no otters where I am...
Terry Pratchett wrote:
The painter seemed engrossed in his work.... A little red mud colored a complex curve and there, as if it had always been there, was a creature with the body of a giant rabbit, the expression of a camel and a tail that a lizard would be proud of. The wizards appeared around the rock just in time to see it scratch its ears.
"Ye gods, what's that?"
"Some sort of rat?"
The Dean ambled across to the painter, who was watching the wizards with his mouth open. "Good morning, fellow. What's that thing called?"
The painter followed the pointing finger. "Kangaroo?" he said. The voice was a whisper, on the very cusp of hearing, but the ground trembled.
"That might not be what it's called, sir," said Ponder. "He might just be saying 'I don't know.'"
The old man was drawing a snake now. One wiggly line.
"I remember seeing one of those palaces the Tezumen built in the jungle," said the Dean, watching him draw. "Not an ounce of mortar in the whole place and the stones fit together so well you couldn't stick a knife between them. Hah, they were about the only things the Tezumen didn't stick a knife between," he added. "Odd people, really. Very big on wholesale human sacrifice and cocoa. Not an obvious combination, to my mind. Kill fifty thousand people and then relax with a nice cup of hot chocolate. Excuse me, I used to be quite good at this."
To the horror even of Ridcully, the Dean took the piece of frayed twig out of the painter's hand and dabbed it gently on the rock. "See? A dot for the eye," said the Dean, handing it back.
Behind the Dean a snake wriggled away.
"Anyone feel anything odd?" said the Lecturer in Recent Runes. "My fingers tingled. Did any of you do any magic just then?"
The Dean picked up a burnt twig. The painter's mouth dropped open as the wizard drew a scratching line on the stone.
"What's that you're drawing, Dean?" said the Senior Wrangler.
"What does it look like? A bird, of course.... This one's standing on the ground. You don't see the wings," said the Dean. "Blast! You know, it's harder than it looks, drawing on a rock."
"Very flat bird," said Ridcully. "Come on, Dean, our friend here isn't very happy. Let's go and work out a really good boat spell..."
"Looks more like a weasel to me," said the Senior Wrangler. "You've got the tail wrong."
"The stick slipped."
"A duck's fatter than that," said the Chair of Indefinite Studies. "You shouldn't try to show off, Dean. When was the last time you saw a duck that didn't have peas around it?"
"Last week, actually!"
"Yes, we had crispy duck. With plum sauce, I now recall. Here, let me have a go..."
"Now you've given it three legs!"
"I did ask for the stick! You snatched it away!"
"Now look," said Ridcully. "I'm a man who knows his ducks, and what you've got there is laughable. Give me that... thank you. You do a beak like this..."
"That's on the wrong end and it's too big."
"You think that's a beak?"
"Look, all three of you are barking up the wrong tree here. Give me that stick..."
"Ah, but you see, ducks don't bark! Hah! There's no need to snatch like that--"