This new series—“Wordbirds”—arises from a journey I will take through my Webster’s 3rd Dictionary. What I will do: I’ll look on the first page for each letter, and the first word that flies up at me (because I don’t know it, because I just think it’s interesting, etc.) becomes the subject for that day’s doggerel. I will move through letter z, then work my way back again, the second time using the last page of each letter’s section of Webster's. Let’s see what happens ...
Words that flew into my life from Webster’s 3rd …
kaffir cat noun
(From Arabic for infidel)
A widely distributed wildcat in Africa and Asia Minor … regarded as one of the chief ancestors of domesticated cats
The kaffir cat was wild and fierce
With looks so cute that they could pierce
The coldest heart. And so it was
She bent to pick him up because
“He's so adorable!” But this?
Disaster. When she bent to kiss
His face so cute, well, he lashed out,
And if you want to know about
The sad resultN (what this begat)?
A WOMAN CLAWED BY KAFFIR CAT!
This was the headline. No dispute:
Be careful what you label “cute.”