Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for March 14th, 2015

A pocketful of millipedes

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Gerald Durrell

One of the chief charms of collecting is its uncertainty. One day you will go out loaded down with nets and bags for the sole purpose of catching bats and you will arrive back in camp with a python in the nets, your bags full of birds, and your pockets full of giant millipedes. You can search for days in the forest after a certain species of squirrel, and when you have given it up in despair and are spending a day in camp, a pair of the wretched rodents come and play among the branches of the tree that overhangs your tent. Imagine that you can fool fate, and spend a day in the forest with twenty assistants armed with every conceivable device for catching anything from an elephant to a fly, and you will walk all day and see nothing at all…Of course, this kind of thing can be very trying, but, as I say, there is a certain charm in sallying forth into the forest and not really knowing whether you will come back empty-handed or with half a dozen of the most priceless specimens you could wish for.

Gerald Durrell, The Overloaded Ark

Written by nevalalee

March 14, 2015 at 9:00 am

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