17 Comments

  1. No, it seems to me that they festooned the tree with popcorn and gingerbread, and the birds, er, stuffed themselves on it. They looked like ornaments, until they flew off.

  2. My take is that the birds ate the popcorn and ginger bread. They are “stuffed” in the sense that they ate too much, not the taxidermy meaning.

  3. Right, and were originally on the tree. Presumably resting up after gorging on the decorations. Now they have managed to fly off.

  4. ““. . . they festooned the tree with popcorn and gingerbread, . . .”

    Both of which will do the birds more harm than good.”

    The same could be said for humans…

  5. Yes, people, we all understand that the birds were real.

    The question is why Penguin #2 is happier to see (what he thought were) taxidermy birds on the tree than to see plastic decorations.

    To answer that question, I’m not sure he thought they were real. “Stuffed birds” could also refer to plush toys, which (while usually made out of synthetic fibers) could be made out of wool and cotton.

  6. “The question is why Penguin #2 is happier to see (what he thought were) taxidermy birds on the tree than to see plastic decorations.”

    So if I gave your baby child a “stuffed animal” for her birthday would I be training a psychopath because who would give a baby a dead taxidermed animal?

    And anyway….. even if they *were* dead taxidermied birds, is it at all surprising that someone would prefer a nature display than plastic kitsch? I would. My favorite ornaments are “stuffed birds” (most were wire framing and cardboard or cloth backing and feathers and cloth covering but if one or two were taxidermed I wouldn’t be surprised. And I certainly don’t consider real feathers to be morbid).

    And to nitpick, second penguin knew they were alive. It’s us and penguin one who were supposed to be confused.

  7. Somewhere among the family’s ornament collection is an antique bird with spring-clip feet. I suppose one could call it a “stuffed bird”, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t start off as an actual bird.

  8. Having perhaps read too much Victorian p0rnography, I did a couple of doubletakes as “c*ts” before I realized you just meant to dis my favorite animals.

  9. For the things you give your baby child, the nomenclature “stuffed animal” seems to be rapidly giving way to “plush toy.”

  10. There’s no way the second penguin knew they were live birds; he called them “ornaments”. The third penguin might have known.

    “Stuffed animal” is a different idiom. Using a more specific noun makes the phrase more ambiguous, especially if the noun is a game animal.

  11. I suppose it depends on the market. If you have invested in a “soft sculpture” you probably will not want your baby child or your dog playing with it.

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