Venn diagram

By | 1 November 2017

There is the set of living creatures in the house with two legs (all humans?), those with four (dog and cat and an unknown number of mice and possibly rats), those with six (an unknown number of insects), those with eight (an unknown number of spiders) and those living creatures in the house who are not known to the writer and whose legs have not been enumerated. Centipedes? If we count creatures that inhabit or visit the back yard, there are also varying numbers of birds (two legs). bats (two legs) and lord knows what else. Over and under ground.

There is the set of female creatures (one human, one cat and an unknown number of insects, arachnids, arthropods etc.), and the set of males (two humans, one dog and the smaller creatures as before). Among the smaller creatures, possibly other sets.

Two sets of creatures living in this house don’t overlap. The set of creatures that barrack for the Dees and the set of creatures that reread several of Jane Austen’s novels every year. The set of creatures that have killed another creature in the previous month does not include either of these sets, but includes a four-legged creature and at least one female, along with arachnids and other small creatures. The set of creatures that have died in this house in the past month includes one creature with two legs that did not barrack for the Dees or read Jane Austen: an Indian collared dove, gender unknown. It lies in the compost bin shrouded in jasmine prunings, overlaid with scraps of rotting food. Also several mice, four legs, gender unknown. If you include the residents of the compost bin in these categories you could probably add several million each to the categories of male and female plus another category which you could call neither of the above. Numbers of legs unknown. The numbers of killers unknown. The numbers of creatures killed also unknown. Both these sets in the millions. And as for the set of creatures that exist within the bodies of other creatures: doesn’t bear thinking about.

The number of creatures running around on a wide area of grass pursuing a ball, as shown on the tv in the house: thirty-six, all two-legged, all male. Plus a few more adjudicating or sitting on the sidelines. The number of creatures packed into the stands around them: approximately sixty thousand, an unknown mix of male and female. The number of creatures watching the tv on which the game appears: three, all of them with two legs. The number of creatures in the room who are sleeping: one, male, fourlegged. 

Although the set of creatures that barrack for the Dees and the set of creatures that constantly read Jane Austen do not include the set of creatures that have killed another creature over the last month, both sets are included within the set of creatures large and small that have consumed part of the corpse of another creature within the last hour. Pig, never resident in this house. Its flesh, packaged, carried into the house by a creature, two-legged, female, reader of Jane Austen. And stir-fried. And eaten.


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