Karen (aswanargent) wrote,

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I'm currently reading Mark Abley's Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages. It's a unique travelogue, because Abley's quest wasn't for museums or monuments or scenic beauty; instead, he went around the world searching out languages "tottering on the edge of extinction", as one reviewer put it. He tells the stories of the threatened languages and of the people who still speak them, or who are trying to bring them back from extinction. And along the way he shares the sort of information not likely to be found in any guidebook. I'm particularly charmed by something he wrote about the Isle of Man (noted for international banking and cats):

"At lunchtime the next day I drove down the coast to Port Erin, home of the Isle of Man Seal Sanctuary. Small though it is, the island has a profusion of animal welfare groups: a hedgehog hospital, a cat sanctuary, a pets' aid league, an SPCA, a horse and pony welfare agency, a Basking Shark Society ('unique among wildlife organisations the society is the only charity working solely with the basking shark'), even a Home of Rest for Old Horses."

I don't know about anyone else, but I find the idea of a hedgehog hospital utterly charming, like something Beatrix Potter might have invented. :-)
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