What Do You Get If You Cross...?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Snow leopards, which were occupying my mind a little more than usual the other day are also called ounces. My mum advised me of this, and I was initially convinced she was winding me up*. Why does an animal need another name for itself anyway? Is it only called it under particular circumstances (like stoats and ermines, say)? And where does the name come from?

Picture: Kitchen Critic

When you look at a snow leopard, you don’t exactly think of ounces – they look a bit too substantial**. If hedgehogs or guinea pigs were called ounces, it might be vaguely more logical. Especially guinea pigs – it’s only a stone’s throw from a unit of currency to a unit of measure, after all.

But what happens if you cross a snow leopard with a tare panda? Aside from ending up with something that doesn’t have the energy to wrap its tail round its neck, that is. Perhaps a tare panda is designed for keeping an ounce in. Or maybe it should be the other way round?

Picture: Kurai Karasu 49 on Photobucket

* How does one animal get odd pseudonyms and complex tails (well, one each, anyway)? That seems to be more than a fair share of interesting things.
** Next time I’m baking something from an old (or US) recipe, I suspect there will be thoughts about how many snow leopards fit in a mixing bowl...

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