    Literate Ravens notwithstanding, the idea that any bird ‘can actually speak’ is fanciful – no creature, aside from certain humans, verifiably uses ‘the language of men’ – but doubtless that would not prevent someone with sufficient imagination/chutzpah from writing a novel in which such a chimerical creature pursues an independent existence, enacting its own, apparently authentic desires.

    Thanks for reading ‘My Dog Errol’ … hope to see you here again.


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