Phweww, that is some nasty wren breath!

Stan explains “I’m not sure what’s going on here. Is the dog unhappy because the bird he’s just caught has ‘wren breath’ and therefore tastes bad? Or is the dog upset because he’s got wren breath after eating the wren? If either of these were going to be an issue, why did he eat it in the first place? What did he think would happen after eating a wren?”


  1. True enough, but what’s the joke here? That dogs will eat anything and sometimes they don’t like it. Har-har! Would the joke work just as well with ‘Ptooy…squirrel breath!’, or ‘Ptooy…moth breath!’ or ‘Ptooy…mailman breath!’? Is there perhaps some significance to wrens I’m missing?

  2. The bird just flew into his mouth. Everything about this comic is wrong and unpleasant. What I don’t understand is how it got printed.

  3. This may be just a twist on humans’ stereotypical reaction to a whiff of dog breath.

  4. Downpuppy: I agree, wholeheartedly. Altho my two-legged dog did bring into the house: two possums, one bunny, one bird and one squirrel, and treed a raccoon. Not all at the same time, of course. And none eaten, or even killed.

  5. I think that Ooten Aboot has the correct answer. I can’t compare it to Stan’s squirrels, moths, or mailmen, but malodorous dog breath is definitely something to avoid.

    P.S. Of course, then there is tiger breath:

    P.P.S. … which is of course surpassed only by dragon breath:

  6. Picked up by the tail and put them outside; a few minutes later, they were gone, both times. They are not mammals, so they haven’t rabies, altho they do have a horrific set of teeth. I’m one of the few people I know who likes possums.

  7. Um, yeah, they are mammals. Marsupials are mammals.

    I don’t know about their susceptibility to rabies.

  8. I stand corrected, altho . . . “In fact, rabies is extremely rare in opossums, perhaps because they have a much lower body temperature compared to other warm-blooded animals.”

  9. The biology jargon is that possums are not therians, FWIW.

    The dog gulps down a wren and spits out an octopus, according to the art. Now that’s impressive.

  10. The biology jargon is that possums are not therians, FWIW.

    I don’t see that anywhere. The information I found in an admittedly brief search is that the non-Therian mammals are the monotremes.

  11. @Brian, you are correct. I blame COVID-19. (Just about over it now.)

    It isn’t true, I have always been capable of error, but it’s a convenient scapevirus.

  12. It’s possible that Grimm didn’t spit out the bird because it gave him “wren breath”, but because it has wren breath. Not that that helps make this comic funny.

  13. @ DemetriosX – I thought we had already all agreed that that was exactly the point of the joke: Grimm is complaining about the bird’s smell, which is incongruous with the fact that dogs often suffer from exactly the same kind of problem.

  14. Possums so look like (hairy) rats. Someone recently posted a cartoon with 2 possums, and “don’t go into the light”. In the absence of any clarifying info there’s no way I would have looked at the cartoon and assumed they were anything other than rats.

  15. That was me, and . . . how many roadkill rats do you see, compared with roadkill possums? That was the giveaway, at least for me.

  16. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a roadkill rat.

    And the chances of me ever seeing a roadkill possum here are approximately 0 ± 0.00

  17. Years ago, a guy I worked with lived at the same apartment complex. He and his wife had moved from NY city. She was mentioning the giant rat she’d seen, which was no doubt a possum. There were woods nearby so those and raccoons were frequent visitors to the dumpsters.

  18. I wasn’t sure if the cans contained food for humans or animals. I know that people do eat the first two – not sure about the 3rd. But when I zoomed in on the image I could see they say “Pet Supply Company”.

  19. If I had to choose between evicting a rat or a possum, I’d rather deal with a possum (they move slower), but I wouldn’t be eager to touch either one. I’ve seen a possum in the wild only twice. The first one appeared rather suddenly on the ledge outside my (thankfully closed) bedroom window, and then yawned, revealing a fearsome and rather disgusting set of teeth. I immediately went around the whole house, making sure all the other windows were closed, too. I don’t remember whether my parents were home at the time, but I was definitely scared (it was late evening, and completely dark outside).

    The second encounter was more than a decade later, in college. This one was perched on the opposite side of the carport from our kitchen door, and completely ignored all our attempts to encourage it to leave. Nobody was willing to handle it, so we closed the door and waited for it to disappear.

    P.S. I’m glad Walt Kelly decided to make Pogo much less realistic than shown some of his earliest sketches (before he launched the strip).

  20. When Hubby and I moved into our first-owned house (you know, the ‘starter home’ that we lived in for over 30 years), there was a LOT of renovation. At that time (mid-80s) you could still have bonfires, so that’s what we did . . . filling the entire yard with smoke.

    I was standing outside, and a possum climbed up my leg, maybe thinking I was a tree (I was wearing a gray tracksuit), and possibly blinded by the smoke.

    I looked down and gently said, ‘I’m not a tree, little guy. You’d best climb back down and find something else to climb.’ We had lots of trees in the yard.

    I know it sounds apocryphal, but it happened. We also had a nest of them under our deck, and I fed the babies thru the spaces between the deck boards. The babies were so cute.

    That year, my stepdaughter was a possum for Halloween; can’t find the photo (this was pre-digital), but I remember her being highly insulted when everyone thought she was a mouse.

  21. I caught a possum once when trying to get raccoons. It got transported just like them,.

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