Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Lear's drawing of a Dolomphious Duck using a runcible spoon to catch spotted frogs for dinner
After listening to Edward Lear's poem The Owl and the Pussycat, Lucia wondered, "What's a runcible spoon?" The term comes from the last stanza:
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon...
Lear probably didn't have a specific idea as to what a runcible spoon really was, but descriptions of the utensil as a spoon with prongs or a curved fork that has a bit of a bowl to it led me to conclude one thing: the runcible spoon is our modern-day spork. However, "spork" is so inelegant. Really, there ought to be a differention. When you partake of fine cuisine (mince, slices of quince, spotted frogs), you use a runcible spoon:
However, if you are forced to consume cafeteria food, you definitely need a spork:
You might ask, "All this exposition over obscure cutlery is well and good; however, in which hand should we hold the runcible spoon?" The answer is simple, my friends: follow the local customs of the country in which you happen to dine. If that tactic fails, ask yourself, "What would Edward Lear do?" (henceforth known as WWELD).