You will all be discussing The Worm In The Bud in your Hooting Yard Reading Groups, so here are some useful notes and guidelines for discussion.
Bud – In plants, a flower or leaf at any stage of growth until fully opened.
Sprig – A shoot, twig, or spray of a plant, shrub, or tree.
Worm – Any animal that creeps or crawls.
Babinsky – Lumbering, walrus-moustached, psychopathic serial killer.
Dog – A domesticated carnivorous mammal, Canis familiaris (or C. lupus familiaris), which typically has a long snout, an acute sense of smell, non-retractile claws, and a barking, howling, or whining voice, widely kept as a pet or for hunting, herding livestock, guarding, or other utilitarian purposes.
Copper – Slang term for plod.
Terms Not Used
Detective Captain Cargpan – Babinsky’s Nemesis
Nemesis – An agent of retribution
Agent – When used in the term Special Agent denotes a rank similar to Detective Captain in certain police, copper, or plod hierarchies.
Questions And Guidelines For Discussion
Why do you think the narrator enters a copse rather than, say, a spinney?
Make a list of the kinds of plants likely to be found in a copse far from the nearest town.
The narrator tells us his hands are hairy. Are yours?
Give a detailed character sketch and potted biography of Zoltan.
Embroider a counterpane similar to the one across which the worm crawls.
Do you think Babinsky is (a) evil, or (b) sick? If and when he is eventually caught, do you think he should be (i) confined to a prison, (ii) confined to a lunatic asylum, (iii) hacked to pieces by an angry mob, or (iv) allowed to escape scot free to resume his catalogue of enormities?
Why do you think the narrator drinks Squelcho! rather than a nice piping hot cup of tea?
When he titled one of his angry Scottish novels How Late It Was, How Late, do you think angry Scotsman James Kelman was thinking about your own Hooting Yard Reading Group and its tendency to continue wittering on and on until the cows come home?