Tag Archives: zoo

1773. After the pandemic

It was only a few years after the pandemic that swept Planet Earth. No, not the Coronavirus (Covid-19) several hundred years earlier, but a new and far more fearsome pandemic. Without warning, like a tidal wave of infection, it swept through the world’s population, killing them, and leaving only half a dozen or so humans, who had some sort of natural immunity, on each continent.

What a dream come true to have the whole of the North American continent almost to oneself! What a wondrous fantasy come true to set ones bed up in a corner of St. Peter’s in Rome and be able to say, “This is my bedroom”! When a vehicle ran out of gas, it was easy: just pick up another limousine!

Oh, but the stench! The several dozen on the planet inevitably wore face masks for a few weeks to facilitate breathing. What a happy thing it was when quite by accident a survivor bumped into another survivor! One couple early on were even able to start a new family.

Don’t think that these survivors were irresponsible creatures who didn’t give a hoot about others. One of the first things each did, almost automatically, was to wander through farms and zoological gardens and open gates and doors. That way the animals were free to fend for themselves and not be enclosed and starve to death. Of course, there were so few people that only a small percentage of animals were freed, but it was enough.

Time ticked on and new families began to form. How marvellous to have no pollution. The growing populations didn’t just sit on their haunches and do nothing. They learned to make their own flour and cider and everything else.

But the freed animals from farms and zoos also grew in numbers. They needed to eat. It didn’t take long for the tiny human populations to disappear.

Without humans the planet thrived.

1709. Molly, the last of her kind

It was a sad day when the animal known as Molly died in the zoo. She was the last known specimen of her kind. For years thousands of visitors would line up to view “MOLLY, THE LAST OF HER KIND.” No one was exactly sure what evolutionary line she belonged to, although scientists had categorized her all over the show. They definitely knew her to be some sort of mammal.

The zoo had hoped to start a breeding program. Fairly early on there were two females and two males, but the males and females seemed to show little interest in one another. Then three of them died of some unknown and sudden cause, and that left Molly on her own for what must have been a good thirty years.

And now she’s gone. Forever.

When the Spargundians invaded planet Earth and ruthlessly slaughtered the billions of what seemed to be an intelligent species, they took home only the four samples of the species. The proposed breeding program at the Spargundian Zoological Gardens didn’t pay off. The leader of the Spargundians has since decreed that when further planetary invasions take place, they must bring home a minimum of twelve intelligent specimens for a breeding program.

In the meantime, Molly is in the hands of a taxidermist getting stuffed.

1687. A seemingly insignificant event

It’s strange, is it not, that so often a seemingly insignificant event or thing can suddenly turn into something momentous? A simple walk to the corner shop for sugar can be the occasion for meeting a future spouse. An appointment with the dentist can be the occasion where one picks up a disease and dies. A visit to not-the-usual lottery outlet can mean winning millions of dollars.

Anita was more than aware of such possible causality when one lovely summer’s day she decided to go to the zoo. She went on her own. She liked that, because going to the zoo with other people could mean they’re more interested in the Mongolian wild ass than in the Australian pig-nosed turtle. At the zoo one needs to linger where ones interests lie, and chat casually to those around who may share a similar fascination.

On this particular visit Anita was captivated by the antics of the Malayan porcupine. A gentleman (quite good looking Anita thought) said, “Imagine sitting on one of those and getting those spikes shoved up your bum.” Anita thought the comment was a little crass but laughed pleasantly enough. The man’s name was Chadwick.

Then she thoroughly enjoyed the barking of the Indian muntjak. Her favourite thing however was seeing the hamadryas baboons. A man (quite good looking Anita thought) said to Anita that she shouldn’t really be feeding peanuts to the monkeys and Anita jokingly said she’d keep the peanuts for the Golden-rumped elephant shrew. The man roared with laughter. His name was Teddy. And then he got a sneezing fit which made Anita laugh and she said “You’re obviously allergic to Golden-rumped elephant shrew fur.”

Next, Anita had a lovely lunch in the zoo’s cafeteria; a cucumber sandwich and a lime milkshake. She finished with a slice of carrot cake which the waiter (quite good looking Anita thought) said was “on the house” because it was “yesterday’s”. The waiter’s name was Norman.

All in all, it was an enjoyable and successful day. Then Anita went home, which goes to show that not every insignificant event leads to something important.

1514: Life on an exoplanet

Shauni and Campion were a fairly happily married couple. They were without offspring even though they had made repeated attempts on a fairly regular basis. That is why they volunteered to be the first people to visit an exoplanet inhabited by intelligent creatures: Shauni and Campion had no ties to Mother Earth.

How different things were on the exoplanet! Thank goodness there was plenty of food available; both animal and vegetable. The Gdtmzxpqians were nurtured via something akin to photosynthesis, so there was no competition for Shauni and Campion on the food chain. All in all their life was fairly interesting. The Gdtmzxpqians were peaceful creatures, although Shauni and Campion were unable to learn their extraordinary complex language. The problem was that the Gdtmzxpqians conveyed speech sounds by squelching their hands under their armpits – rather like young boys on Planet Earth when they wanted to make rude noises. The aliens’ mouths were openings solely for inhaling nitrogen.

After several months Shauni discovered she was expecting! What excitement! Everything was near perfect, except they were tired of being caged in the Gdtmzxpqian zoo.

32. Grace Visits the Zoo

32zoo

It was a week-long banter in the office. Grace was to take her niece and nephew to the zoo the coming Saturday. It began with Don’t slip in the poo at the zoo. After that, the entire week was spent by office staff on nonsensical zoological rhyming advice:

Don’t swear at the bear.
Don’t give a banana to the llama.
Don’t throw nuts at baboon butts.
Don’t be shocked at the elephant’s cock.
Don’t gawk at the bottom half of the giraffe.

What a relief it was for Grace when work finished on Friday and she (and everyone else) could say goodbye to the rhymes. There was the inevitable See you later alligator as she left.

The niece and nephew were beside themselves with excitement as their Aunt Grace paid for tickets at the zoo entrance. But thank goodness Grace had brought her bright red umbrella! It was raining and windy and quite horrible.

But not half as horrible as when she slipped in some poo and plunged headlong over the barrier down into the wolves’ enclosure. She was screaming and clutching her red umbrella. Within seconds it was impossible to tell what bits belonged to the umbrella and what bits once belonged to Grace.

The following week at the office, no one, for the life of them, could think of anything that rhymed with wolves.