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Soft Core Ichthyology

From the "WHAT WERE THEY THINKING" department.

It’s library day for the first graders, so Matthew got a new book out of the school library.  Its title is "Fish And How They Reproduce".

OK. It wasn’t panic time yet. It looked like an older book. I pictured a vague,  Ozzy and Harriet meets Mutual of Omaha description of fish reproduction loaded with euphemisms and pictures of cells and DNA molecules.

Besides, its fish. How racy can it get?

Unfortunately on closer inspection, this book was written in the seventies.  It’s loaded with topics I really don’t want to have to discuss with a six year old. The scariest part of the book is chapter 3: "Making More Fish". Headings in this chapter  include:

Casual Mating – argh.

Protective Parents – better.

Courtship and Mating – troubling.

Spawning Time – noooooo!

Unusual Mating – Gack!

Two Sexes In One – What kind of lifestyle are they advocating here?!?!?!?!

This isn’t the worst of it. The illustrations take the cake. 

There’s the picture of mating seahorses with "the female squirting eggs into the males brood pouch".

But surely the wierdest and most likely warp a six year old for life is the mass spawning of the Grunions at low tide.

Good God. 

Well, I guess this is a wakeup call. We’ll have sit Matthew down and let him know about grunion spawning before he learns it on the street. We can’t keep him in the dark forever.

1 Comment

  1. Oh, nothing is safe. Pete’s aunt got the kids a book called “And Tango Makes Three” about two male penguins in Central Park Zoo who adopt an egg and raise it (apparently naming it Tango). I am a good liberal, but after she read it to me over the phone, I suggested she take it back. These penguins have been turned into the posterbirds for homosexual relationships. The author had to put in lots of icky stuff in there about the male birds loving each other, being entwinned, etc… I felt used. Toned down it would have been fine.

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