Rabbit, Frog, Butterfly
I can remember a time when the distinctions between Rabbit and Hare - Frog and Toad - Butterfly and Moth were of extreme importance. I think there were a few others too, but they are forgotten in the mists of my memory.
Do you remember? Rabbits had long ears while Hares had short ones. I am not sure if Rabbits had longer feet or not? Toads were found more on land and didn't have as big webbed feet as frogs and also would have warts. Butterflies rested with their wings standing upwards and had plain antennae while moths would rest with their wings flat down and had fringed antennae. I recall now a fourth set, Turtles had webbed feet for swimming while tortoises had feet for walking on land and were more terrestrial.
These distinctions came - I think - from elementary school (Grade school for some, not sure what the first grades of school are called in all English speaking countries. Grammar School?) and I think it was in "science" or the science content of those early years to get us thinking of the differences between animals.
What got me thinking about it has nothing to do with animals at all actually but rather fruit, or berries to be exact. I remember the day that my Grandma asked me to go downstairs to the cellar and get a jar of strawberries. I was happy to do so and it was neat to go down to the cellar. It wasn't a dug out earth walled cellar but had smooth concrete floor and walls and nice wood partitions for the pantry/cellar area where the canned goods were stored. At the time they still did a lot of canning. I guess a hold back from the days before most houses had electricity and electric fridges and freezers. My Grandparents on Dad's side were Mennonites and so they might not have had electricity quite as early as some... though I think they were pretty progressive.
Anyway I went down to get the canned strawberries - wondering why canned foods were always in jars - and looked at all the pickles, tomatoes, tomato sauces, beets, sausages (Yes, they canned sausages, and knew how to do so safely.), peaches, pears, and so many other things... and spotted the canned berries right beside the couple types of cherries and the whole canned crab apples. I noted another shelf of the red berries on the shelf below as well.
When I got upstairs with the jar, Grandma asked if she had asked me to get raspberries by mistake because that is what I had brought up. I was confused. "Aren't they the same thing?" I asked Grandma, and then she was confused. She told me that you could tell the difference because strawberries had the seeds on the outside. I noted that, though didn't quite understand because the round bumps on the outside of the raspberries looked a lot like seed as well to me. I told Grandma I would try to remember.
I can't remember if I went back down for the strawberries or if we had raspberries instead or if someone else went and got them. I really didn't know the difference or that they were two different fruits. I was somewhere in that nebulous area of age between 4 and 6 where it can be hard to tell when some things happened. At that age I had never seen where berries came from. I knew they grew on plants, but all the berries I had ever seen growing on plants were like the little red or white once that you aren't supposed to eat... well and the choke cherries on the choke cherry tree. But we were afraid to eat them. We meaning me and my friends. I guess that comes from being city kids even though we had a huge garden. Probably average sized by farm standards, but huge by city standards.
Anyway, I got thinking today about the strawberries and raspberries and how although you can see the seeds easily on the outside of the strawberry, they never seem to be a problem. But the seeds of the raspberry (Also blackberry, salmon berry and all their kin.) are out of sight but can really be felt between the teeth and get stuck between them. That even goes for in the yogurt I was getting at the time today.
I wonder if the difference between dog and fox or wolf was a part of that school thing?.