Monday, July 12, 2010

The Oklahoma Wump

When Little Guy was young, his favorite book was THE WUMP WORLD by Bill Peet. Every time we went to the library, he wanted that book. I read it to him so many times, both of us memorized most of the story. (If you haven’t read it, you should.)

So what is a wump, you ask? Well, to get a definitive answer, you’d have to ask Bill Peet, and unfortunately, he is no longer available for questioning. But a wump looks much like a capybara (except that a capybara does not have a tail.)

A capybara is the world’s largest rodent, much like a giant guinea pig. It lives in South America, where it frequents dense vegetation surrounding lakes, rivers, swamps, and ponds.

Last week the body of a 120 pound capybara was found by the U.S. Highway 59 bridge over the Arkansas River, south of Sallisaw. I’ve been wondering about that critter for days now. How did a capybara end up in Oklahoma? Are more of them hanging around the Arkansas River?

I’m about as verbal about this situation as a wump. As far as I can remember, wumps only used one word, but they used it repeatedly. Whenever they were frightened or excited, they cried, “Wump, wump!” That’s what I’m likely to say if I run into a capybara in Oklahoma.

If I do meet one, I hope he’s a civilized type.


drlobojo said...

Yes, I read the book to him so many times that I started having the Wumps say "Grump, Grump". Every blessed time we went to the Zoo a mandatory stop in front of the Wump (Capybara) pen was in order. Some day, when he has his own kids, Grandpa is going to buy them their own pet Wump. I guarantee it.

Oklahoma Granny said...

I believe I've seen pictures of a capybara before but I don't think I've ever know their proper name. I also wonder how the one made its way to an Oklahoma river.

Joan said...

Oooh I would love to meet a Wump! Better yet, a Wingdingdilly! That was older daughter's favorite book. I must have read it a hundred times.

Marla said...

Wouldn't that be so exciting to run into a Wump or a Capybara?