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The Porcupine's Quill: A Satire Column
by Arshad M. Khan
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the satire column
February 3, 2013
THE FIRST ASTRONOMERS
News Item: Scientists from the University of Lund report that dung beetles use the
moon and the Milky Way to navigate their way back home from the dung heap with
their precious resource-rich dung balls.
Yes, it was our revered astronomer ancestor Dung-Ho who discovered the secrets of
navigation ... how the moon, and when it was hiding, the stars, our Milky Way, could
help show us the way safely home.
The stories we are told, and the stories I tell you, they are true ... of the majestic
dung heaps, the towers of plenty in the time of the great thunderfoots, who shook the
ground when they walked.
Yes, those were the days, my children ... not the deserts, not the puny heaps we
have to fight for among ourselves now ... in the age of puny humans.
And you know what ... they followed us, these humans ... watching, watching,
watching and learning ... and we showed them -- generous and gentle to the
environment as our kind has always been.
And the humans took our knowledge and traveled everywhere killing, killing and
ravaging .. killing to eat, eating to kill ... even each other.
And Dung-Ho the Revered, Dung-Ho the Great, Dung-Ho the Good, he did not hide
his secrets ... no, he shared them, so we could all prosper, not stay at the dung
heaps, not fight for each others' dung balls, but take what we needed and go straight
home following our home galaxy.
But the humans hide their secrets -- they have this species called lawyers to protect
them -- and they charge each other for everything .... they even charge to give the
sick little get-well dung balls ... and they punish the poor if they try to make their own.
And after all this ... they give us little poisoned dung heaps -- don't go near them my
children. Oh, for the age of the thunderfoots again ... and the golden mountains of
dung, towers of plenty ... those were the days of heaven on earth my little ones ...