Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Allegory of the Alligator

Come sit and hear the story of the fearsome alligator—
An instructive allegory (I’ll explain what that means later).
But the first thing that you’ve got to learn is how to recognize one,
So let us our attention turn to the features that comprise one.

They are longer than they’re wide. Don’t believe me? It’s the truth!
And lest you think that I have lied, I’ll furnish you with proof.
We’ll need a box of crayons, a ruler, and some string,
And I’ll show you how to take on this great feat of reckoning.

All down its length and ’cross its width, an alligator’s green
(And green’s the color of envy—it’s what makes a gator mean).
But width it has in just one way, and that’s from side to side,
So now we know that we can say it’s greener than it’s wide.

And next its length you can assess from bottom or from top,
But the green you’ll see is somewhat less, and at the belly stops.
Therefore now some wizard could deduce what you’ve not seen:
That this bayou-dwelling lizard is much longer than it’s green.

Now then there’s this attribute of inequality
Which helps us to compute the reptile’s transitivity,
By which I mean the shape of this here alligator’s hide,
Being longer than it’s green is therefore longer than it’s wide.

But while you’ve been inspectin’ and a-measurin’, it’s true,
He’s gone and et you up of course, ’cause that’s what gators do.
So the moral of this story is—to the best of my belief—
Don’t mess with allegories, and watch out for their teeth!

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