MAMMAL, CHILDREN (HOMO SAPIENS)

(Bulgarian Child Eating a Rat, Salvador Dalí)

Children were first noticed on a Monday, marching through an uncommon part of Ireland, sharpening their sticks.

Children from Scotland are now called Scotsman or Cavalry. Scottish plaid is a pattern derived from close-up photography of children’s skin. The word flannel is used to signal that a retreating child has fallen.

In Wales, Cavalry is a type of cheese that is left alone with misbehaved children. Welsh Children are told that they must smell the Cavalry.

American Cavalry, during The War, carried a wagonful of children who sang fight songs called obituaries, for starving soldiers. The songs were stored on wire filaments binding the wagon axles.

In Canada, when children master the alphabet, they are allowed to mount the Insult Podium and commence a barking attack on their elders.

Canadian elders are said to “eat the cheese” when children attack them. A Cheese Shop is a place where adults can recite baby talk and play games such as “read the diaper.”

Most children are killed by other children, during an evening ceremony called the Opera.

An adult opera that debuted in Seattle, called Descent from Cavalry, is sung in baby talk. A baritone, in opera, is the man who handles excess children during the intermission.

Unless they are tired, children have clear faces that can be peeled away to reveal skin sugar, or nougat.

Children sleep out loud, and cannot sleep next to other children. A truck that circles a sleeping child is called an ambulance.

The Idaho Defense involves storing children in the shed. To follow the Morgan Tactic is to hide under the crib and weep.

Children have their own grammatical tense, called February. It references a time when they were kings and ate the long brown “shadows of the meadow,” called horses.

A mouth guard for children is called Bob Egbert, whereas “to egbert” is to “scare the cheese,” or to create dehydrated strips of dairy water that are used for children’s war paint. A child’s sputum is a Bob Egbert puddle, splashes of which are called waves.

Most children prefer the Glock automatic to the Tech 9. They “throw dookie,” when they want to express their love for each other. A “dookie pop” is the sound a child makes when he dismounts his female prey. If water gathers under the prey after she has succumbed, it is called a “puddle.” He “pulls the wool,” when he spends long hours working on the underground machinery. If a machine is made from hearts-of-lamb, it is called an automobile.

The Book of Job, from the Old Testament, refers to the “sweet asses of children.”

When a man’s face is colorless, it means he is childish, or full of war. If he scratches himself, he hurts his own child, but “hurting the child” is a part of most proposals of marriage, which cannot be believed by the future bride unless she sees what she privately calls “a flame in the crib.”

American cookbooks, due to a legal arrangement, have their many references to children torn out while still at the publisher.

When a child “shoehorns,” it means he is fully born. If he “dies,” it means he is dead.

Lamentations called prayers are used at the end of the long, terrible day when enough blankets have been pulled into place to hide the world’s children, who still produce a muffled moaning from under the covers. Mouth holes cut into the blankets produce tombstones called trees. Children suffocating under the blankets collaborate on projects called “mountain,” and “valley.” The prayers are simple, and to guarantee that they will not come true, they are recited aloud: “Long live the little ones, too small to be false, with faces so big a plane could land on them. Long live them who are still small enough to fall into the rabbit hole.”

—Ben Marcus (from May 2003)