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  • Writer's pictureSerge Cantsper

Magic Graffi's thoughts about the word disgruntled

Updated: Apr 16

The Donks (Donkeys)

Copyright 2024 - Serge Cantsper. Illustration by @flowoolgarbarrington

Hi All,


I’ve got something surprising to talk to you about today. To explain . . .

A short while ago I started writing a new chapter in Book 4 and, after only a few paragraphs, something really surprising crossed my mind. Something that I’ve never thought about, nor even considered before.


After contemplating this conundrum carefully, I came to the conclusion that, because there’s something I just don’t understand, I’d ask you for your thoughts to help me find a solution to my problem. (Just so you know, there’s a possible upside here, which is that perhaps together we may be able to come up with a new adjective! You never know!)


Now, you’ll know from my books how much I enjoy playing with words, so you’ll certainly agree that this won’t work properly if I don’t fully understand the word with which I’m playing. To explain . . . My problem is with the word ‘disgruntled’ which I’ve used in the chapter to describe a recent incident to do with the local Donkey family – I call them the Donks.


Just so you know, the family is composed of, Honky Donk (the father, who appears in Book 3); the children, Wonky Donk and Dinky Donk. (The latter is a real bad ass – ass as in donkey of course!); and their decidedly patient mum, Debby Donk. In summer, they all live in the field just across the road from home, and Honky Donk does a lot of loud hee hawing – or honking, as I call it – early in the mornings, which at best can be really rather boring, necessitating a real paws-in-the-ears moment when one’s trying to have a quiet and peaceful lie-in.


So, to come back to the problem word, ‘dis-gruntled’, which I’ve hyphenated here deliberately . . . What I do know overall is that, as the prefix to a word, ‘dis’ has some sort of a negative inference. For example, disliked, disappeared, or disabled. This latter sadly applies to my friend Jeep, the three-legged tortoise. (As you’ll remember from Book 3, this is the reason why Serge had special wheels made for him, to help him get around more easily, and to dance too!)


From these examples, we understand that it's the rest of the word that follows the ‘dis’ – in this case ‘gruntled’ – that makes clear what the opposite of the dis-word is all about. Well, given this fact, have another quick think about the word ‘dis-gruntled’. Does ‘gruntled’ mean anything to you? In all your life, have you ever even heard the word ‘gruntled’ on its own, or of anything or anyone being described as, ‘gruntled’? I’m sure your answer is no, and so, to follow the ‘dis’ logic, let’s take this a step further . . .

If disgruntled donkeys are unhappy, donks, then gruntled donkeys, presumably, are happy! Right? Because, if not, sorry, but I just don’t get it at all.


So, if you have the answer to this conundrum, do please tell me, and perhaps another day, with this agreed adjective, you’ll be able to call me Gruntled Graffi! If so, I’ll get a new T-shirt printed to match!



Magic Graffis Paw signature


Copy by Serge Cantsper

Illustration by @flowoolgarbarrington

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