All Must Have Prizes

You would never think the Dodo is extinct. It lives repeatedly on Social Media. We are reminded about its sad obliteration from the face of the earth  and our attempts to resurrect the species via DNA . The flow of information about something that is dead as a..well..dodo is incessant.

John Tenniel's drawing from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 1865



Why? I reckon it’s due to Lewis Carroll and John Tenniel. The latter drew the pics for Alice. Drew them in a characteristic counter-manneristic grotesque way which is immediately appealing to anyone from seven to seventy.







Landscape with Birds, Roelant Savery, 1628. Can you spot the Dodo?

Somehow those sketches live longer in the memory than the earlier anatomically and stylistically accurate representations. For example, although still somewhat appealing, Savery’s ‘Landscape with Birds” (can you spot the Dodo?) is more forgetful than Tenniel’s drawing.

And Lewis Carroll himself? It is said he modelled the Dodo after himself (Charles Dodgson). We recall the scene. Everyone was wet after a swim. The Dodo suggested a Caucus-Race to get dry. Everyone ran in different directions until he said “The race is over”. And he adds “Everybody has won, and all must have prizes” These prizes were sweets that Alice had in her pocket, enough for all except herself. The Dodo insisted she have a prize, so Alice gave the Dodo a thimble she had in her pocket, and he dutifully re-presented it back to her.

Mad? No more than the internal political wranglings anywhere. Especially in Australia today.

Now, where’s my prize…


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