De Boormossel

My dad had a large leather toolbox he called de Boormossel (Stone borer). That name was a hint of his sense of humour: the toolbox contained amongst other tools his electric drill (boor) hence Boormossel. As a little girl, I was very interested in that toolbox, because it was filled with a  variety of tools, like screwdrivers, and steel brushes for the electric drill. I liked comparing and sorting the different tools. I still have pictures of it in my possession. The Boormossel was named after the Seashell. I used to find that shell or rather single valves of this shell along the shore of the North Sea. I was told they were shells of the American stone-borer.  When I looked up the Stone-borer in an online encyclopaedia, I found an interesting definition. At least concerning the Witte Boormossel. This mollusc has, as a genuine Stone-borer, in contrast to pseudo-Stone borers, besides two valves, an additional valve-(part). This additional part, I found fascinating. I know of all kinds of animals with additional features, like beautiful feathers or long whiskers to attract attention. But an additional valve-part on a mollusc living on the bottom of the sea seemed somewhat extravagant to me. At this point, I have strayed far from the toolbox of my father, but that was just the cause for writing this piece.

January 2022

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