Wooden birds

Back in my PBS master control days, I was subjected to a great deal of Mr. Rogers. One of the folks in the Land o’ Make Believe, in fact the head honcho of said land, King Friday XIII had all sorts of inane habits that’d make any non-make believe kingdom overthor his rule with a bloody coup. Besides his way of saying “Lady Averlayne, I assume?”, he also had two wooden mockingbirds on sticks which he spoke to and demanded that other people speak to them as well. One was, as I recall, named Troglodyte (go figure) and the other was… well, I don’t know what it was called. It sounded like Menesissis or something, but I could never corrolate the name to a bona fide word. What was the name of that infernal pseduo-avian and what does the word itself mean, if anything?

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

I’m pretty sure it was “Contestant #3.”
(WHOO-wah! Cheap shot!)

Don’t know if it’s what you’re looking for but there’s an Athenian in the Illiad named Menesthius.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve watched Mr. Rogers. Even as a kid, the sight of him changing his shoes was my cue that Sesame Street was over and that it was time to go out and play.

As always Nick, you’re the epitomy of moderation and impartiality.

Thought #1: What kind of name is Menesthius for a wooden bird?
Thought #2: Then again, what kind of name is Troglodyte for a wooden bird?

I think you might be correct in your guess, but if anyone actually knows for sure, I’d like to hear it. No, I don’t know why I care…

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

I did a quick check and found a Mr. Rogers episode guide at


which lists the following episode…

So, apparently one of them is named Mimus Polyglotis.

“You can’t run away forever; but there’s nothing wrong with getting a good head start.” — Jim Steinman

Dennis Matheson — Dennis@mountaindiver.com
Hike, Dive, Ski, Climb — www.mountaindiver.com

Well, now there’s an answer! Menesthius indeed… sheesh :wink: I tried looking before on the web, but searches for +“King Friday” +bird mainly gave me general PBS sites since the “bird” bit brought up Big Bird hits. Thanks for doing the looking for me.

From my additional research, Mimus polyglottos is the latin name of the mockingbird. This doesn’t explain Troglodyte though, unless I’m remembering wrong. But I know for a fact that in at least one espisode, he had two birds and I could swear that was the name of one of them.

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

Never mind. Troglodytes troglodytes is latin for the Winter Wren. Works for me. I can sleep at night now.

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

No problem.

I used +“king friday” and +“wooden bird”.

I just saw this thing on TV about Mr. Rogers. This girl came up to him at a graduation he was speaking at and said, “I used to be disabled when I was young and couldn’t play outside and I’d sit and watch you on TV and you made such a difference in my life”. She started getting all teary and he gave her a big hug and…geez, it’s makin’ me cry just thinkin’ about it.(What a wuss I am). Anyway, the show was interesting. He’s a composer and quite the pianist also.

And can it be that in a world so full and busy, the loss
of one weak creature makes a void in any heart, so
wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth
of vast eternity can fill it up!
-Charles Dickens “Dombey and Son”

In one of my Little Rascals reference books is a photo of Mr Roger’s first brush with fame,posing with Petey in 1934.
Oh King Friday says " Lady Averlayne,I PREsume?" minor but this IS the SD.
“What kind of name is Menesthius for a bird?”
Wooden you like to know,Joph. (Has Nick ALLWAYS been like this?)



Mr. Rogers liked using Latin species names. As I recall, the little girl of the platypus family was named Ornithorhinchus Anatinus, which is the Latin name for the platypus (she was usually called “Anna”, or, I guess, “Ana” for short).

Of course, the patriarch of that clan was Doctor Bill Platypus. Don’t recall Mrs. Platypus’s first name, if she ever had one.

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective