How to tell the Birds from the Flowers...

A roar of welkome through the welkin
Is certain proof you'll find the Elk in;
But if you listen to the shell,
In which the Whelk is said to dwell,
And hear a roar, beyond a doubt
It indicates the Whelk is out.

The Octopus or Cuttle-fish!
I'm sure that none of us would wish
To have him scuttle 'round the house,
Like Puss, when she espies a mouse:
When you secure your house-hold pet,
Be very sure you do not get
The Octopus, or there may be
Domestic in-felis-ity.

Two selections from a collection of 50 in How to tell the Birds from the Flowers and other Wood-cuts: A Revised Manual of Flornithology for Beginners, by Robert Williams Wood, published in 1917 and now available fulltext at Project Gutenberg.

Via The Owl Hooteth.  [n.b. - "welkin" is an archaic term for the sky]

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Holy cats! I had this book as a lad and much of my love of language and odd juxtapositions stemmed from within her pages. Thanks for bringing back the memories.
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