Little Larry Loves Labeling

Little Larry was a smallish boy with curly carrot colored hair, skin so translucent that you may have thought him an apparition, except for his brown freckles that were quite prolific and even though he was small you could not help but know when Little Larry was around because his incessant chatter was enough to scare away small animals and old people.

 Little Larry literally loved the linguistics of language. While others would languish in the act of conversing with Little Larry, he would not even notice, many times he would look up only to realize that no one else was even there, he would pause for just a moment, take a breath and then continue talking, as though he was not alone.

Little Larry loved the linguistics of language so much that he would label everything he came in contact with, “Kitty” was not just kitty. She was Callie the colorful Calico. His Dalmatian could not be known simply as “Spot” but was his domestic dappled dog. Tank, was known as his testudinal terrapin, (you may have just called him a turtle) and if you promised not to drop him Little Larry would gladly introduce you to “Scott” his soft, scale-less, semi-terrestrial salamander.

His mother, Mary and his father, Paul, who he always introduced as his matriarchal and patriarchal Progenitors, were extremely proud of Little Larry and of his love for the linguistics of language and encouraged his proficient propitious labeling.

The first day of kindergarten quickly approached and Little Larry was very excited at the prospect of growing his love of the linguistics of language. In his excitement he had dressed himself in his absolute finest; His blue blazer, red button down dress shirt, plaid dress shorts, black shiny shoes and the piece de resistance, his little blue bow tie. His mother, Mary, kissed his cheek and wiped a tear from her eye as he proudly walked himself to the bus stop, two houses down, and on the corner.

 Little Larry stood in awe as the big yellow bus arrived. The door swung open and it was so filled with a cacophony of voices, that for that one moment, Little Larry himself stood quietly, at a complete loss of words.  However, as Little Larry entered the big yellow bus the cacophony stopped as the children all turned to look at Little Larry and after a split second of silence they all burst into laughter, again causing Little Larry to be at a loss for words, a rare and unwelcome, feeling for Little Larry.

He quickly walked to the nearest empty seat that he could find and sat down, pensive and petrified. He was hoping that once he actually got into his kindergarten class all would be well and he would be able to happily and enthusiastically pursue his love of the linguistics of language and find fabulous and exotic words to use in his love of labeling.

Grievously, Little Larry did hear many unskilled declarations on his first day of kindergarten, ones that felt like a “snickersnee” to his very soul. Little Larry learned that others liked to “label” things too and he was personally given many labels that day, ones he NEVER would have chosen for himself such as “curly carrot head”, “speckled ghost boy”, “motor mouth” “bow tie baby” and the one that was an especially big snickersnee to his very heart “weird word boy”.

As his first day came to a close, Little Larry boarded the bus as unobtrusively as he could and quickly sat down near the front so that he could make an instantaneous escape the second he arrived at his stop.

Bravely, Little Larry held in all his tears from his first day of kindergarten until he briskly burst through his front door.

His Progenitor matriarchal mother Mary hastened to his side to see what the worriment was. She gently rubbed his little back as he sobbed in her lap. At long last Little Larry took a shaky breath and announced to his mother that he no longer had a love for the linguistics of language and especially despised the idea of labels.

After Little Larry had made his declaration to his mother Mary he stood up and walked to his room stating that he would not be attending Kindergarten the following morning or ever again for that matter.

His matriarchal progenitor Mary sat in melancholy as she pensively awaited Paul, the patriarchal progenitor, to arrive home. What could have caused her Little Larry so much heartache in such a short amount of time? When he left that morning he was jubilant at the prospect of growing his love of the linguistics of language and now he lay despondent in his bed absently stroking spot, his domestic dappled dog, on the head.

Little Larry lay in his bed all afternoon until it was time for dinner. Usually this was his favorite part of the day as he delightfully delivered his daily escapades in the love of labeling all the astonishing things he had encountered that day.

That night however as Little Larry dejectedly deposited himself in his usual cathedra at the dining table he gave a cyclopean suspire and then sat quietly. His matriarchal and patriarchal progenitors, Paul and Mary, gazed at him in worriment.

His patriarchal progenitor Paul loving looked at Little Larry and asked him “how was your first day of Kindergarten?” “Did you learn any new words that you can use in your love of labeling and the linguistics of language?”

“Yes,” was all that Little Larry answered and then gave another cyclopean suspire and rested his little head in his arms on the table and began to sob. His mother Mary jumped up from her chair and rushed to his side, “My sweet Little Larry can you please tell us the words that you learned today?”

Little Larry took a deep and shaky breath as he raised his small head off his arms and wiped at his eyes. Without elaboration or alliteration his said “I learned, ‘curly carrot head’, ‘speckled ghost boy’, ‘motor mouth’ ‘bow tie baby’” and the one that felt like a very snikersnee (or a murderous knife) to his very heart, ‘weird word boy’” and then he jumped up and ran bawling to his room.

His mother Mary stood clutching her chest in shock and his father Paul sat stunned in his chair. After they had both taken a few minutes to recover from their flabbergast and unbelief, they took hold of each others hand and walked haltingly and morosely to Little Larry’s room.

Little Larry was dangling a worm in front of Tank his testudinal terrapin.  Both Progenitors sat next to Little Larry on the floor. “Are you nourishing Tank your testudinal terrapin?”  they asked. “I’m just feeding my turtle,” said Little Larry.

Paul and Mary looked and one another and then his father said, “Larry we are terribly sorry for the words that you learned today and the way that they made you feel. The other children at school have not yet learned the great power that words can have on those around them.  Some of them have even been taught to say “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” They have never been shown how to have a true love for the linguistics of language and they use their words frivolously, without thought or love, and in the process they can cause tremendous and sometimes life long heartache to others whether it is done intentionally or unintentionally.”

“Our Little recherche’ Larry you have been given a phenomenal numen that you are meant to share with the world. The other children do not understand it yet but as you begin to show them how to love the linguistics of language and share with them your pulchritudinous penchant for labeling things with love, they will begin to see the importance of words and grow to understand the love of the linguistics of language and how to use the act of labeling as responsibly as you have.”


Some of Little Larry’s words may have been new to you here is the meaning of a few: 

Linguistics – the science of language

Languish – to become weak or feeble: to lose vigor or vitality

Testidudinal – pertaining to or resembling a tortoise

Terrapin – North American turtle

Matriarchal – female head of a family

Patriarchal – male head of a family

Progenitors – a biologically related ancestor

Proficient - well advanced or competent in any art, science or subject

Propitious – presenting favorable conditions: favorable

Piece de Résistance – the most noteworthy or prized feature

Cacophony – harsh discordance of sound

Snickersnee – a knife, especially one used as a weapon

Cathedra – an official chair

Cyclopean – gigantic

Suspire – to sigh

Krystal Travis