A Mob of Kangaroos
I love some of the descriptive nouns we, humans, allocate to a collective or should that be a cluster?
Last week, was the final of three, in a land down under, where I did see a mob of kangaroos, probably 30 in a field far away.
The whole idea of pigeonholing can be an emotive subject for humans, who seem to dislike the term. However, we organise the animals quite happily: putting cows in sheds, horses in stables, pigs in sties and chicken in coops.
In addition to the homes we label, we allocate groups of animals a collective term too. At a quick count I found 67 terms to describe a flock of birds. Ooh! Flock wasn’t in that count … 68 then!
Geese have four descriptives; they are a gaggle, a wedge, a plump and a skein. I wonder if anyone knows what differentiates a gaggle from a wedge? Or a plump from a skein. Is it the numbers or the activity or both … I wonder?
Some of the ones I really like are: a gulp of swallows, a huddle of penguins, a party of peafowl and a wisdom of owls. Then I smile at a murder of crows, a cauldron of hawks and a parliament of rooks and wonder if they would be offended by these labels, if they understood the discrimination.
Wouldn’t you prefer to belong to a charm of finches? Or a ballet of swans? Or a flamboyance of flamingos perhaps? And if you would … Then haven’t you pigeoned-holed yourself? And; what’s more, would you be happy with the implication?