"Gef—who spelled his name phonetically, 'because he didn't know how to spell,' Mr. Josiffe says—self-identified as a mongoose, but Mr. Josiffe has plenty of doubts. 'The whole thing about a talking mongoose is a red herring,' he says. Given the Irvings' descriptions, he says Gef was smaller than a mongoose, perhaps a weasel or a squirrel."
• "[H]e went home and asked his mother for a big piece of cardboard. She gave him a dress box from the Bon Ton Store, which she had been saving."
• "Encyclopedia did not lift his eyes from his book, How to Build a Nuclear Reactor."
• "The Tigers were busy racing garter snakes."
• "The [egg]-spinning field was the smooth marble slab under the statue of Thomas Edison."
• "The Browns were having left-over meatloaf for dinner one night when the telephone rang."