4 & 20 Blackbirds-A Presumptive Analysis

We presume an awful lot when we recite old nursery rhymes, don’t we? Now, I know that we all do this. We did as children and when we have read these to our children. We didn’t question the validity of these rhymes and that’s a shame as a great number of phrases in these tales of prose needed finer scrutiny. It is my honor and privilege to begin this analysis in my own charming, inimitable and ethnic manner.

Four and Twenty Blackbirds.

Our first assumption is the correct sum of four and twenty. I feel it an easy analysis to presume that the ‘old English” usage means twenty-four total blackbirds as two dozen is not mentioned. ( I haven’t checked the footnotes concerning the validity of my claim so this is merely another assumption on my part.) Let’s assume that the sum of blackbirds was, at that time, exactly twenty-four and go from there, shall we?

The first question concerns food prep.

Were these particular birds gutted and plucked?

I think that, for food safety, we should address this glaring oversight in this rhyme. We all know about fresh chicken, right? None of us would bake a chicken pie with the poultry right from the henhouse. One obvious problem is how to keep the birds in the pie pan while trying to apply either the top or bottom crust. I hear on good authority that chickens react violently to high heat. Duly noted. There is another problem that I surmise. Chickens are relatively easy to get one’s hands on whereas blackbirds are rather, dare I use the word, “flighty.” For our purposes here we will consider that it took multiple days and an almost grim determination to acquire those particular 24 birds. Agree? Let’s move on.

Upside down or Downside up?

Although it sounds rather mundane when one considers the baking of blackbirds it seems much more practical to me to place the birds back side down with feet in the air to better support the top crust. Do you agree? If we assume that the birds have been gutted and plucked the legs and feet can be left on to better facilitate those aspects of correct top crust placement and manipulation. We will not go into the making of the crust. Whether or not ice water was used to make it or whether they used butter or shortening. We will assume butter, OK?

Lastly-Nimber of pies.

When one is making dough for crust we usually make more than is absolutely needed so that we can also make a cinnamon roll or some other baked delicacy. Would I be going too far to suggest that it might be less wasteful, to bake 24 birds, by using one dozen in one pie and a second pie for the second dozen? If a large group is getting together we should think of the appetite of the children and, perhaps, make 4 pies using 6 birds per pie in order to better make use of the entire meal by serving it in smaller portions. This would also help greatly to better preserve the fine linens from spillage and the resulting stains. In turn, that would save water and detergent when cleaning up after the meal and one would still be able to send small portions of the inevitable leftovers home with the guests.

Now, this is but a start of proper analytical assignation for you. You should, having read this, no longer have that innate fear of reading nursery rhymes to children or grandchildren. In all probability, your children will not ask these types of questions as I once did. My parents, upon kicking me out, simply stated to me, “Go!” I was 11 and this is my story. And you thought you had my number, eh?

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Your Valuable Time

I want to shout out a HUGE Thank You to all who have visited If It Thinks. You are a fairly small (by internet standards) but extremely discerning group of people. (Even if I do say so myself) A guy as old as me has no right to hope to communicate on this medium to any more than a dozen persons per year. There are hundreds of you visiting. The average stay on the website is around 4 minutes. Some stay quite a bit longer, picking through the archives. Now, those are really extremely discerning people!

In the archives are posts which go backward on a per month basis. In some of these, I have been quite silly and others have been very pointed. There is an almost archaeological progression of timeless diatribes which many of you have missed. Before you count yourselves “lucky” to have missed them you should go back and pick over a small portion of them. All the posts here are posted under categories so that may help you pick among them. Consider it like going to a junk yard to find a car part and finding a ’64 Volkswagon bug that, though dented, starts right up. I really have a way with words, eh?

Still and all, thank you for dropping in. I know that your time is more valuable than mine so it goes without saying that I appreciate your stopping by my little website. I would be highly pleased and grateful if you would go here and register to join. It is called “If YOU Think” and is set up to be both social, much like Facebook, and a place for you to write. Call it your own piece of website where you can say what you please. Once you are a member I will contact you on the site and help you get started. I am really a nice guy. If I had a friend you could ask them.

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Membership At Grottoblog (see link below)

I am in the process of realizing a dream that I had no idea could actually happen. After nearly dying a few years back I have walked my way back to health. In doing so I, of course, went through myriad pairs of shoes, socks, trails, streets, highways and byways plus any number of local trails.

While walking, easily over two thousand miles, I got fairly comfortable with equipment needed to walk and became more familiar with most of the trails in our neighborhood state and local parks. On one of these walks, I started considering a walkers website. At first, the idea was just a blog which costs very little to get going but demands a lot of time and thought to become even a modicum successful. I did it anyway as I had so much information which I wanted to share and, also, make a website for others to share their knowledge and experience as walkers or backpackers.

So, I purchased a theme and installed it on a sub-domain of the walking website I built. It is a complex theme and offers much, much more than any I have yet built. It has a forum, Buddy Press, Woo Commerce and many other detailed extensions than I have yet worked with. IE, I have a lot of work to do.

The fantastic news for walkers is that it will be a membership website which will encompass all of the various and sundry aspects that walking involves. Plus reviews of equipment such as shoes, socks, packs (extended and day) and so much more. I will announce the opening of it soon. It will take about one month to get up and running. I have already moved it to my VPS server so it will be fast to load and ultra-secure. I hope that my enthusiasm is contagious because I would love for you to take a look, tell your friends and, pretty please, join. Walking

Walking is the least harmful exercise for the entire body there is. Done correctly, it is a sure way to lose weight, develop stamina and just ease tensions and all the pain that politics brings on. Well, I don’t know about the last few words but it sounded correct.

Check out: Grottoblog

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Anthropomorphism

Anthropomorphism is basically the substitution of any other form of life (or spirit) to a human being. To tell someone that they are acting like a monkey is just one way happens.

There is a bird out here in California called the “Towhee.” I am putting a photo I shot of one in with this post. They are a unique little bird. So plain in a reddish brown wrapper of feathers they tend to be slightly rotund. They emit a constant little “peep” as they plod along the ground. When they are a mated pair both adult birds stick together and walk (hop) along together and are fearless. Well, I hope they are fearless. They pay little attention to our cat and walk within two feet of him on a daily basis. Our cat, Hermie, watches them but doesn’t move. It doesn’t take long before the little guys forget that Hermie is there and just go about their business; whatever business they have in mind.

I worked teaching golf at a local golf course several years ago. I also helped out the owner by subbing as a starter when people were ill or on vacation. The front door out to hole #1 was usually open as was the back door where the range balls were sorted and washed. There was a mated pair of Towhee’s that lived out there. It was so weird when they calmly walked in the front door, looked around, moved if a golfer came in, kept on their course and walked the entire pro shop and went out the back door. Just like they owned the place. Never a hint of panic. Never starting and flying into windows. What they did was to walk and check out almost everything that roused their curiosity always staying on their path to the back door. Once through the back door, they flew off to their nest in one of the fairway trees. Wonderful sight to see and so very peculiar.

I consider myself a relation to the Towhee. Yesterday I was thinking about my last ten years and realized that those little birds and I have similar traits. We both pay little attention to anything outside of danger as we go through life. We sense danger and react to it but don’t consider things dangerous without good reason. Now, I may be going a little too far with that analogy as to the danger part but you know what I mean. The anthropomorphism comes by my inserting my personality into that of the bird. I don’t know how many times I have walked past trouble and paid no attention to it. I have, on several occasions, also had my comeuppance for doing so but those occasions have never dissuaded me.

The Native Americans, of which I am a part, also anthropomorphized. I wonder if there is any connection. Perhaps you might know? Or, you do the same thing as I?

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