Monday, 7 May 2012

A Microscopic Giant


The prompt for the latest 100 Word Challenge is this sphere of prehistoric bones in the National Museum of Scotland. 



It reminded me of awed afternoons in Oxford's Museum of Natural History.


The Gothic contours resemble a dinosaur’s rib-cage so I feel I’ve been swallowed whole. And they’re echoed by the skeletal giants that motionlessly prowl the aisles. The Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis and Camptosaurus prestwichii once roamed nearby fields; now they’re poised in reinforced glass cases. Their names are as daunting as their dimensions. But, for me, they’re dwarfed by a flea concealed in an upper gallery. It’s detectable only though a magnifying lens, yet it wears minute hiking clothes. I’m awed by the power and perfection of such a microscopic being and by the humorous tenacity of the human who clothed it.




25 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your entry. I was wondering who might turn their thoughts to dinosaurs. Well written!

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    1. Thank you for the compliment and double thank you for commenting!

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  2. This is a lovely piece, I like the imagery and contrast between the giants and the tiny flea.

    By the way, there's a typo in the link you've posted on the 100 Word Challenge page: "http://hadventuresofamiddle-agedmatron.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/microscopic-giant.html" - it said "blog not found" until I realised and deleted the stray "h" at the start of "adventures" in the address.

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    1. I'm really grateful that you took the trouble to find me and point this out. Not sure anything can be done about it alas - but thank you!

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  3. I'm in awe of the names! You certainly have the vocab for a post like this ;) I love the comparisons of size and danger. Wonderful piece to encourage a wander in the museum

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    1. Thank you. I urge you to go. And there are shrunken heads in the section behind.

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  4. Again, really good. Love the contrast with the tiny flea.

    By the way I don't know if you knew, but you've been shortlisted in the Lit category of the BIB awards. Oh sorry, you did know - you have the badge. Very well deserved!

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  5. My son was a dinosaur fanatic (like many small boys pre-nintendo!) so have spent many hours gazing at bones.

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  6. This is so orginal and a joy to read!

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  7. train of thought is fun to try to follow...I can imagine the tenacious human...LOL!

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    1. It's quite extraordinary the effort they must have gone to to make and fit such weeny garments. Mad, pointless but strangely wonderful!

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  8. The dinosaur part is very clever but I like how you have drawn our attention to the delights to be found in tiny things!

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for taking the trouble to comment.

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  9. I really enjoyed the sense of effortless travel; from architecture to exhibits, to fields to exhibits again. You have a wonderful way with words!

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  10. DancingInTheRain13 May 2012 at 20:16

    Beautifully expressed and interesting too. Well done!!

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  11. A very original take on the prompt; enjoyed reading this and loved the idea of the flea being dressed in hiking clothes! Are those real dinosaur names btw?

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