Through the microscope

My favourite slides

Tell Tale Tit,
Your tongue shall be slit;
And all the dogs in the town
Shall have a little bit.

I don’t just enjoy microscopes, I’m also very interested in certain types of slides, I have quite a collection of tongue slides. Why tongues? I really have no idea, I think it is because my father’s dissertation was on cat tongue. For many years our cupboards at home were filled with slides of cat tongue. Nobody ever looked at them, they just sat there in boxes. When my father died the slides were thrown away; he was an excellent histopathologist but I had studied plants so never looked at the slides of cat tongue..

It was a few years after my father’s death that I started to become interested in microscopy, I had a microscope I bought as a student but no slides so I bought one on eBay – a slide of cat tongue. Later, I saw rabbit tongue on eBay, then rat, and so it went on. I don’t have a vast collection but tongue slides are the only slides I can get quite silly about.

The parrot is particularly interesting, I can only imagine from the lack of taste buds that they have very little sense of taste. Otter looks like it’s a cross between dog and cat, and I always think that dog tongue looks like bacon. It probably tastes like bacon too, not that I’m suggesting you try it… but tongue is a muscle and on the whole muscles taste good. I’m sure people would be less keen on rump steak if it was called cow’s butt.

Here’s a selection of my tongue slides:

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