You may have suggested this just because you were thinking of mushrooms (mushrooms!), but when I was trying to come up with what animal fit Perl, badger worked. It isn't known for how fast it can run, yet it can rip through problems and doesn't follow mainstream language design fads. *shrug*
Of course, O'Reilly already has a "badger book".
Which brings me back to the black pearl in an oyster.
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