Centipede: (n) a small, predatory, long, thin animal with many legs.
There are times I pull up a word for this daily essay and decide to study a little further, so that the information I impart to you is tinged with accuracy. (God knows I wouldn’t want to give you fake or faulty facts.)
But on this particular day, I chose NOT to look up anything on the centipede because my ignorant understanding of it is so darling.
Over the years I did not know the difference between a centipede and a millipede, except that one creature touts a hundred legs and the other brags a thousand.
What always tickled my funny-bone was the knowledge that the animal with the hundred legs is quite large and dangerous, while the “slitherer” with a thousand legs is small and fairly harmless.
So much like our world.
When in doubt, when feeling insecure, when confronted with competition–over-advertise. Exaggerate.
The millipede was certainly intimidated by the prowess of the centipede, so it picked a name that immediately had legs to it. A thousand, to be exact.
So over the years, whenever I thought about these beings, I always reminded myself that the one who bragged about the most appendages was actually the weaker.
Maybe there’s a lesson there.