Torpid Slivers #6

The following game serves to strengthen memory, encourage carefulness, and inform its players of various natural wonders.

A child must say to her playmate, “I love you as I would a timber marmot, because your house is sturdy and filled with hallways. I love you as I would a polar razorback, because your bristly coat matches the driven snow. I love you as I would a desert skunk, because you render the precious water you carry quite undrinkable. I love you as I would a porpopine, because your quills deter even the most ferocious sharks. I love you as I would a pond lion, because you can make yourself very flat and still and hold your breath for twenty minutes. I love you as I would a flying bison, because though you are heavy and ungainly, the membranes between your flexible legs allow you to glide through the air for long distances when you gallop off a cliff. And I love you as I would a grizzly possum, because you can kill and prepare your supper without ever waking from your nap, and nap-time is very important.”

The second child must repeat the sentences in reverse order, without forgetting or confusing any of the species, either of which results in a forfeit and robust mockery. Other flora and fauna can and should be introduced, so long as you keep them grouped by class and hemisphere — inconsistency in the latter can confuse young minds and lead to half-remembered notions of erroneous hybrids.

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