Deborah Ross: Our Woman in Crouch End

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The Independent Online

The Lamb Chop

Sheepium meatium

The lamb chop would be in danger of extinction if it weren't so popular both in the home and in restaurants.As a chop-shaped piece of meat it tends to be shaped like a chop. A familiar sight in most butchers, but rarely found on seabeds or grazing on algae. The average chop is unsuited to captivity and will not breed. Features in Persian mythology, often on horseback. Up to 8cm long.

The David Cameron

Muchus irritatingus personifia

The David Cameron, unknown until recently, is everywhere. A survey of Welsh kids even showed 27 per cent had him in their hair. It is resistant to most treatments, so there is no alternative but to comb. Can't swim or fly but has weak chin and is very boring.

The Cruet Set

Salti peperatica

Fossil evidence shows that cruet sets actually predate man by many thousands of years. They will often pair up for life. Abundant and fascinating to watch, particularly at Cruet World in Dorset, where they are given sufficient space to roam and engage naturally (www.cruetworld.co.uk).

Cheese

Kraftus Philadelphius

Although Barbra Streisand claims to have invented cheese as a wedding gift for James Brolin in 1998, it is now known to have been invented by Goldie Hawn a year earlier. Does not breed on cliff faces. Occurs in vast swarms on open moorlands from May to July. Also found on toast.

The Cat Deeley

TV tartollusc

Similar to (and often mistaken for) The Tess Daley. Scientists may merge the two as Cat Daley, as who would know, anyway? Both lay mottled eggs in earth burrows. Poisonous unless cooked until the juices run clear.

The Toddler

Paininbumusc

The toddler can be identified by the way it hangs on to your leg - especially when you are on the toilet or trying to put on tights - and smears food all over its face, right up to the hairline. Has to be pushed everywhere. Will never offer to defrost the freezer. Not affected by intense fishing pressures, alas. Can lay several big turds in one day.

The Sock Sockus commonatis

The sock was invented by Barbra Streisand as a surprise wedding gift for Elliot Gould in 1963. It took off straight away and now many people don't know how they would manage without it, especially in the winter. The natural habitat of socks are one in the wash and one God knows where, although under the bed is usually a good bet. The appearance of a sock can vary greatly and can even be diamond-patterned. A sock will protect its young fearlessly. Sock-hunting has now been banned in most of Europe but is still very popular in Japan.

The Doily

Fussi nonsensicus

Once seen under cakes but has almost been wiped out. White with a centre fanning out into lacy ruffles. Harmless look belies a "killer" nature.

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