Will Cuppy (1884-1949) - « Comment attirer le wombat » - éditions Les Insensés - octobre 2012 - traduction de « How to Attract the Wombat » (1949) par Frédéric Brument.
The Oyster , by Will Cuppy (1884-1949) - « How to Attract the Wombat » - New-York - 1949
The Oyster is so small when he is born that you cannot see him without a microscope. Something generally swallows him by mistake before he becomes visible (1). Only one Oyster in a million is lucky enough to grow up abd be stewed. The infant Oyster swims around for a few days by means of his microscopic cilia, or eyelashes. If he had any sense he would continue to do this for the rest of his days, but he has other ideas. He starts to develop a shell, sinks to the bottom and fastens his left valve (2). to some solid object with a little bag of cement which he carries with him for the purpose. He thinks he is fixed for life. Ah, vouth ! The Oyster has many enemies such as the Starfish, the Whelk, the Oyster Drill, and the Slipper Limpet (3). He also has friends who move him about from one Oyster bed to another so that he will be fat and healthy and a credit to the Pelecypoda, or bivalves mollusks. When he is four or five years old, they tell him that he ought to be more of a mixer and see more people and pretty soon he is on way to the Grand Central Oyster Bar (4). Oysters are good all the year round but you never heard an Oyster say that. They are busy spawning in the months without an R and prefer to be undisturbed, as who wouldn't ? (5). European Oysters change from male to female, or vice versa, whenever they feel in the mood. To an American or Canadian Oyster that would seem just silly.Oysters feels fine as soon as he thaws out unless he has been roughly handled. If you shake him hard or hit him when he is frozen, his machinery comes apart and he his never the same Oyster again. Pearls are found in the Pearl Oyster of tropical seas, if you don't mind diving among the Sharks (6). A safer way is to hunt pearls in taxicabs....
He was hardly worth seeing anyway.I would call it his left shell but let's be scientific.The Piddock is perfectly harmless.Some hold that Oysters have no nerves. I say an Oyster on the half-shell is a nervous Oyster.Don't believe all you hear about Oysters. The Emperor Vitellius ate twelve dozen Oysters for supper one night and nothing happened.Pliny the Elder says pearls are formed by drops of dew falling into the Oyster when he is yawning. Can't something be done about that man ?