Gerald Durrell Famous Quotes & Sayings

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69 Gerald Durrell Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

Gerald Durrell Sayings: It's all your fault, Mother,' said Larry austerely; 'you shouldn't have brought us up to It's all your fault, Mother,' said Larry austerely; 'you shouldn't have brought us up to be so selfish.' 'I like that!' exclaimed Mother. 'I never did anything of the sort!' 'Well, we didn't get as selfish as this without some guidance,' said Larry.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: If some people want to believe in Jesus, or Mohammed, or Buddha, or their ancestors, If some people want to believe in Jesus, or Mohammed, or Buddha, or their ancestors, who is to say which is right and which wrong? It seems to me that most of the religions in the world are too dogmatic. They preach the 'live and let live' philosophy, but rarely do they practise it.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: The great ecosystems are like complex tapestries - a million complicated threads, interwoven, make up The great ecosystems are like complex tapestries - a million complicated threads, interwoven, make up the whole picture. Nature can cope with small rents in the fabric; it can even, after a time, cope with major disasters like floods, fires, and earthquakes. What nature cannot cope with is the steady undermining of its fabric by the activities of man.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: Aspirin is so good for roses, brandy for sweet peas, and a squeeze of lemon-juice Aspirin is so good for roses, brandy for sweet peas, and a squeeze of lemon-juice for the fleshy flowers, like begonias.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: The most wonderful, beautiful things in life are the simple things which we have all The most wonderful, beautiful things in life are the simple things which we have all forgotten.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: I believe that all children should be surrounded by books and animals. I believe that all children should be surrounded by books and animals.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: If naturalists go to heaven (about which there is considerable ecclesiastical doubt), I hope that If naturalists go to heaven (about which there is considerable ecclesiastical doubt), I hope that I will be furnished with a troop of kakapo to amuse me in the evening instead of television.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: Overflowing with the milk of human kindness, the family had invited everyone they could think Overflowing with the milk of human kindness, the family had invited everyone they could think of, including people they cordially disliked.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: She would seize every opportunity to dive into the bathroom, in a swirl of white She would seize every opportunity to dive into the bathroom, in a swirl of white towels, and once in there she was as hard to dislodge as a limpet from a rock.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: Among the myrtles the mantids moved, lightly, carefully, swaying slightly, the quintessence of evil. They Among the myrtles the mantids moved, lightly, carefully, swaying slightly, the quintessence of evil. They were lank and green, with chinless faces and monstrous globular eyes, frosty gold, with an expression of intense, predatory madness in them. The crooked arms, with their fringes of sharp teeth, would be raised in mock supplication to the insect world, so humble, so fervent, trembling slightly when a butterfly flew too close.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: At length the Turk turned to Larry:'You write, I believe?' he said with complete lack At length the Turk turned to Larry:
'You write, I believe?' he said with complete lack of interest.
Larry's eyes glittered. Mother, seeing the danger signs, rushed in quickly before he could reply.
'Yes, yes' she smiled, 'he writes away, day after day. Always tapping at the typewriter'
'I always feel that I could write superbly if I tried' remarked the Turk.
'Really?' said Mother. 'Yes, well, it's a gift I suppose, like so many things.'
'He swims well' remarked Margo, 'and he goes out terribly far'
'I have no fear' said the Turk modestly. 'I am a superb swimmer, so I have no fear. When I ride the horse, I have no fear, for I ride superbly. I can sail the boat magnificently in the typhoon without fear'
He sipped his tea delicately, regarding our awestruck faces with approval.
'You see' he went on, in case we had missed the point, 'you see, I am not a fearful man.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: It was fantastic to dive from the side of the boat into the dark waters, It was fantastic to dive from the side of the boat into the dark waters, for as you hit them they burst into a firework display of greeny-gold phosphorescence so that you felt as though you were diving into a fire. Swimming under water, people left trails of phosphorescence behind them like a million tiny stars and when finally Leonora, who was the last one to come aboard, hauled herself up, her whole body for a brief moment looked as though it was encased in gold.
"My God, she's lovely," said Larry admiringly, "but I'm sure she's a lesbian. She resists all my advances."
"She's certainly very lovely," said Sven, "so beautiful, in fact, that it almost makes me wish I weren't a homosexual. However, there are advantages to being homosexual."
"I think to be bisexual is best," said Larry, "then you've got the best of both worlds, as it were.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: Larry was always full of ideas about things of which he had no experience. Larry was always full of ideas about things of which he had no experience.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: Breakfast was, on the whole, a leisurely and silent meal, for no member of the Breakfast was, on the whole, a leisurely and silent meal, for no member of the family was very talkative at that hour. By the end of the meal the influence of the coffee, toast, and eggs made itself felt, and we started to revive, to tell each other what we intended to do, why we intended to do it, and then argue earnestly as to whether each had made a wise decision.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: Zoos should concentrate more on the preservation side of things. Zoos should concentrate more on the preservation side of things.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: It was no half-hearted spring, this: the whole island vibrated with it as though a It was no half-hearted spring, this: the whole island vibrated with it as though a great, ringing chord had been struck. Everyone and everything heard it and responded.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: Ask the average person his views on snakes and he will, within the space of Ask the average person his views on snakes and he will, within the space of ten minutes, talk more nonsense than a brace of politicians.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: We stared at the odd garment and wondered what it was for. 'What is it?' We stared at the odd garment and wondered what it was for. 'What is it?' asked Larry at length. 'It's a bathing costume, of course,' said Mother. 'What on earth did you think it was?' 'It looks like a badly skinned whale,' said Larry, peering at it closely.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: In conservation, the motto should always be 'never say die'. In conservation, the motto should always be 'never say die'.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: One day we had one of those freak storms when the sky turned blue-black and One day we had one of those freak storms when the sky turned blue-black and the lightning fretted a silver filigree across it. And then had come the rain - great, fat, heavy drops, as warm as blood. When the storm had passed, the sky had been washed to the clear blue of a hedge-sparrow's egg and the damp earth sent out wonderfully rich, almost gastronomic smells as of fruit-cake or plum pudding; and the olive trunks steamed as the rain was dried off them by the sun, each trunk looking as though it were on fire.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: The uncivilized behavior of some human beings in a zoo has to be seen to The uncivilized behavior of some human beings in a zoo has to be seen to be believed.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: Why keep in touch with them? That's what I want to know,' asked Larry despairingly. Why keep in touch with them? That's what I want to know,' asked Larry despairingly. 'What satisfaction does it give you? They're all either fossilized or mental.'
'Indeed, they're not mental,' said Mother indignantly.
'Nonsense, Mother ... Look at Aunt Bertha, keeping flocks of imaginary cats ... and there's Great-Uncle Patrick, who wanders about nude and tells complete strangers how he killed whales with a penknife ... They're all bats.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: It was my birthday. I lay there savouring the feeling of having a whole day It was my birthday. I lay there savouring the feeling of having a whole day to myself when people would give me presents and the family would be forced to accede to any reasonable requests.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: Roger and I would squat in the heavily scented shade of the myrtle bushes and Roger and I would squat in the heavily scented shade of the myrtle bushes and watch the array of creatures that passed us; at certain times of the day the branches were as busy as the main street of a town.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: A house is not a home until it has a dog. A house is not a home until it has a dog.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: The owls appeared now, drifting from tree to tree as silently as flakes of soot, The owls appeared now, drifting from tree to tree as silently as flakes of soot, hooting in astonishment as the moon rose higher and higher, turning to pink, then gold, and finally riding in a nest of stars, like a silver bubble.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: Animals generally return the love you lavish on them by a swift bite in passing-not Animals generally return the love you lavish on them by a swift bite in passing-not unlike friends and wives.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: I hope that, in a small way, I am interesting people in animal life and I hope that, in a small way, I am interesting people in animal life and in its conservation. If I accomplish this I will consider that I have achieved something worth while. And if I can, later on, help even slightly towards preventing an animal from becoming extinct, I will be content.
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Gerald Durrell Sayings: I can't be expected to produce deathless prose in an atmosphere of gloom and eucalyptus. I can't be expected to produce deathless prose in an atmosphere of gloom and eucalyptus.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: So I went instead and tasted Taki's new white wine. Spiridion! what a wine ... So I went instead and tasted Taki's new white wine. Spiridion! what a wine ... like the blood of a dragon and smooth as a fish ...
Gerald Durrell Sayings: All over the world the wildlife that I write about is in grave danger. It All over the world the wildlife that I write about is in grave danger. It is being exterminated by what we call the progress of civilization.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: My childhood in Corfu shaped my life. If I had the craft of Merlin, I My childhood in Corfu shaped my life. If I had the craft of Merlin, I would give every child the gift of my childhood.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: I do wish you wouldn't argue with me when I'm knitting. I do wish you wouldn't argue with me when I'm knitting.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: I said I *liked* being half-educated; you were so much more *surprised* at everything when I said I *liked* being half-educated; you were so much more *surprised* at everything when you were ignorant.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: The Daffodil-Yellow VillaThe new villa was enormous, a tall, square Venetian mansion, with faded daffodil-yellow The Daffodil-Yellow Villa
The new villa was enormous, a tall, square Venetian mansion, with faded daffodil-yellow walls, green shutters, and a fox-red roof. It stood on a hill overlooking the sea, surrounded by unkempt olive groves and silent orchards of lemon and orange trees.
... the little walled and sunken garden that ran along one side of the house, its wrought-iron gates scabby with rust, had roses, anemones and geraniums sprawling across the weed-grown paths ...
... there were fifteen acres of garden to explore, a vast new paradise sloping down to the shallow, tepid sea.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: The gold and scarlet leaves that littered the countryside in great drifts whispered and chuckled The gold and scarlet leaves that littered the countryside in great drifts whispered and chuckled among themselves, or took experimental runs from place to place, rolling like coloured hoops among the trees. It was as if they were practising something, preparing for something, and they would discuss it excitedly in rustly voices as they crowded round the tree trunks.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: High time he had another tutor,' said Larry. 'You leave the house for five minutes High time he had another tutor,' said Larry. 'You leave the house for five minutes and come back and find him disembowelling Moby Dick on the front porch.' 'I'm sure he didn't mean any harm,' said Mother, ' but it was rather silly for him to do it on the veranda.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: You cannot begin to preserve any species of animal unless you preserve the habitat in You cannot begin to preserve any species of animal unless you preserve the habitat in which it dwells. Disturb or destroy that habitat and you will exterminate the species as surely as if you had shot it. So conservation means that we have to preserve forest and grassland, river and lake, even the sea itself. This is vital not only for the preservation of animal life generally, but for the future existence of man himself-a point that seems to escape many people.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: 'All we need is a book,' roared Leslie; 'don't panic, hit 'em with a book. 'All we need is a book,' roared Leslie; 'don't panic, hit 'em with a book.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: What fools we are, eh? What fools, sitting here in the sun, singing. And of What fools we are, eh? What fools, sitting here in the sun, singing. And of love, too! I am too old for it and you are too young, and yet we waste our time singing about it.
Ah, well, let's have a glass of wine, eh?
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Each day had a tranquility a timelessness about it so that you wished it would Each day had a tranquility a timelessness about it so that you wished it would never end. But then the dark skin of the night would peel off and there would be a fresh day waiting for us glossy and colorful as a child's transfer and with the same tinge of unreality.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: By neglecting our garden, we are storing up for ourselves, in the not very distant By neglecting our garden, we are storing up for ourselves, in the not very distant future, a world catastrophe as bad as any atomic war, and we are doing it with all the bland complacency of an idiot child chopping up a Rembrandt with a pair of scissors.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: They were maps that lived, maps that one could study, frown over, and add to; They were maps that lived, maps that one could study, frown over, and add to; maps, in short, that really meant something.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: At the next bend I had a brisk argument with two fat peasant ladies, balancing At the next bend I had a brisk argument with two fat peasant ladies, balancing
baskets of fruit on their heads, who were wildly indignant at Widdle. He had
crept up on them when they were engrossed in conversation and after sniffing at
them had lived up to his name over their skirts and legs. The argument as to
whose fault it was kept all of us happily occupied for ten minutes, and was then
continued as I walked on down the road, until we were separated by such a
distance that we could no longer hear and appreciate each other's insults
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Gradually the magic of the island [Corfu] settled over us as gently and clingingly as Gradually the magic of the island [Corfu] settled over us as gently and clingingly as pollen.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: But throughout my life I have rarely if ever achieved what I wanted by tackling But throughout my life I have rarely if ever achieved what I wanted by tackling it in a logical fashion.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Lying spread-eagled in the silky water, gazing into the sky, only moving my hands and Lying spread-eagled in the silky water, gazing into the sky, only moving
my hands and feet slightly to keep afloat, I was looking at the Milky Way
stretched like a chiffon scarf across the sky and wondering how many stars it
contained. I could hear the voices of the others, laughing and talking on the
beach, echoing over the water
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Remember that the animals and plants have no M.P. they can write to; they can't Remember that the animals and plants have no M.P. they can write to; they can't perform sit-down strikes or, indeed, strikes of any sort; they have nobody to speak for them except us, the human beings who share the world with them but do not own it.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: There is no first world and third world. There is only one world, for all There is no first world and third world. There is only one world, for all of us to live and delight in.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: It has always amazed me that these people who are trying to learn and understand It has always amazed me that these people who are trying to learn and understand the world around us before it is bulldozed out of existence, have to work on piteously low salaries or on minuscule and precarious grants, while they do one of the most important jobs in the world. For it is only by learning how the planet works that we will see what we are doing wrong and have a chance to save it and ourselves as well.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: At last, after much effort, there came a prolonged belch from the mud and Larry At last, after much effort, there came a prolonged belch from the mud and Larry shot to the surface and we hauled him up the bank. He stood there, covered with the black and stinking slush, looking like a chocolate statue that has come in contact with a blast furnace; he appeared to be melting as we watched.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: When man continues to destroy nature, he saws the very branch on which he sits When man continues to destroy nature, he saws the very branch on which he sits since the rational protection of nature is at the same time the protection of mankind
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Tea would arrive, the cakes squatting on cushions of cream, toast in a melting shawl Tea would arrive, the cakes squatting on cushions of cream, toast in a melting shawl of butter, cups agleam and a faint wisp of steam rising from the teapot shawl.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Erosion, desertification, and pollution have become our lot. It is a weird form of suicide, Erosion, desertification, and pollution have become our lot. It is a weird form of suicide, for we are bleeding our planet to death.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Surely you're joking Theodore?' he protested. 'You mean to say that each snail is both Surely you're joking Theodore?' he protested. 'You mean to say that each snail is both a male and a female?'
'Yes indeed,' said Theodore, adding with masterly understatement, 'it's very curious.'
'Good God,' cried Larry. 'I think it's unfair. All those damned slimy things wandering about seducing each other like mad all over the bushes, and having the pleasures of both sensations. Why couldn't such a gift be given to the human race? That's what I want to know.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Ah, you may sit under them, yes. They cast a good shadow, cold as well-water; Ah, you may sit under them, yes. They cast a good shadow, cold as well-water; but that's the trouble, they tempt you to sleep. And you must never, for any reason, sleep beneath a cypress.' He paused, stroked his moustache, waited for me to ask why, and then went on: 'Why? Why? Because if you did you would be changed when you woke. Yes, the black cypresses, they are dangerous. While you sleep, their roots grow into your brains and steal them, and when you wake up you are mad, head as empty as a whistle.' I asked whether it was only the cypress that could do that or did it apply to other trees. 'No, only the cypress,' said the old man, peering up fiercely at the trees above me as though to see whether they were listening; 'only the cypress is the thief of intelligence. So be warned, little lord, and don't sleep here.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Well," said Larry with dignity, "it may give you pleasure to be woken at half-past Well," said Larry with dignity, "it may give you pleasure to be woken at half-past three in the morning by a pigeon who seems intent on pushing his rectum into your eye...
Gerald Durrell Sayings: There is a pleasure sure In being mad, which none but madmen know.Dryden, The Spanish There is a pleasure sure
In being mad, which none but madmen know.
Dryden, The Spanish Friar II, i
Gerald Durrell Sayings: The Magenpies, obviously suspecting Larry of being a dope smuggler, had fought valiantly with the The Magenpies, obviously suspecting Larry of being a dope smuggler, had fought valiantly with the time of bicarbonate of soda, and had scattered its contents along a line of books, so that they looked like a snow-covered mountain range.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Japan and Hong Kong are steadily whittling away at the last of the elephants, turning Japan and Hong Kong are steadily whittling away at the last of the elephants, turning their tusks (so much more elegant left on the elephant) into artistic carvings. In much the same way, the beautiful furs from leopard, jaguar, Snow leopard, Clouded leopard and so on, are used to clad the inelegant bodies of thoughtless and, for the most part, ugly women. I wonder how many would buy these furs if they knew that on their bodies they wore the skin of an animal that, when captured, was killed by the medieval and agonizing method of having a red-hot rod inserted up its rectum so as not to mark the skin.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: He glanced about him to make sure we weren't overheard, leaned forward, and whispered, 'He He glanced about him to make sure we weren't overheard, leaned forward, and whispered, 'He collects stamps.'
The family looked bewildered.
'You mean he's a philatelist?' said Larry at length.
'No, no, Master Larrys,' said Spiro. 'He's not one of them. He's a married man and he's gots two childrens.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: I have attempted to draw an accurate and unexaggerated picture of my family in the I have attempted to draw an accurate and unexaggerated picture of my family in the following pages; they appear as I saw them. To explain some of their more curious ways, however, I feel that I should state that at the time we were in Corfu the family were all quite young: Larry, the eldest, was 23; Leslie was 19; Margo was 18; while I was the youngest, being of the tender and impressionble age of 10. We had never been certain of my mother's age for the simple reason she could never remember her date of birth; all I can say is she was old enough to have four children. My mother also insists that I explain that she is a widow for, as she so penetratingly observed, you never know what people might think.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: As I watched the pulsing fire among the trees and heard the beat of the As I watched the pulsing fire among the trees and heard the beat of the drum merge and tremble with the voices, forming an intricate pattern of sound, I knew that someday I would have to return or be haunted forever by the beauty and mystery that is Africa.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Theodore had an apparently inexhaustible fund of knowledge about everything, but he imparted this knowledge Theodore had an apparently inexhaustible fund of knowledge about everything, but he imparted this knowledge with a sort of meticulous diffidence that made you feel he was not so much teaching you something new, as reminding you of something which you were already aware of, but which had, for some reason or other, slipped your mind.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Adult ant-lions come in a variety of sizes and, for the most part, rather drab Adult ant-lions come in a variety of sizes and, for the most part, rather drab colouring. They look like extremely untidy and demented dragon-flies. They have wings that seem out of all proportion to their bodies and these they flap with a desperate air, as though it required the maximum amount of energy to prevent them from crashing to the earth.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Sometimes the fresh load of guests would turn up before we had got rid of Sometimes the fresh load of guests would turn up before we had got rid of the previous group, and the chaos was indescribable; the house and garden would be dotted with poets, authors, artists, and playwrights arguing, painting, drinking, typing, and composing. Far from being the ordinary, charming people that Larry had promised, they all turned out to be the most extraordinary eccentrics who were so highbrow that they had difficulty in understanding one another.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Well, they're queer; but they're all very old, and so they're bound to be. But Well, they're queer; but they're all very old, and so they're bound to be. But they're not mental,' explained Mother; adding candidly, 'Anyway, not enough to be put away.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Les, muttering wrathfully, hauled the bedclothes off the recumbent Larry and used them to smother Les, muttering wrathfully, hauled the bedclothes off the recumbent Larry and used them to smother the flames. Larry sat up indignantly.
'What the the hell is going on?' he demanded.
'The room is on fire, dear.'
'Well, I don't see why I should freeze to death ... why tear all the bedclothes off? Really, the fuss you all make. It's quite simple to put out a fire.'
'Oh, shut up!' snapped Leslie, jumping up and down on the bedclothes.
Gerald Durrell Sayings: Until we consider animal life to be worthy of the consideration and reverence we bestow Until we consider animal life to be worthy of the consideration and reverence we bestow upon old books and pictures and historic monuments, there will always be the animal refugee living a precarious life on the edge of extermination, dependent for existence on the charity of a few human beings.