APF Chapter 3: Discworld Annotations [Prev Page] [Index] [Next Page]

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The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

Annotations | Information | Quotes

- The Amazing Maurice presents a new take on the old fairy tale of The Pied Piper of Hamelin.

- [p. 9] "Mr Bunnsy Has an Adventure"

Mr Bunnsy's adventures are a parody of the Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit children's stories, most of which concern fluffy animals being rather nice to each other.

- [p. 9] "Rats! They chased the dogs and bit the cats, they --"

An allusion to Robert Browning's well known 1842 version of The Pied Piper of Hamelin:

They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.

- [p. 58] "The thick line, where she'd pressed heavily, had to mean 'no'."

I have no idea if this is what Terry had in mind, but in formal logic one of the possible ways to indicate the negation of a proposition 'p' (i.e. turn it into the opposite statement "not 'p'") is indeed to write 'p' with a horizontal bar on top of it.

- [p. 69] "Of all the kitchens in all the town he could turn up in, he's turned up in this one."

Casablanca reference. See the annotation for p. 51 of Sourcery .

- [p. 77] "'Haven't you heard of the Sisters Grim? Agoniza and Eviscera Grim? [...]'"

The Discworld versions of our Brothers Grimm. See also the annotation for p. 21 of Thief of Time .

- [p. 87] "'[...] four children and a dog, which is the right number for an adventure, [...]'"

A reference to Enid Blyton's Famous Five stories. See also the annotation for p. 80 of Good Omens .

- [p. 90] "[...] the doubting rat, who was called Tomato."

Note that 'Tomato' is about as close as you can get to 'Thomas' (i.e. the proverbial 'Doubting Thomas') when you choose your name from food labels...

- [p. 106] "'[...] the Acme Poison Company [...]'"

The Acme company rears its head again. See the annotation for p. 10 of Soul Music .

- [p. 182] "'[...] of course everyone knows about Dick Livingstone and his wonderful cat, don't they?'"

Dick Livingstone is an amalgam of Dick Whittington and Ken Livingstone.

Dick Whittington is a character in British pantomime, loosely based on the real-life Richard Whittington. Dick is a boy from a poor family who sets out for London to make his fortune, accompanied by his cat. At one point he loses heart and turns to go back home, but then he hears the bells of London ringing out, saying: "Turn again, Dick Whittington, three times Lord Mayor of London." The real Richard Whittington was mayor of London under Richard II in the late 14th century.

One of Ken Livingstone's first acts as new mayor of London after being elected in 2000, was to get rid of the famous pigeons from Trafalgar Square. He did not get his cat to eat them (at least not as far as is known), but he just removed the street-traders who sold bags of bird-feed to tourists there -- if pigeons don't get limitless food, you stop getting huge flocks in one place.

- [p. 226] "Sergeant Doppelpunkt [...]"

Translated back from German to English, 'Doppelpunkt' means 'Colon' (as in the punctuation, not the digestive tract). Corporal Knopf, who makes his appearance on the next page has a name that translates back to 'Knob'. So, it appears we are dealing with the Uberwald equivalents of Sergeant Colon and Corporal Nobbs...

- [p. 227] "'We fight dogs and we chase cats...'"

A singing cadence call-and-response song in the time-honoured military tradition. Also another reference to Browning's poem (see the annotation for p. 9).

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