Octopuses or octopi -L. Frank Baum-
Published Tuesday, March 14, 2006 by Spyder | E-mail this post
...//...“Why, so am I!” cried a sharp voice just beside them, and they all paused to discover what creature had spoken to them.
“Take care,” said Clia, in a low voice. “It’s an octopus.”
Trot looked eagerly around. A long, brown arm stretched across their way in front, and another just behind them; but that did not worry her. The octopus, himself, came slowly sliding up to them, and proved to be well worth looking at.
He wore a red coat with brass buttons, and a silk hat was tipped over one ear. His eyes were somewhat dull and watery and he had a moustache of long, hair-like “feelers” that curled stiffly at the ends. When he tried to smile at them he showed two rows of sharp, white teeth. In spite of is red coat and yellow embroidered vest, his standing collar and carefully tied cravat, the legs of the octopus were bare, and Trot noticed he used some of his legs for arms as in one of them was held a slender cane, and in another, a handkerchief.
“Well, well!” said the Octopus. “Are you all dumb? Or don’t you know enough to be civil when you meet a neighbour?”
“We know how to be civil to our friends,” replied Trot, who did not like the way he spoke.
“Well, aren’t we friends, then?” asked the Octopus, in an airy tone of voice.
“I think not,” said the little girl. “Octopuses are horrid creatures.”
“Octopi, if you please; octopi,” said the monster, with a laugh.
“I don’t see any pie that pleases me,” replied Trot, beginning to get angry.
“Octopus means one of us; two, or more are called octopi,” remarked the creature, as if correcting her speech.
“I suppose a lot of you would be a whole bakery!” she said, scornfully.
“Our name is latin. It was given us by learned scientist years ago,” said the Octopus.
“That’s true enough,” agreed Cap’n Bill. “The learned scientist named ev’ry blamed thing they come acrost, an’ gener’ly they picked out names as nobody could understand, or pernounce.”
“That is n’t our fault, sir,” said the Octopus. “Indeed, it’s pretty hard for us to go through life with such terrible names. Think of the poor little sea horse. He used to be merry and cheerful fellow, but since they named him “hippocampus” he has n’t smiled once.”
“Let’s go,” said Trot; “I don’t like to’ sociate with octopuses.”
“Octopi,” said the creature, again correcting her...//...L. Frank Baum –The Sea Fairies- The bashful octopus-
Illustrated by John R. NeillFrank Baum, L.
Lyman Frank Baum (1856-1919) llegó a la literatura en la madurez, después de una vida agitada en la ejerció las actividades más diversas: periodista, empresario teatral, actor, comerciante, vendedor de cristalería y fundador de una asociación de decoradores de escaparates, cuya revista también dirigió. De su padre heredó una cadena de pequeños teatros que perdió por mala administración. El Mago de Oz, publicado cuando tenía cuarenta y cuatro años, era el tercer libro que escribía, y fue un éxito inmediato. Para él era un libro más entre muchos que estaba planeando (llegó a publicar un total de sesenta firmados con su nombre y con siete seudónimos), pero la presión de los lectores fue tan fuerte que terminó escribiendo novelas de Oz hasta el momento de su muerte.