HOW MALLORY BECAME KNOWN AS BIOLONEY
- The Maloney twins Mallory and Melody were "born with a silver spoon in their mouths" as the saying goes -- and, it seems, they were also born to explore.
- It happened during frog-examination class when Mallory and Melody were in the third grade. The school decided that the frogs should do double duty by allowing the third graders to examine them during biology class before dissection by the seventh-graders. Melody was in a different class, as the twins' parents insisted that they be placed in separate classes in order to allow them to develop their individual personalities without undue influence from the other.
- Mallory decided the preserved frog that he and his partner shared looked (and felt) too cold, so he cut some material from the bottom of the left leg of his jeans and fashioned a tiny vest for it by simply cutting out two little armholes with his blunt-tip scissors (not an easy task). Now, however, the legs of Mallory's jeans didn't match, so he cut some material from the right leg of his pants to form a matching kerchief for the frog's head.
- It is unknown what his mother thought when Mallory came home that day, but no doubt Mallory thought at the time that his customized "cutoffs" were quite the fashion statement.
- Coincidentally -- or perhaps it was no coincidence at all -- Mallory just happened to have a toy model of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle (the model known as Harley Hog) in his pocket. He dressed the cold laboratory amphibian in the vest and kerchief, sat it on the motorcycle, securing its tiny front legs to the handlebars with rubberbands and pushed. It didn't take more than a minute before the entire class gathered around the "Hog Frog," taking turns to see who could push it the farthest before it toppled over.
- You can imagine that Jeannette Ichs, the biology teacher, was not exactly amused (partly in annoyance at herself for being unable to muffle a chuckle despite her stern face) when she returned to the classroom after a brief absence.
- But the deed was done, and Mallory Maloney's nickname came to be Bioloney Maloney...used on occasion by those who knew him well, except for an elderly aunt who refused to call him by anything but the name on his baptismal certificate.
- Bioloney,as you may have guessed, is a combination of the words "biology" and "baloney," a slang word some people use to mean "nonsense," and it rhymes with Maloney which makes it even funnier to children. This nickname would serve as a lifelong reminder not to take himself too seriously...although little chance of that, given his nature.
- FAMILY BACKGROUND
- The twins' father Mortimer was a food chemist and his mother Agnes an athlete-turned occupational/physical therapist. Their grandfather Mike Maloney (who had made untold wealth in the early days of big business software and "Big Iron") one day decided that his wealth should be put to good use through scientific discoveries that would improve the lives of people everywhere. He encouraged his son to pursue a career in science and took delight in Mallory's choice of an intelligent, strong and compassionate wife.
- Mortimer and Agnes soon had twins, a boy and a girl; Mike knew in his bones that these grandchildren of his were somehow special and destined to fulfill his vision of serving mankind through scientific discovery (and adventure, as it turns out).
- Mike determined that his grandchildren would never want for financial support, but only if they lived up to their grandfather's expectations of greatness. "I will not have coddled crybabies, spoiled brats or lazy, arrogant scions who squander my fortune," Mike insisted on the frequent occasions when his son and daughter-in-law expressed their concerns and desire to turn down Mike's offer to their children. They eventually resigned themselves and accepted Mike's generosity. They neither coddled nor spoiled the twins; indeed, they did their best to instill in their children a sense of honor, ambition (in the good meaning of the word), intellectual curiosity, scholarship and, above all, humility.
- From an early age, young Mallory and Melody were full of curiosity and creativity that sometimes got one or both of them into trouble, as we learned from the Hog Frog story. And of course, that was just one small episode that gives hint to what was to come.
- Well before the Hog Frog episode, Bioloney and Melody began to exhibit some special and unique characteristics, unknown in the natural world. These characteristics allowed the twins to go where no other mortal could dare to go and live to tell of it. These same characteristics were meant to serve humankind, however, and not to serve any selfish interest if the twins were to develop such interests.
This brief history of the Maloney twins' circumstances is offered to provide you a better understanding of the BioFables.
- The first tale is "Exploring Extremophiles."
LIST OF MAJOR PLAYERS
- Agnes – mother of twins Mallory and Melody Maloney, wife of Mortimer
- Mal – Mallory, twin brother of Melody Maloney
- Mel – Melody Maloney, twin sister of Mallory Maloney
- Mike – Mike Maloney, father of Mortimer Maloney, grandfather of twins
- Mort – Mortimer Maloney, father of Mallory and Melody Maloney, husband of Agnes
- Rufus – Black Labrador, pet dog of the Maloney family
- OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS
- Dr. Ethyl – Dr. Ethyl A. Shun, extremophile researcher
- Frank – Frank Lee Speaken, cousin of Agnes
- Martha – Martha Speaken, Frank’s wife
- LINKS: BOOK 1 TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION TO THE BIOFABLES SERIES
BioFables 1 Teaching Brief
BioFables 1 & 2: Word Counts, Reading Levels