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Beyond the Lone Islands

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle…


I know that most readers of this blog don’t understand Swedish. I just “have to” include this anyway, even though half the joke gets lost in translation…
Brother, dog and I went for a walk in a nature reserve in the countryside again this weekend. (It is quite close to where our dad lives.) From a meadow, a path along the river leads into a wood of mostly alder and birch. Here and there there are signs to tell you what you’re looking at…


For some unfathomable reason, this one sign among all the others seemed to be directed at children rather than adults. First of all they call the alder wood a “jungle”. (?!) Then they go on to say that “in this jungle, there are no dangerous predatory animals or elephants…” (elephants?!)
“But if you look down into the calm water…”

… Any idea yet what you’re looking at? …*

“… you may see some insects walking on the surface of the water. These are called water striders, and they are predators hunting for other small insects…” 

“… using their proboscis.” (Swedish: snabel)
You tell me! - but I do suspect that the proboscis joke gets even more lost in English than in Swedish, since with the elephant you usually use the word ‘trunk’…? Even in Swedish, if and when you finally get it at all, the whole jungle joke still feels so far-fetched and out of place that it makes you go “aaargh”…!

* Sorry, to get close enough for a proper macro shot of the insects I would have had to step into the water, and since unlike the water striders I’m not able to walk on the surface… Well, anyway - the black ‘dots’ are their shadows on the bottom of the river (you can see they have quite large feet!); and in the enlarged picture the striders themselves are kind of purplish in colour.
In the Jungle,
the mighty jungle,
the lion sleeps tonight.
In the jungle,
the quiet jungle,
the lion sleeps tonight…

A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh,
a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh…
PS. Would you have known how to spell that ? I mean “a-weema-weh”… Another thing I never gave a thought until just now! But I found it on the Web. Of course!


California Girl said...

I like this post! The sign and its intent...very cute. Who knows?

Water striders amaze me.

Ginny said...

Wow! I like this post, it has weird insects, a woods, sarcasam, word puns, and a song from the
50's! Who could ask for more? I did get the trunk and probosuus play on words. I wonder if some eccentric retired professor wrote those signs? I don't think I can make out a complete strider in the pictures, but part of a big one that seems to be purple. But the pictures are rather hypnotic, I keep looking for hidden things. So many possibilities! That song was popular when I was a kid, and yes, I have looked it up on the web as well.

mo jour said...

good morning dawntreader! i love your djungle-waters! in german the joke might work with the word Rüssel.
more about the history of the "wimoweh"-song mbube by solomon linda you can
find in wikipedia.
thank you very much for letting me star my day with this nice melody!

DawnTreader said...

Not surprised to find there is more than one way to spell that humming sound... ;)

rae said...

I am amused by the fact that sign is so clearly directed toward children with the huge "DJUNGELN!" As if adults might mistake for a grown-up sign...

Sandra said...

as soon as i read the title to the post i started singing that song and hummning the A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh,
a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, that is a song that once it is in my mind, i will hum it for days. Not sure if i can say thank you for that yet. my husband will NOT like it. ha ha. i think you did great on the bug shots, and i would not have gone in there either. it makes very intersting photos. like a painting

DawnTreader said...

Sandra, I know what you mean about that song. Once I was reminded of it (when looking at my photo of that Jungle sign!) I couldn't get it out of my head either. So that's how it sneaked its way into the blog post. My apologies to your husband... ;)


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