Continued from Part I.
After many months of reading and breeding, Archibald at last found an answer, and returned to the bridge with a new pet in tow.
“No dragons!” shouted the old man.
“It’s not a dragon,” replied Archibald.
“Well what is it then? Bearing in mind there are similar rules against a variety of exotic pets.”
“Take a look,” said Archibald. “Her name’s Henrietta.”
The old man took a few nervous steps towards the beast on the end of Archibald’s leash.
“No eagles!” shouted the old man.
“How can it be an eagle?” asked Archibald reasonably. “Look at those hind paws! Look at her golden, rope-like tail.”
“True,” admitted the bridgekeeper. He hemmed and hawwed a little while longer, then retreated to his hut, to emerge a few minutes later with a clipboard, on which he scribbled notes.
“Head… of… eagle, apparently body… of… lion. Unclassifiable. Very well,” said the old bridgekeeper, somewhat begrudgingly. “You may pass.”
Archibald gave Henrietta a celebratory leaf of lettuce and they started across the bridge. Half-way across he started chuckling.
“I think you could call that ‘the bypassing of laws based on strict categorisation using an object that sits equally across several categories and thus belongs to none’,” he said to nobody in particular. “Or to coin a word… degryphontology!” and he laughed loudly at his own joke, since there was nobody else to.
“Grawk!” agreed Henrietta, and chewed on her lettuce leaf.
They lost the Exotic Pet competition.