I walked on toward Ploughwright, thinking about feces. What a lot we had
found out about the prehistoric past from the study of fossilized dung of
long-vanished animals. A miraculous thing, really; a recovery from the
past from what was carelessly rejected. And in the Middle Ages, how
concerned people who lived close to the world of nature were with the
feces of animals. And what a variety of names they had for them: the
Crotels of a Hare, the Friants of a Boar, the Spraints of an Otter, the
Werderobe of a Badger, the Waggying of a Fox, the Fumets of a Deer.
Surely there might be some words for the material so near to the heart of
Ozy Froats [an academic studying feces] than shit? What about the
Problems of a President, the Backward Passes of a Footballer, the
Deferrals of a Dean, the Odd Volumes of a Librarian, the Footnotes of a
Ph.D., the Low Grades of a Freshman, the Anxieties of an Untenured Professor?
- -- Robertson Davies, "The Rebel Angels"