Thursday, January 14, 2010

For want of a nail ...

I've always like tales that link odd things together, so a recent news item caught my eye. ( It went something like this ...

In Fiordland, NZ it's a mast year for the beech forests, which means they have dropped record numbers of seeds.

Mice have been gorging themselves silly on the beech seeds, and producing large litters of little mice, so there are record numbers of mice in Fiordland.

Mice swim. This is something I'm a little dubious of, as I was under the impression that mice avoid bodies of water if at all possible, but we'll run with it for the sake of the story. There are large numbers of mice swimming in Fiordland's rivers.

Trout eat mice. Again, this is something I was unaware of. Trout, it seems, will eat anything. Mice are a good source of protein. A high-mouse diet makes for fat trout.

Fishermen in Fiordland are catching record trout, as they have grown large on their high-protien soggy-rodent meals.

So there you go, a mast year in a beech forest gives you record-breaking trout. Although I'm still dubious of the swimming mice part of that chain of consequences. Maybe there's an aquatic mouse breed that has evolved in Fiordland? Soon they will invade our homes by swimming up through the sewers and up through our toilets.

It all reminds me of the old proverb ...

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe the horse was lost.

For want of a horse the rider was lost.

For want of a rider the battle was lost.

For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

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