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"Specieal" News
April 11, 2009

TWILIGHT OF THE DINOSAURS

There he stands on his rear legs, head down, nervous eyes looking up, front
feet intertwined, claws twiddling nervously.  He is facing T. Wrex
Citicorposaurus and a nip from those massive jaws and teeth could finish him.

"Did you get it?" T. Wrex asks.

"What?" says Geithnosaurus playing for time.

"What do you think?" he responds leaning down closer where the foul breath
from eating carrion overwhelms Geithnosaurus.

He shrinks back, "Well, I did get you a trillion tons of the green stuff and I have
arranged indirectly for another trillion."

"It's not enough,"  T. Wrex snarls.  "It's not for me.  I have been living off
carrion and doing well, but it's all my associates.  They need the green stuff.  
Haven't you explained to President Arugulacea and his greens how much they
need us?"

"Yes!  Yes!  I told them," Geithnosaurus answers nervously, "the more green
stuff our kind eats, the more fertilizer we produce and the more they prosper.  
We have been dumping fertilizer on them for millennia and they should be
grateful.  But they are complaining about the toxic stuff that seems to form a
larger and larger part.  They say it's killing the vulnerable."

"That is why we need more," chimes in Goldsachsosaurus, "so we eat more and
dilute the toxicity."

"You are a fine one to talk.  You don't really produce much do you?  Everyone
wonders where it all goes.  I think he uses it all to try to make himself look
fancy, so he can look down on us," squeaks Dimonosaurus, the minder for
Chasemosaurus.

"You two should be grateful," cuts in Geithnosaurus.  "Remember how I helped
you with Bearstearnosaurus.  If he had died, your feed was at risk and you
might not have been far behind.  How is he, by the way?"

"Oh, he is fine," they both murmur quietly, looking abashed.  "We put him in a
retirement home out of the way, and munching contentedly."

Suddenly, AIGlosaurus, who has been sitting on the side holding his stomach
and in obvious pain blurts out loudly, "That is all in the past.  What about now.  I
am suffering, I need more.  I know I just got some, but when you gave me the
first two hundred billion tons -- guess what -- greedy Goldsachsosaurus
claimed half of it.  I mean he produces hardly any fertilizer in the first place."

"And you do?" snorts Goldsachsosaurus.  "I make the deals peddling your
stinking fertilizer to the green public so you can keep munching.  Without me
you would all be the size of the little alligators you scoff at and his Majesty,"
bowing deferentially at T. Wrex, "likes so much to snack on between his meals."

"Well, I am the one insuring those deals," said AIGlosauarus somewhat
defensively, "to make sure everyone stays happy; and does it cost sometimes."
 He gives Goldsachosaurus a pained look.

"Enough of this squabbling!" commands T. Wrex at last, bringing his tail down
with a mighty earth-shaking crash.  There is an instant hush.  "I am your King
and I have decided what we are going to do.  Come here Geithnosaurus, come
closer."

Geithnosaurus crawls forward, now so low his belly scraping the ground.  He
looks terrified.  "Yes, Sir!  Yes, your Majesty!  What is your command?"

"We will need another trillion tons now and more later if necessary.  And, we
will not take 'no' for an answer," he thunders.  "Go to Doddacea and Frankacea.  
Remind them how they got where they are.  Even Arugulacea.  Tell them what
will happen to the ferns and greens if we reduce fertilizing.  That is all."

Geithnersaurus retreats respectfully as do the others, mindful of T. Wrex's
fabled temper.

Underfoot, unnoticed, a little rat-like creature scurries along hidden by dead
leaves.  In the distance one can hear the progressively louder rumbling of
volcanoes, and high above a large object about a mile across can be seen
hurtling towards earth.























T. Wrex Citicorposaurus ancestor



April 10, 2009

Audio slideshow: The art of camouflage

Appearance, it seems, is key to survival in the animal kingdom - with some
species able to blend in perfectly with their surroundings, while others behave
quite the contrary.

Take a look with Professor Innes Cuthill from the School of Biological Sciences
at the University of Bristol.  
LINK HERE




April 4, 2009

Amazing Talking African Gray Parrot  
VIDEO HERE


March 28, 2009

AGAMAS* PROTEST OBAMA AFGHAN POLICY

An emergency meeting of the Afghan Toad-Headed Agama Council was called in
response to the expected resurgence of activity announced by President
Obama.  Particular worry was expressed at the U.S. President's call for more
development aid.

"You know what they are going to do -- some damn fool American engineer,
who thinks he knows everything, is going to show up and start building useless
bridges and dams ... cause havoc and then leave," exclaimed a young hot-head.

"Don't worry my son," said an elderly delegate.  "The Obamas and his ilk have
been here for barely a 100,000 years and think they own the earth.  Just look at
them ... can't get along even among themselves, when we have lived peacefully
for hundreds of millions of years."

"And they eat like pigs, those other recent upstarts, but even they are not
destroying our common home," chimed in a fastidious female member.  "We
warned those dinosaurs to stop overeating.  Look what happened to them.  So
Obama likes arugula, well, probably shovels it down with a pitchfork, like the
rest of them.  They just can't master the delicate art of nibbling in contentment
like us agamas."

"Well, okay, okay," the Council President interjected, displaying just a touch of
impatience. "We all know humans are greedy, vicious, destructive .... fighting
and sometimes even eating each other, etc. etc.  How they came to be, I'll
never understand, but they won't last long ... blow each other up probably.  But
what are we going to do.  I say, first off, we need to post warnings of roads and
establish crossing points to reduce the danger of those huge rolling tires ....."  

The meeting wore on long into the day ...

* Phrynocephalus reticulatus to you biologists and skeptics of these serious
news reports.



























March 27, 2009

Baboon break-ins --- taking to burglary in hard economic times or delinquent
escapades?  
FULL STORY



March 23, 2009


Pink elephant is caught on camera
A wildlife cameraman captures images of a rare baby pink African elephant in
northern Botswana.  
FULL STORY.


March 21, 2009

Chimps use heavy wooden sticks as tools to break open beehives for honey.  

Click here for
FULL STORY.


March 14, 2009

The world heavyweight kangaroo boxing championship was held in Alice
Springs, Australia.  Roo Manchu was declared the victor in a controversial split
decision.  Questioned about persistent rumors of fight-fixing, the President of
the Kangaroo Boxing Federation protested angrily, "What do you think we are?  
Our Kangaroo Court?  Though I might add humans are rapidly adopting our
court system in places like Guantanamo, Baghdad and Bagram."


March 5, 2009

A troop of chimpanzees attacked a weaker and smaller group claiming they
were terrorists.  They were able to isolate a straggler, who they killed and then
ate.  'We will never negotiate with terrorists,' said the alpha male smacking his
lips.




March 3, 2009

A pride of lions now reduced to only two females and a male because of the
continuing drought managed to bring down a scrawny zebra.  They had barely
eaten half their fill when they were driven off their kill by a hyena clan
strengthened in numbers to over two dozen by the abundance of carrion over
the last few years.  The vultures are prospering and proliferating.  There is so
much to eat and they eat so much, they have to rest a while before they can
take off.  And they are leaving more and more for the flies, beetles and other
grubs and insects to finish off.
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April 18, 2009

BUSH BABIES* GO TO WAR

"Bush Baby, what you doin'?"

"Oh!  I figure -- just take a li'l air and interdooce ma'self to the neighbors."

"Yeah!  much quieter now ... y'all remember when ..."

Yes, just a few years ago things were very different when Chief Bush Baby claimed he
was worried the bombardier beetles had developed weapons of mass destruction
(WMDs).  He asked the "Bush Secret Baby Service (BSBS or more commonly BS
Squared) to investigate.  Actually, what he said was, "I know those sons o' bitches have
'em.  You make sure you get me the proof.  Anyhow, ah like to eat them darn things and
ah don't wan' 'em explodin' in ma mouth."  What he really wanted were the bombardiers'
nesting sites with their delicious grubs.

Well, BS Squared came up with the goods after much tinkering, and the bush babies
gathered together an invasion force.  There was great loss of life as their "shock an'
awe" methods devastated the bombardier beetle enclaves in the forest.  There were no
WMDs.  The beetles had just been boasting for status.  Chief Bush Baby retired and a
new chief elected.  Everyone lost.  Life goes on as it must, though former Chief Bush
Baby has fewer bombardier beetles to eat and very few of the delicious grubs.

*Biological name
galagos   

















Bush babies
April 25, 2009


HUMAN GANG ATTACKS YOUNG PYTHON GIRL

A gang of human ruffians attacked an unarmed female python quietly preparing lunch.  
They hauled her down from her dining room up a tree, beat her almost senseless and
stole her hard-earned food.  Even the human food bit her tail.  They snared her and put
her in prison but, fortunately, showing the courage and ingenuity of her species, she
escaped and went straight to Python Hospital.  Giving the first news interview after her
ordeal, she told her story:

I was just resting, coiled on the ground, minding my own business, when this human
food wearing those hard feet --- you know the kind they make in the most cruel way by
skinning some of us --- well, he steps on me and stands on me.  Imagine the indignity!  
Of course, I was scared --- they are always carrying some thing or other to hurt you with,
and my mother has warned me to stay away from them, but then I gathered up my
courage and thought --- well, if he wants to play rough, I can show him a thing or two.  
Also, I have never -- eh -- tasted a human before and I was a bit peckish.  So I gathered
him up and he bit me.  Oooh! it hurt but I soon stopped him moving and took him up a
tree.

That's when the rest of his gang arrived.  Just like they do with their war prisoners, I was
hooded and pulled down with a rope.  Then all hell broke loose.  They beat me with
sticks and stones and heaven knows what.  It hurt so much I became dizzy and let go of
my food.  I tried to escape  but I couldn't see as my head was covered and they soon
had me in a cage.  They are not that smart though, and I found a way out eventually
and got away.  I barely made it to the hospital and passed out.  It must have been  all
the pain, the shock, the fear I may be skinned and dyed mint green to become this
year's fashionable Gucci handbag.  You know, I heard them talking --- they are selling
these pouches in their fancy stores like Neiman Marcus for $2395.  No telling about
these crazy humans --- and we just shed our old skins and move on.  Perhaps we ought
to sell them and make ourselves a nice vacation habitat --- Oh my God what am I
saying!  Just a few days with these humans and one begins to think like them.  Please
forgive me; I am not quite myself yet.  The people in the hospital have been very kind
and I should be able to go home to my part of the forest in a week or so when my
injuries have healed.

That's the story.  This is how humans treat our young unprotected girls just living their
simple lives.  Small wonder then, just about all the species, whatever their differences,
feel they have a common enemy --- the human.

Our leaders have asked for an emergency meeting of the United Species Organization's
Security Council.  The dogs, who feel they have a special relationship with humans,
have threatened a veto.  In secret meetings, now leaked, they appear to be exacting a
high price.  They want a complete and forever ban on dog-eating by pythons.  How
inconsiderate, when we really help them out by taking care of the sick and the old.  We
will continue to keep you informed of progress.

In keeping with our innate sense of fairness, we want you to see also the human
propaganda version of this story.





Baboon break-ins --- taking to burglary in hard economic times or delinquent
escapades?
FULL STORY
May 2nd, 2009

Cockatoo displays remarkable dancing talent ---  
FULL STORY






May 2nd, 2009

MAKE LOVE NOT WAR --  A SPECIAL MEETING















A special meeting of the Supreme Council of the World Drone Federation was called to
discuss the worrisome use of the sobriquet 'drone' in referring to U.S. Unmanned Air
Vehicles (UAVs).  Particularly troubling has been the common headline 'Drone Attacks'.

"How dare they?  How dare they .. they use these unspeakable things and kill people
under our name.  We are nonviolent by definition," buzzed one member waving his
antennae angrily.

"Yes, we gave up our armaments voluntarily," screamed another.  

"We have replaced them with instruments of love.  Isn't it obvious.  What an insult to our
species by these uncivilized humans!"

Outside drones could be seen carrying placards reading, "Make love not war" and "We
give our lives to love."

The council finally pressed a unanimous resolution to demand their worker cousins
boycott U.S. flowers.

Before the meeting could be formally closed, word spread that some queens in flight
had been spotted, and it broke up in disarray. The outside protesters had already
dropped their placard and flown off.
Emergency MASS Meeting on Swine Flu

May 9, 2009

An emergency meeting of the Medical Association
for Sick Swine (MASS) was held to discuss the
serious implications of the humans' slur "swine flu"
to describe a human illness that in fact had caused
a disaster among swine population some years ago.

Had it not been for the remarkable preemptive
measures of our French representative, Monsieur
Doctor Cheynie de Swine, who displayed irrefutable
evidence of a human plot to develop weapons of
MASS destruction (WMDs as is his acronym in
human fashion) and invented a cure, many of us
would not be here.  This most sly, cunning and
devious human weapon would have simply formed in us an insatiable hunger.  As
human documents obtained secretly by Monsieur Doctor Cheynie de Swine revealed,
and I quote, "They're pigs, so they can eat like pigs.  They'll eat, eat , eat --- eat until
they die.  Nothing will satisfy their hunger."

Well they hadn't reckoned on our beloved Monsieur Doctor.  At this point there was
loud applause and noisy grunts and snorts of appreciation.  Monsieur Cheynie stood
up and bowed deeply.  Unfortunately, he had indulged in a very big lunch (and
breakfast too) and a loud noise erupted from his posterior quarters.  Such was the
measure of respect for the good doctor that no one laughed or smirked, even when
the doctor said,  "Excuse me, sometimes my heart murmur vibrates with uncommon
ferocity."

Monsieur Doctor Cheynie de Swine invented something that would liberate us from
the worst hunger, and in his spirit of selflessness named it, "Freedom Fries".  Soon
however, some companies catering to the upper classes distinguished their product
by calling it "French Fries".  Not to be left behind, the other companies followed suit.  
Well there it is --- something we all know but I repeat in grateful tribute.  Here is our
hero, our savior,  Monsieur Doctor Cheynie de Swine ---

I wish I could stand here --- in fact, I wish I could stand (too many freedom fries);
could someone get me a chair --- well, thank you young man!  As I was saying, I wish
we could rest on my laurels, but it's not to be, these nefarious humans have cast a
terrible slur naming their disease after us.  As Shakespeare said, "... he that filches
from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor
indeed” (Iago in Othello).  We must defend our honor.

There was so much applause and loud stomping of trotters that the commotion woke
up the meeting President, sleeping contentedly and snoring and snorting freely.  
"What is it, what is it?  Did someone say nukeler?  No?"  He fell back to sleep and
Doctor de Swine continued.

This is a matter of greater importance than life or death --- his heart murmured loudly
again --- and you must vote to give me the authority to place sanctions on humans.  
We'll see how long they'll last without their food supply.

The vote was quick and unanimous.  The President was awakened to announce it
and promptly fell back asleep.  Monsieur Doctor Cheynie de Swine called his human
counterpart, Doctor Twisted-Smirk Dick who crumpled under the threat of sanctions.  
The crisis was over.  Doctor de Swine had won again.  
May 9, 2009

Miracle Two-Legged Dog --- This remarkable dog learned
to walk like a human ---
VIDEO
May 16, 2009

THE INTERNATIONAL RAT CONFERENCE

Bundesrat, the International Federation of Rat
Organizations has  been holding its biennial conference.
It has attracted more than usual interest because of
recent efforts to commemorate the rat genocide in
Europe during the Black Death.

"We were blamed unfairly for the plague and hundreds
of thousands, if not millions, of us were butchered by humans," said the British
representative.  "My members live in a country that prides itself for its 'freedom of
speech;' yet I cannot get my voice heard on this issue," he continued heatedly.

The latent superiority over the others, felt by European, North American and
Australian rats (particularly the latter for they were well aware the British still looked
down their long noses at them considering them uncouth, which made them very
sensitive to their position in the unspoken hierarchy) was soon evident.

"If only those immigrants had better hygiene and cleaned the fleas off of
themselves, there wouldn't have been a problem in the first place," said one.

The Asians and the Africans snickered among themselves as the Europeans' dislike
of water was well known - even European humans, they thought, who built Versailles
without a single bathing room!  Hamelin could never have happened to us no matter
how many pied pipers came because we have always loved water.

"We should commemorate the genocide through a museum to educate them," said
another. "After all, we didn't cause the plague, the fleas did."

"They sucked our blood.  We were as much victims of the fleas as the humans.  It's
not our fault humans have a second-rate immune system.  To be perfectly honest, I
don't think they'll last much longer as a species," said a third.

"It all happened so many years ago.  Why not let sleeping humans lie," the Chinese
representative offered meekly.  Not hearing much dissent, he continued more
boldly,  "Museums look to the past, we should be looking to the future.  We should
be helping the needy in the present.  Think of our cousins, the white mice, so many
poked, probed, poisoned and even guillotined by white-coated humans disguised in
white to appear friendly to our brethren.  How duplicitous.  Never underestimate the
human, I say."

"Yes, let's show them our generosity," said the Arab.  "Why not forgive and forget."

"I agree.  Let us build a statue to commemorate living side by side with the humans.  
They produce so much grain for us that our ancestors could never even have
dreamed of our standard of living.  Let past atrocities remain a warning shadow but
let us not wallow in them; let's look to the future,"  concluded the Japanese delegate.

"You know Brussels is becoming a European capital, sort of, housing as it does the
EC bureaucracy and European Parliament," slyly interjected the Belgian.  "How
about a statue of a human boy depicting the future and to show we are past our
water hang-ups he could be making it," he added salivating at the thought of the
potential financial rewards from tourists.

And so the statue of a little boy - Manakin Pis - came to be.
The Porcupine's Quill:  A Satire Column
by Arshad M. Khan
May 23, 2009

THE SQUIRRELLY HEALTH CARE PLAN

Announced recently, a new health care plan is designed to cover all squirrels
present and future.  His Serene Presence the Lord Ollama, whose distant meditative
gaze, lofty perch and general preference for the high ground betray his love of the
Andean and Tibetan Plateaus, was all smiles displaying perfectly white teeth as he
introduced the new plan.  Beside him stood Bustard Backus, a plump bird
overstuffed with grain provided mostly by the Blue Crossed InCigna Vultures.

In the background, running around everywhere could be seen, Squire Squirrel
Ramuel (chief squire to HSPL Ollama) known for getting the job done through fair
means or foul --- meaning wing and leg twisting, beak biting and tail nipping.  The
other animals had used his first two initials to nickname him "S- - - Squared".

"Yes, Vultures will continue to look after us as they have done in the past" continued
HSPL Ollama, instinctively patting his wallet as he said Vultures.  "But this time, they
have promised to include a free funeral and remains disposal service for all."

"Hear!  Hear!"  shouted Bustard Backus approvingly.  All my fellow bustards in the
legislature agree, this is a landmark achievement in our long and fruitful association
with Vultures."  He pecked at some grain in a small bowl by his side provided as a
courtesy by FAVORS the Free Association of Vultures Organized for Reforms.  
"Moreover," he continued. "we plan to gradually extend HSPL Ollama's brilliant ideas
to other animals."

HSPL Ollama flashed his teeth again, nodding a thank you for the compliment.  "The
great thing about the remains service is that if relatives are disturbed by on-site
disposal, the Blue Crossed InCigna Vulture teams will take the carcass, I mean your
loved one, to a secret undisclosed, and therefore undisturbed, location for cleaning,
after which they will transport the bones for blissful eternal repose."

"They are not dumping us in the Great Lakes again" whispered Bustard Backus to a
fellow Bustard.  I'd hate to be mixed in with all these foul-smelling squirrels for
eternity.  I mean when did you hear of them ever taking a bath, while we take
frequent sand baths, occasional water dips and constantly clean and preen our
feathers."

In one corner, thinking they are unobserved, Bustard Hairygreed is digging into a
huge bowl of corn (courtesy of FAVORS), and Bustard Pillowsweet talking to a
vulture representative as he preens her feathers.  She coos in delight.

At a Congressional hearing a few days later, Monsieur Doctor Chenie de Swine
famous for curing swine flu with freedom fries (see May 9, 2009 bulletin) testified to
the soundness of the new proposals from the Medical Association's viewpoint.  They
were pleased because they expected the additional enrollees in the new plans to
have a positive impact on income.  In a carefully calculated move, he had signed up
buzzards to offer more private enterprise competition in carcass removal, and with all
the new incoming plan members, he expected to make a killing.

Pigs are the smartest, everyone agreed.  They eat the most.
May 31, 2009

HOST FAMILIES

The Empress Coli, often referred to by disrespectful humans as E. coli, convened a
meeting of her Privy Council to discuss a serious population problem and rumblings
of dissatisfaction.

"Our Indian subjects," she began, "are having serious problems.  Here is a
representative letter from among hundreds we have received."

She began to read, "My host is a little old Indian lady.  My great great... great
gradmother came here many years ago and I have millioins of siblings.  However, it
is a hard life: the quality and quantity of food is unpredictable, and the chillie-hot
ingredients difficult to swim in and absorb; worst of all, I have heard the horror
stories of what will happen when the old lady dies and probably fairly soon.  Do you
know they burn the corpse and us with it.  What a holocaust... whole families wiped
out!  We have to find an outlet and escape.  Can you help?"

"You know I have also had many letters proclaiming a heaven on earth from my
subjects in the US.  Here is one," and the Empress began to read from a second pile
of letters in front of her.

"Our family moved here many years ago.  Our host is a good-sized Iowa corn
farmer.  He eats plenty; consequently, we eat plenty.  There are now billions of us
residing in luxury.  Better still, he uses so many antibiotics on his animals and
himself that our cousins here have over time learned to overcome this menace.  In
our close association with them and through intermarriage we have acquired similar
abilities and feel well fortified for the future."

"Now what do you think?" Empress Coli turned to her Privy Council.  "What should
we do?"

There were murmurs and whispered conversation.  Finally, a sage councillor spoke
up. "there have been rumors about this issue for some time, and I have had one of
my assistants researching this issue."

The Empress nodded, looking very pleased.

"Among other things, he has found the US healthcare system to be the worst among
the well-fed."

"Perfect," interrupted the others in unison.

"Of course, as you know, what they call healthcare, we call genocide.  Still it's
reassuring that the most powerful country on earth is not picking on us."

"We will appoint a committee to come up with detailed plans," announced the
Empress.  Personally, I have found airline food a very convenient method of
transport.  Others might prefer a young host planning to emigrate."

The meeting continued...
June 7, 2009

GM:  Gecko Motorizers


After many, many years of supplying the
means for better traction to many species,
Gecko Motorizers has been forced due to
a changing specieal world to declare -- it's
hard to say the word since GM is an icon --
bankruptcy.  Yes, isn't it hard to believe.

Favored and regular clients like the polar bears, who turned up every year for a
supply of Gecko Motorizers' seta pads (for better traction on the ice during the seal
hunting season), have been coming less as the ice is
melting.  

They say global warming is to blame.  It's those darned
humans again burning everything they can get their
hands on and then some.




Above: Seta Pads

The safety first Surefoot Seta Support (SSS), so popular with zebras, antelopes
and other game animals is no longer selling as well as it used to either. Providing
extra traction, when drinking by rivers, it afforded the ability to rear back in a split
second to foil a crocodile lunge.  Unfortunately, the crocodiles are dying out and so
are sales.

In addition, competition from
Nihon-Tokage
Transportation
with frequent new models
promising new levels of safety, ease of use
and maintenance, has gradually eaten into
sales to the point where profits are almost
impossible.  Even the new
Komodo Dragon
Kars
from SouthEast Asia have become a
threat.  And
India's Tiger Tots, the world's
cheapest transportation portends the future.
Above: CEO of Nihon-Tokage Transportation














CEO of Komodo Dragon Kars
"It is a new world out there and we have
brought out new products," said GM's
chairman, referring to the new Autotomy
Getaway safety device, "but it will have to wait
until we come out of bankruptcy court.  We will
be a new company, leaner and stronger,and
ready to take on our competition."

Everyone wished him well; some even believed
him.
June 14, 2009

Contracting Out:  Tasmanian Blackdevil Waters and Army Ants

The pride of lions was in distress.  For some time
now, it had become really difficult to catch a meal:
the game, had diminished; they had become
older.  The pride chief, a huge lion, snoring in the
background was less a hunter, more a lover.  He
tended to overeat and his paunch almost touched
the ground when he walked.  The gaunt look of the
lionesses showed who was paying the price.

The pride chief

"Yes, we must hire a contractor.  The question is, which one?  I have heard the
Tasmanian Blackdevil Water is a great hunter.  Plus a few of them will keep those
ever growing hyena clans off our backs.  They are becoming a serious threat.  I
heard a few of these devils caught a hyena and tortured it to death before eating it."

"No, no, no!"  said a second lioness.  
"Those Tasmanian Blackdevil Waters
have an obnoxious smell about them.  
They'll taint the meat.; though I daresay
it wouldn't make much difference to old
'Snoring Belly' over there."  She winked
and nodded her head in the direction
of the pride chief.



Tasmanian Blackdevil Water

"The rumor is they cheat on their contracts taking more than they are supposed to.  
So we'd have to be very careful and supervise them closely."

"Yes, and sometimes they torture the game, which takes away the sweetness of the
flesh."

"Well, perhaps we should get the Army Ants.  They are reliable, never miss and we
can grab the game off of them before they have taken too much of a commission."

"Calling in the Army Ants will make this a huge issue.  They spread out too much
and leave a huge footprint.  The other prides would soon find out and sense our
weakness.  You know what happens then: it'll be good-bye to old "Snoring Belly",
and I have to say, I have grown quite fond of him over the years."

"Yes, I agree.  Better to let the Blackdevil Waters work discreetly.  None of the other
prides will really know what's going on and we can get back to eating well again.  
Expensive they may be, but they can do a lot of quiet killing."

And so, it was decided.
June 21, 2009

GB: The Land of the Great Bustards

In the land of the Great Bustards,
there is much turmoil.  Some have
begun to call it the Land of the
Greedy Bustards.  The Bustard-in-
Chief who rules with an iron-claw-in-
iron-glove manner, is showing no
mercy towards the petty
BPs
(Bustards of Parliament)
caught
with their heads in the "expenses-
grain" basket stuffing themselves
as if there is no tomorrow.  
Bustard
Shamalik
, the son of immigrants
from a land far away (the glorious
subcontinent of India-Pakistan),
rising to become the Bustard
Minister of Justice has brought
shame upon his kind by brazenly
swallowing more unethically
acquired grain than almost anyone
before.

Bustard Greedsteen reportedly asked what the fuss was about when he charged
astronomical amounts to feather his palatial nest.  
Bustard Diggers in good
neighborly fashion set up an island for his duck friends in a pond by his home.  The
Bustards Tackay and Whatabride charged for each others nest, i.e. twice over, for
many years.  
Bustard Whatahogg, himself responsible for supplying grain charged
plenty for not just one nest but for a second one.  And so it goes on in the Land of
the Greedy, I mean Great, Bustards.

Meanwhile in the
USA (United Species Alliance) a remote outpost and former
colony of GB, His Serene Presence the Lord Olama and his consort the Bustardina
have been pecking at the public expense trough in places as far away as New York
and Paris.  Bustard Insin has had to resign for cooing with the wrong bustardina, and
violating the unwritten ruling bustards' rule of not getting caught.  FAVORS the Free
Association of Vultures Organized for Reforms continues to provide plenty of feed
and the Vultures remain well protected in all the reforms touted by the ruling
bustards.  When asked about the BPs expense scandal in GB, they sneered,
"Chicken feed!"
Above: Bustard Whatabride BP
June 28, 2009

FOXY HEALTH CARE


What you doin', Mr. Fox?

I am guarding the chicken coop.

And why is that,
Mr. Fox?

Well, I provide them health care.

And how do you do that
Mr. Fox?

Well, whenever a chicken gets sick, I eat it.  Unless of course it's middle-aged and
past laying.  Then - you see those white coated chickens over there - they provide
them
Midicare.












What the hell kind of health plan is that?

What do you mean?  My flock's healthy ain't it?  It's the best dang coop in the world
I'll have you know.



















And why you doin' this?

Well, I take some of the eggs to the
Wolves you see over there. They are the ones,
gave me the job.  And then the rest of the eggs I take to the
Snakes up on the Hill.  
They gave the Wolves the job.  And the chicks keep me and my family well-fed.  
See, it all works out.  That's why we call it the best dang chicken coop in the world.
July 5, 2009

PORKERS MEET FOR H.O.G. (HIGHEST ORDER OF GLUTTONY) INVESTITURE

Animalia: "Do pigs go to heaven Momma?"
Mother Anima: "They don't need to honey; they have heaven on earth."

A recent ceremony honored porkers who have enjoyed phenomenal material
success and prominence whilst never forgetting and always providing for their fellow
pigs.  Invested with the
Highest Order of Gluttony, they are now entitled to the
prefix
HOG before their names.  This follows the human custom of affording titles
and honorifics like Lord, Nawab, Maharaja, President, Professor, Professor, Doctor
and in some parts Professor Doctor or even Professor Doctor Doctor.

Chief HOG HOG Sanford Squeal, the famed organizer of Satietigroup which has
been satisfying even the biggest hogs with sufficient quantities of bonus swill for
many years, and
Chief HOG HOG Robb Erubin also from Satietigroup, presented
the awards.  Among the recipients
Kneel Well-in now Deputy Secretary of the
Treasure of Swill
managed to procure 3.4 billion bushels for his friends in
Hartford;
Jac Blew who blew away 504 million bushels while at hog heaven
Satietigroup; and also famed porker
Rich Lard Dormats previously from
Goldhogg-Snacks, another copious swill provider, who has contributed his way to
become the Under Secretary of Hogs' Business.













Above: Rich Lard Dormats

Right:  Chief HOG HOG Sanford Squeal





Much talked about was the honorary title of HON HOG presented to
Vibram Bandit,
the new chief swill distrbutor at Satieti and a porker well known for captivating and
making off with billions of soles.

Finally
Lew Swindlander now Special Counsel to big chief Mothy Frightener,
and also from the hog breeding sties of Satieti.  With his nose to the ground and
access to Mothy's ear, the community expects much from Swindlander.

The only sow to be honored was (not quite so)
Little Linda.  She was formerly with
Endrun, another source of much swill for the community, that is, for a while.














Little Linda


Things always go wrong just when the party really gets going, was the most common
complaint.  Otherwise much fun was had by all and they all expressed appreciation
for their calm and compliant chief spokesman,
Hogama, who has kept the other
animals from becoming too rebellious.
July 12, 2009

GRRR-8 SUMMIT:  THE BIG DOGS MEET

At the recent Big-8 dogs summit meeting,
designed to maintain order in dogdom, host
Blusteroni arrived tail down, walking with a
limp although accompanied by three so-young-
as-to-raise-eyebrows bitches.  Gossip had it
that his regular bitch had bitten him where it
really hurts.  He denied it vehemently, barking
a high-pitched painful note.

Blusteroni

The big-big dog
Coonorama, ever smiling to display his oversized fangs, said 'we
must talk nice to lesser dogs but keep our claws sharp."  He was having trouble with
the stupid Afghan hounds, and he planned to teach them a lesson.  "However, my
main concern is the environment.  We are heating it up; it's these Braziliains and
Chinese and Indians with their spicy foods and high emissions gassing up the
planet.  Let's have them join us.  We just have to teach them to eat more sparingly.  
But remember my motto:  Talk nice..."  His voice was drowned out by a squabble
among Blusteroni's bitches.

The French poodle,
Sourpussy arrived, his nose in his new bride, the comely
Labruni in elegant couture, who made all the heads turn.  "We have to maintain the
superiority of French culture," he could be heard barking into a cell phone.
















Sourpussy                                              Labruni


Bulldog Frown, the British delegate, carrying a hangdog mien, looked tired and
worried.  His denmates had been caught stealing and he was barely holding on to
his Prime Dog position.

















Bulldog Frown

The Chinese Fou Dog left as soon as he arrived to quell a disturbance in his home
den.  The Indian Pyedog Sing let out an Indian moan and wail.  And everyone
promised to try to try to try to eat less and emit less gas.  In effect, nothing
happened but everyone had a good time.  "Isn't that what conventions are for?"  
murmured Blusteroni to one of his bitches as he wagged goodbyes.
July 19, 2009

Miscellaneous Specieal News

Mountain Lion Attacked By Berserk Chainsaw Wielding Ex-Marine

Out for a morning stroll, a mountain lion was attacked by an ex-marine armed with a
chainsaw.  She suffered a severe gash on the shoulder and has had to be
hospitalized.

"Man, woman or child, humans show no mercy," she proclaimed from her hospital
den.  "And as you can see quite clearly, I am pregnant and need to eat for three,"
she continued. "If I had not been able to bite the arm holding the saw, he would
have killed me and my unborn babies."



















In accordance with the fair and balanced news reporting practices, "Specieal News"
is renowned for, we present the human propaganda version of this story through
the link below:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31951883/ns/us_news-life/



Squid Tourists Harassed by Masked  Humans

A group of southern squid tourists, on holiday
off the California coast, were swimming peacefully
and enjoying the wildlife when masked humans
started to swim alongside.  Natural curiosity in the
form of an outstretched tentacle or two was
rewarded by jabs, thrusts, kicks and blows with
an heavy object.  A few tourists are reported
missing.

DOST the Department of Squid Tourism has issued several travel warnings for this
area but it continues to be an attractive vacation spot made famous by the exotic
wildlife and interesting variety of food.

Human propaganda version of story.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8155417.stm



Buzzard Awarded Gallantry Medal

Humans have been pilfering birds' nests and eggs for centuries causing incalculable
harm to our brothers and sisters.  This time we have a happy ending:  Buzzard  
Braveheart in a preemptive strike defended his nest with courage and tenacity until
the human fled licking his wounds.  Braveheart has been awarded the Bacteria
Cross (named in honor of those who have given humans some of their own
medicine a time or two)

"Mission accomplished," said Braveheart modestly, tucking his beak in his feathers
in embarrassment at all the attention.  "It's my job to guard my pretty wife and
buzzards-to-be."

Human propaganda version of story.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/cornwall/8156734.stm

























Above:  Braveheart to the rescue
July 26, 2009

FAT CATS BACCHANALIA

Scene:  Fat cats are holding a giant celebration; they are in clover.

"I love it!  I love it!"  screamed
Crossed Persian Blue Shield.  They are forcing all
these consumers - and he licked his lips - to come to me.

"Money in the bank - I am offering the broke ones an affordable plan with a $25,000
deductible and a $25,000 cap on payments,"  screamed another.  He moved off to
the salad bar muttering "I am trying to lose weight."

The salad bar was a sight to behold.  On it were effigies of
Chief Mouse
Man-o-man-o-mana
with a sign saying, 'I may not look like arugula, but I am just as
green.'  A huge snaking neon light kept spelling out 'Salad Days,' flashing when the
words were complete.  A few young female lobbyists sashaying by were the only
clientele except for the occasional fat cat on vet's orders.

The largest area by far was labeled 'Consumers'.  Huge galleried tables had been
set up and trapped in them were live mice of all different kinds.  It was a gory scene
as fat cat after fat cat came by, picked up a mouse tossing it in the air with his fat
paws and crunched it in his teeth.  "That's what we really like to consume," said a fat
cat in an aside to a compliant reporter.


















At the far end, French windows led to a sculptured garden.  In Congress or out,
Little Pillowsweet never missed a good party.  In a secluded corner she was
rubbing furs with two handsome young lobbyists from the
Fat Cat Bankers and the
Fat Cat Insurers Unions.  The two FACU's had done exceeedingly well for their
members and were generous with their thanks.  A concerned aide ran up to
Pillowsweet whispering a warning, "Get behind a bush, reporters are present."

Back inside, in a far corner, a group of banking fat cats,
Fat Cat Goldsox, a fat
Persian,
Blue Rubbin, a really fat old tabby by the name of Sandiveal, and a
black-faced little one (not quite a big fat cat yet) called
Bandit were tossing there
very own
Mouseketeer, Mythner - well known for telling stories to mice and
passing them off as fact.  Yes, they were tossing him up and catching him in their
paws very gently and tossing him again.  They were careful not to hurt him for they
had brought him up and they loved him.  And while he was a mouse, he thought like
a fat cat.  That was the important thing.  Playing with him was just their way of
showing appreciation.















Sandiveal                                                                 Blue Rubbin


"A toast to our beloved Mouseketeer," shouted a fat cat.

"To our Mouseketeer,"  shouted the others in unison.

"Who would have thought he would manage this, getting the Fed to regulate us."

There was loud laughter all round and try as they might, they couldn't stop laughing.

"We own the Fed.  The governors are mostly us and we own the 12 Fed regional
banks."

"The Fed regulating us ... ha! ha! ha! ha! ha."

"Another toast to Mythner."

And they tossed him again in the air.
August 2, 2009

TOADYLAND

Not far from Toyland, where everyone is happy, lies the state of Toadyland where
only a few are happy.  In Toyland, all of the toys help all of the toys; in Toadyland,
all of the toadies help the few they toady to - the ones who think happy is when you
get to eat more than you need.





















Toady land is made up of little but powerful enclaves:  there is
Sittiland where they
sit and dream up ways they can eat more; there is Golden-Sacks land storing their
treasure of eats in sacks of gold;
Morbid-Chaseland chasing after everything they
can grab; there is also
BoAland enveloping eats like a boa constrictor.  There are
others,
AetNowland - greedier than most - PACland the most wealthy, AIGland
down with the ague these days, plus others too numerous to mention.

Among the toadies the better known are
Balkus, so good at making sure the few
get what they want and the many get very little,
Tsk Tsk Todd, a toady always
getting caught with his hand in someone else's pocket, and
toadina Pillowsweet, a
lot of croak, no bite, and a lot of eats.


















Above:  Balkus












Tsk Tsk Todd                                              Toadina Pillowsweet


In Toadyland, the few are happy, the toadies are happy, and the many are suffering.
But wait, nobody knows it yet, a faint breeze is beginning to blow over the stale
stench of this swamp.  Anyone with his ear to the ground can even hear it - a
hurricane is coming.
August 9, 2009

VACATIONS

It's the lazy days of August again - food aplenty and vacations lie ahead.  The
young have fledged and almost everyone is preparing for the long trip to cheat
winter in the southern hemisphere.

The bustards and bustardinas are also preparing, but for 'working' trips in the
wink-and-nod world of junkets at taxpayer expense.  Others having reached the
apex are on the yachts of friends (grateful for the year's work that helped pay for
them) or being ferried in private airplanes to private islands or coddled in secluded
vacation estates to recharge their batteries.

No such Bebe Rebozos for the Grand Ollama - a brush with a little Rizko was
enough.  No, it's going to be a look at the human preserved islands of nature, in
their devastated landscape, that serve as a reminder of what once was.  And after
Paris and London, only fitting to go plebeian for a change.
August 16, 2009

SPECIEAL SURVIVAL IN A HUMAN WORLD


Bald Penguin Suited  
STORY

5-Legged Pup Rescued From Coney Island Freak Show  STORY

Elephant rescued from drainage hole   STORY

Motola the elephant gets prosthetic leg  STORY
August 23, 2009

CAMELIDS' TOWN CAVE MEETING

It is cold up in the Andes and camelids get sick.  Without decent health care, their
lives can be at risk.  Food can be scarce, the mountains sparse and unforgiving.

"We need health care," shouts an old vicuna.  These humans shave me almost bald
every year because they seem to like my woolly coat.  It's mine I tell them but they
won't listen; they steal it anyway.  No wonder I am always sick in the cold."

"I hear you;  I feel your pain.  That's why I've called this meeting."  The Grand
Ollama spread out his arms in a welcoming, embracing gesture towards the crowd of
llamas, alpacas, guanacos and vicunas gathered in front of him.



















The Grand Ollama


"I promised all camelids a healthcare plan as a candidate and you are going to get
one."

"Whether we like it or not," interrupted a guanaco only to be glared at by the
Wolfman accompanying the Grand Ollama.

Ignoring the comment, the Grand Ollama continued, "I have taken the trouble to
bring along today, the people who will help you with your health problems.  And
remember they are very busy people who have taken time from their important work
to be here with you, so let us treat them with the courtesy they deserve."

There was loud applause mixed with loud boos and whistles from other parts of the
audience.

"I can see some of you have been misled by the lies being told about my plan.  It is
why we are here to clarify the major points and outline the benefits you will receive.  
First let me introduce these people up here.  On my left you see Mr. Wolfman."

Mr. Wolfman smiled displaying an array of perfectly sharpened, long, fierce teeth.  
The audience shivered.

"Mr. Wolfman will provide insurance for a small fee (usually the runt in your litter)
that you will receive the finest health care in the world."

"I have heard stories, Wolfman promises a lot and delivers little.  What about
single-payer?  I hear it works so well, the poodles in France live like princes,"
shouted a llama from the back.

Wolfman's smile turned into a snarl.

"Single-payer is impractical; it's off the table.  We have to use the excellent
resources already in place in our society," Ollama indicated the people around him
on the stage.

Amidst loud boos he continued, "On this side is the head of one of our largest
health care corporations, Mr. Dracula, representing all his hard working colleagues.  
They will be taking care of you in the fine network of clinics and hospitals available
to treat all our fellow camelids.  These people will explain to you how this plan will
work."

There were boos, there were sighs and some started to drift away.  The cave
became quiet and the listeners seemed resigned to their fate.
September 6, 2009

THE GRAND OLLAMA ADDRESSES HEALTHCARE AT A MEETING OF CAMELIDS

"We have to reform health care in this country.  We can not go on with the way
things are. Forty seven million have no coverage.  Costs are going through the roof.  
We have come this far.  I am counting on you to help me push reform through.  We
need your help."

"But what do you want in a plan?"

"We have to change. We can not have forty-seven million uninsured.  We need to
make sure they are covered."

"But what is your plan?"

"We can not have costs going through the roof.  Medicare is going insolvent.  We
have to remove inefficiencies in the system.  People are crying out for change."

"But how are you planning to cut costs?"

"We need change.  We need new thinking.  We need to computerize data.  We need
to cover the forty-seven million who are uninsured."

"Exactly what is your plan?"

"We need change.  We need new thinking.  The current system is untenable.  Let
Congress hear your voice.  I am counting on you for this one last push.  Together we
will see it through."

"Oh Great One, how will you vanquish our enemies and bring us succor from our
ills?"

"Change is the answer.  Change you can believe in.  But I can not do it alone; I will
need your help."

"Change, change.  All hail the Great Ollama."
September 13, 2009

THE POLAR BEAR ON SHRINKING ICE

Oh! yes they think I am the apex predator.  But I have two cubs to support and I
have not eaten in almost eight months.  They keep drinking my milk and don't want
to get out of the cozy den.  But we have to go.

They have been playing outside for a few days and feel a little more comfortable in
this new world of white space.  Every year it is getting harder and harder to find seal
breathing holes.  The floes are smaller and the seals are under and around.

The wind is carrying the scent of a fresh kill.  It is making me so hungry I have to
follow it.  Yes, the cubs are coming along.  They know they must.  I can see it.  It's a
small male, still feeding.  I don't think he'll want to take me on - a starving female with
two cubs to feed.

Oh! it tastes so good and my babes are loving a lick of warm fresh seal meat.  But
it's all gone so soon. I have an empty cavern inside.

I don't want to go south to Churchill.  I've heard horror stories of mothers jabbed with
some sleeping magic and dumped miles from here, separated from their cubs.  No,
we'll take our chances further north.  The seal has given me new energy and the
cubs are strong enough.
September 20, 2009

THE CELEBRATION

Dr. Maximum Balkus has delivered his prescription for maintaining the profits of his
real clients and keeping the braying masses at bay.

"He is an honest man" said the Health Care in the Afterlife (HCA) corporate
representative.  "You pay us now and we promise you good health in perpetuity in
heaven.  But we paid him and he has already delivered."

"Yes, he's an honest man," echoed another.

"We told him 'no bargaining' and he's got it in there.  They can't negotiate with us,"
howled yet another fat cat.

"Has he arrived yet?  Ah, yes! Three cheers for Dr. Max.  A toast to our man."

"Stratification --- divide and rule.  We can charge five times as much for higher risk
groups," chortled the insurance fat cat as he downed a glass of Dom Perignon.

The celebration went on long into the night.  And all the other poor suffering
animals let out a collective moan.
September 27, 2009

UNITED IN NATURE (UN) ASSEMBLY AND GREEDY TWENTY (G-20) MEETING

The assembly convened for the umpteenth time to discuss, perhaps even solve, the
problems of our natural world.  The Grand Ollama said the essence of
problem-solving was compromise, except in dealing with extremism, and he wagged
his finger at Iamanotsobad offering compromise without compromise.

From GB, the land of the Great Bustards, the Prime Bustard Sad Frown recalled the
glory days when bustards ruled the world.  Now as they moved to the group meeting
of the important ones, he was placed in second row behind the lands where the sun
rose first and the people worked harder.

For unmitigated gall, Chief Gaul SuckUSy expressed his admiration for the Grand
Ollama and his people, while he ordered the removal of homeless refugees from
their ingeniously constructed shelters, trying to survive, as they looked desperately
for some way of leaving SuckUSy's increasingly inhospitable people.

Then there was Nuttinbutballyhoo waving papers about, claiming victimhood yet
again, while keeping up a constant pace of conscienceless rampage and swallowing
others' property.

From the land of profound thoughts and head wrappers -- no doubt interconnected
-- came Head Rapper Sing proud to be selected among the rich and powerful of our
world, the exclusive Greedy Twenty (G-20 for short), and performing for his fellows
---

"I am Rapper Sing
In the G-20 strings
I've been made king."
I am Rapper Sing ...

In one corner nursing his rhetorical wounds, sat Iamanotsobad singing quietly to
himself ---

"Why does everybody keep pickin' on me?"
October 4, 2009

ARDI SPEAKS OUT

Would you believe it?  My great, great, great ... great grandchildren have dug me
up.  I thought God had changed his mind about us, a gene or two short of what he
considered human and suitable for heaven, and I was finally about to get there.

But no!  here I am at the same place again -- except, what have you done to the
forests?  They seem to have disappeared.  In a way, I am glad not to be in heaven.  
I hear there is a shortage of houris with all these young men martyring themselves,
and I am not sure I want to spend eternity with a hairless (ugh!) human.

Anyway, all I can say is, nothing has changed for the better.  These great silver
birds flying in the sky with a continuous angry roar.  I have to hide every time I see
one lest it comes down and makes a meal of me.  Then there are those angry
creatures on the ground.  Some of them sound like they have a terrible stomach
problem belching smoke and making the most horrible smells.  Plus they seem to
have swallowed humans whole, who don't look too happy locked in, peeping out
with the most miserable expressions on their faces.

There is one change I do like:  all these descendants, my wonderful, wonderful,
great, great, great ... great grandchildren.  My eyes light up with pride.

Note:  Ardi photos and news
HERE

October 11, 2009

THE NOVEL PIS PRIX

The inter-species committee for the Novel Pis Prix announced the winners for this
year.

Manneken Pis received the Lifetime
Achievement Award for continuous
meritorious display come rain or shine
through snow, hail and storm.  The
announcement was greeted with universal
acclamation and much celebration in
Brussels.









Rudiger von Braun commonly known as Rudy the Great Dane received the accuracy
and consistency award for being able to hit a half-dollar coin at 10 feet consistently
with one leg cocked.  This too was a popular choice.















For bravery under fire and bombing accuracy a flock of Canadian geese were
rewarded for drenching a shotgun armed hunter trying to bring down one of them for
his Sunday dinner.  The hunter fled following a second volley of something more
substantial from the valiant geese.

Finally the Grand Novel Pis Prize was awarded to an ant for his diligence, and
constant striving of his fellows to do better.  As a result of his efforts, the ants, the
committee hopes, will be an example as a socially conscious species with true caring
for one another.  He is to be known henceforth as The Grand Pis Ant.
October 18, 2009

OX-FEM - for a better world

"Ladies," began the Chairwoman of the Ox-Fem, NGO, "this is World Food Weekend
according to humans.  They mark the shame of one-sixth of them being hungry and do
nothing about it.  We work hard and our ox men work harder, sometimes making
unimaginable physical sacrifices to avoid distractions.  As a result, we have much to
eat."

"Yes, we have much to eat," echoed others.

"It is why we females started Ox-Fem -- to help other species who needed help."

"We can devote some of our valuable spare time each week towards helping poor
humans harvest crops."

"Yes, and they will not have to feed us grain as we live well on the stalks being a
superior species."

"If we help them out, less of their grain will get eaten by birds and insects as we work
faster than they can."

And so a schedule was set up for an aid program in the nearest human village.  It was
a great success.

At harvest end, the humans celebrated by killing an ox and eating it at a festival.
October 25, 2009

H1N1 LAMENT

I am only a little thing.  Out of the thousands of species on earth, I am a guest of one of
them for no more than a week usually.  I believe considerate guests should try to limit
their stay to a week or less.  I hardly ever harm anyone.  In fact the burden makes
them stronger and able to host other, and perhaps more ill mannered guests, in the
future.

Oh yes, occasionally some poorly trained or infirm host will falter, even succumb.  But
is that a bad thing?  The infirm are usually too old to be useful.  These are all burdens,
present or future, and if I am able to cull them.  I ask you again, is it a bad thing?

I am so little.  You can't imagine how little I am and yet these paranoid humans are
mounting a campaign to destroy me.  I have been no worse than most of my cousins
and many have been quite deadly -- my great, great, ... great grand parents in 1919,
for example -- but not me.

These humans have been virusnapping my siblings, weakening them and then using
them to exercise their killers to make them stronger.  Poor me.  Don't humans have any
pity?  Now their huge, big leader, millions of times larger than I am, is calling me the
biggest threat since ... you know the usual kind of demonization humans use before
killing each other.  And they do more killing of each other than we ever do to them and
with us its accidental.  With them it's on purpose and they kill their youngest and
healthiest.  What hypocrites?  Poor me.
November 1, 2009

DR. CHENIE'S VACCINE SMDs

The good news for some species is the innovative simultaneous multiple delivery
system (SMDs) invented by Monsieur Doctor Chenie de Swine (swine flu is named
after him for his discovery of the virus - see earlier stories), and reputed to speed
vaccinations twelve-fold.  He attributes his success to the funding he received from the
Sick Shrub Foundation.  The founder, Sick Shrub-in-Chief, remarked it was smart
strategerie to attack first in a preemptive war on them little critters that give so much
trouble, and while he lived he would devote his life to keepin' us safe.

For his part, Dr. Chenie was effusive in his thanks to his volunteers -- some real,
others accidental.  You see the single job syringe was not fast enough for him.  The
idea came to him when he was out bird-hunting with friends.  Downing multiple birds
with one shot, it suddenly hit him:  he was going to inoculate several people at once,
and so the unique patented vaccine shotgun was born.

A fluted blunderbuss design, it enables Dr. Chenie to vaccinate twelve subjects at a
time.  He is well-known for his not letting anyone cross a line in the sand.  The idea is
similar:  a carefully constructed semicircular line is drawn in the vaccinating hall.  
Twelve people line up along it without leaving any gaps.  Dr. Chenie loads up with
propellant and vaccine, taking less than a minute, and stands at a marked spot twenty
paces distant from his targets / patients.  They turn about facing away, drop their
pants and bend over.  Dr. Chenie fires and one can see little pin prick spots appear.  
It's over.  As Dr. Chenie reloads to audience applause, another group lines up ...
Please scroll down for
the satire column
Porcupine's Quill
Nov 18, 2009

OVERHEARD IN BEIJING

In the city of Beijing the fat cats often meet at the Chairman Me-ow Park.

'It's not that they owe us all this money but I cannot stand these American cats
coming down here and lecturing us on animal rights. First they can't live within their
means, then they cheat everybody selling them so-called safe litter box mortgage
securities, then they go about causing death and destruction."

"And the Afghan and Iraqi cats all want them out of their countries, can you imagine
the cheek?  They get the world in trouble, we are the ones that are helping it get
out of trouble."

"They are helping all the Citi cats like Rob Rubbin and others who got us in trouble
in the first place."

'Well it looks to me the way they're spending money, they'll soon be worth nothing
and nobody will pay them any attention.'

'Well perhaps the world will be a quieter place.'

'Did you see the crate this big scrawny American cat arrived in?'

'Never saw such a giant cat house in my life.'

'Well as long as they keep buying our stuff and we keep getting richer, we can put
up with them.'
Nov 22, 2009

THE ALASKAN GAME HEN

I am Clackin'  the Alaskan game hen and here is ma' husband Capon - yup!  I took
care o' him when my shotgun misfired, but that's life, ain' it -- big an' strong ain' he
but that's all -- as I said I accidentally took care o' him.  An' here is ma' daughter
Leghorny - she's been layin' like crazy - can't keep her away from them roosters.

I am here to tell ya ma' story.  It's called an a-u-t-o-b-i-o-g-r-a-p-h-y.  See, I said it,
and them wolves of the press keep sayin' I don't know nuttin'.  I tell you I can see
them Russians on a clear day from ma' hen house an' one of these days I am
gonna bag me a Russian rooster.  Clip him like an' bring him home.  As I told ya,
ma' husband ain' much use no more.

Them wolves keep spreadin' lies about me so I am puttin' down the truth in this
a-u-t-o-b-i-o-g-r-a-p-h-y.  Now they're sayin' I am tellin' lies again.  Don't ya believe
'em, I am a God-fearin' gun-lovin hen with lipstick.  Who would you believe?  When
I was at Fowl University -- we call it FU for short -- we were taught to fight for one's
sweet self.  That's what freedom means -- no Big Daddy State lookin' over ma'
shoulder or your'n.  FU is ma' alma mater an' ma' core value.

I am happy to sign copies of ma' a-u-t-o-b-i-o-g-r-a-p-h-y now for all ya good folk
waitin' patiently in line.
November 29, 2009

GENOCIDE IN AMERICA

I am plump.  I am white.  My name is Rush.  I am a male, in my prime, and I have a
terrible story to tell.  I am a genocide survivor.  To the best of my knowledge, all
my friends and relatives are dead -- killed in brutal massacres, worse than
Rwanda, in much more efficient industrial scale slaughter -- inconceivable unless
I am planning to bring this case before the World Court (WC) run by a more
tolerant marsupial species, the kangaroos.  There is a rumor floating around
about the influence of wealth and power on this kangaroo court as many
instances of wholesale murder of innocent civilians continue, and continue to go
unpunished.  But I have to take my chances.  After all, I am only one turkey.

You know, after carting me around here and there, moving me in all kinds of
conveyances, they brought me to this huge pen where I thought there must be a
million inhabitants, given the way they brought me up, but there were only a few
humans.  What luxury!  Anyhow, a giant black man walks up to me -- by now I am
on a table in a big, big yard -- oh!  would I like to strut there.  Anyway, he walks up
to me, and I am thinking, 'this is it' as he raises his hand.  But he rests it gently
and proclaims I am pardoned.  Now what did I do?

I have been resting from my ordeal in this nice bit of yard and turkey house where
they brought me.  Yes, it's nice.  But the question kept nagging me for a long time.
 What did the black man mean when he said he pardoned me.  What have I
done?  Or, for that matter all my fellow turkeys who didn't escape the slaughter.  It
suddenly hit me as I was waking up from a snooze the other day.  We are all white.
December 13, 2009

AGAMA - THE ANOINTED ONE

I am Agama.  I am the anointed one.  
I have been given the Prix de Pis
because I can anoint others at the
greatest distance.

Yes, I am the anointed one.  He who
even sees my mien (head held high,
slightly askew, eyes now deep cold
pools of black focused instantly in a
practiced statesman's gaze) is anointed.  I can tell there is evil in this world and I will
punish the evildoers.  When I send out my agama drones, even if they kill two evil
doers and ninety-eight innocents, I am serving the cause of good in our world.  I have
contemplated, I have meditated, I have analyzed and I have deduced.  I have induced
and I have adduced and by Il Duce I am right:  the misdeeds of the evil doers
outweigh the lives of the innocents even when they run into thousands.

Yes, I am Agama the anointed one.  I only meet other anointed ones, the chiefs of
their tribes.  The common lettuce-eating riffraff mean little, know less and can not
feather my nest.  Yes, we arugula fanciers must stick together, root out evil and keep
the riffraff at bay with the crumbs from our table.

Yes, I offer these crumbs because I have a good heart and I can only give what there
is to give.  It is not my fault there is nothing left after I have fed the chiefs.

Yes, I am Agama the just anointed one.
December 20, 2009

CLIMATE CHANGE HITS METHUSELAH

I am Methuselah the Maldivian turtle and I have a tale of terrible misfortune.  You
see every year I travel the world but I love to come back home.  I was born here
and I come to lay my eggs here.

But the humans have been building their own vast nesting places occupying the
land leaving little room for us.  Worse still, for some reason the water keeps rising.  
We don't mind the water but where I could nest before is now under water.  
Between the human nests and the water we are squeezed.  Mothers like me are
desperate.

To top it all the humans steal our eggs and sometimes our little babies.  Very
destructive, the humans ...  I have seen what they have done to the oceans over
the last century.  Don't ever go near a cruise ship ... the stuff they swill out into the
ocean ... ugh!  These humans have disgusting habits.

Anyway, what am I going to do?  There is no place for my eggs on the beach ...
December 27, 2009

REINDEER WORK STOPPAGE?  MAYBE

The tensions had been simmering for a while.  It was not just the timeless working
shifts but the load was getting heavier each year.

"These spoiled kids in North America and Europe want more and more and more
toys each year," said Comet.

"And the demand has increased so much that Santa is outsourcing his production,"
added Dasher.

"But to expect us to pick up the stuff on the other side of the world..." piped in
Vixen.

"And the 'Made in China' labels... if that's not a give away," scoffed Prancer.

"He just stops time and makes us run from one end of the world to the other.  No
one can figure out the countless hours we work.  It's just endless, and I am
exhausted, and fed up," said Blitzen looking like he could do with a good snooze.

"Did you say fed up?  Now that's an expression I would use to describe someone
else,"  chimed in Cupid smiling a wicked smile.

"Well you can't blame him entirely... it's also Mrs. Claus.  She won't stop feeding
him.  Mind you he doesn't need any encouragement," said Rudolph.  "I really
shouldn't be saying anything considering he's been so nice to me... made me the
lead reindeer and so forth.  It's just the load of presents and his heft... makes it
awful hard to pull that old crate of a sled sometimes.

"Let's face it.  He loves sausage -- bratwurst, knackwurst, bockwurst, blutwurst,
bregenwurst, leberwurst, and even the Oktober Fest weisswurst all year round.  
And the quantities he puts down!  No  wonder he weighs a ton.  We could take
twice as many toys if he were a normal size," said Dancer looking queasy at the
thought of all that sausage.

Just then Santa arrived munching on a landjager dried sausage and carrying
several strung together.  "These will tide me over 'til we get back.  Ready to roll?  
Ho! Ho! Ho!"

Seeing his jolly, kindly face suffused with love for them and the world, they forgave
his foibles and stood meekly as he harnessed them.

"Ho! Ho! Ho! and away we go.... first stop, China and then to kids everywhere.  Ho!
Ho! Ho!  Away we go."


















One could see why kids loved him - as did the reindeer.  Seeing him, restored their
spirits and there was a spring in their steps as they shrugged off their tiredness
and set off anew to bring happiness to the children of the world.
January 2, 2010

THE AFGHAN FIVE-TOED JERBOA ADDRESSES HUMANS

Yes, I am addressing this to humans, and I know I am so
insignificant to you that you don't think of me at all.  I'll
have you know, though, I can easily jump three times my
length.  Can you?  Well, may be a few humans, the ones
who specialize in jumping for sport, and for all I know they
may be on drugs -- you humans cheat and lie so much.

And, of course, fight.  That is your favorite activity.  Fight for this, fight for that.  
You have so many reasons, I should say excuses, to fight I won't bother listing
them.  And you kill at will.  You have a beef with one, you kill his whole family plus
anyone else visiting his burrow.  You kill in ones, twos, threes, hundreds,
thousands, hundreds of thousands, in a flash without conscience, without sense -
to us that is - though you claim it is all necessary.

My problem with you is simple:  why don't you use someone else's backyard to
fight.  Not only do you destroy our innocents' homes when your monster
contraptions pass overhead and the earth subsides, but you are making our
younger generation lazy and fat.  They have become lazy and addicted to eating
the scraps you throw away.  My, do you waste stuff!

What are our future generations going to do after you've left?  They are losing
their hunting skills and getting so fat they can hardly jump to save themselves
being run over by you, let alone catch insects.  Yes, we kill too; the difference is,
we kill to eat.

Let me tell you something.  We have lived in Afghanistan for thousands and
thousands and thousands of years, in fact before you even arrived on this planet.  
Now you behave as if you own it.  Well, you know what, when you destroy this
earth, you, the recent interlopers, will be the first to go.  We'll get by on our insects
and scrub, as will the insects but you ...  you'll be gone.

In the meantime, to come to the present problem, will you please go do your
fighting somewhere else and leave us in peace.  Hey, I hear Yemen by the sea has
great weather.  Good bye and good riddance.

ALLACTAGA ELATER -- a small five-toed jerboa.
January 10, 2010

CONFESSIONS OF CDS LEECH

I am Credit Default Swap Leech.  My friends call me CDS. You
know, I can't remember when I was born.  Some say all of us
had our growth spurt after a Business School professor and
mathematician named Fischer Black and his sidekick Myron
Scholes developed a method, the Black-Scholes model, for pricing options.  What
is the saying about people who know the price of everything and the value of
nothing!  Who would've thought their bright ideas would lead to this mess in the
world.  All I can tell you is, I came into full bloom after December 2000, and for that
I have to thank Bill Clinton, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers.

I was musing over my benefactors the other day and came to an unusual insight.  
Just look at their initials:

BC - before Christ, that is pagan, and if that doesn't describe the man, what will?  
His sexual antics would make Caligula blush.  And the people who use me and my
brethren are so grateful to him he has made over $100 million.

RR - Rolls Royce: his father couldn't think of a better way to symbolize wealth
when he named him.  Money makes the world go around is the son's motto.  He
started off helping his banker friends in what they called the Latin American debt
crisis.  Actually their greed had them falling over each other in a scramble to lend
money and charge exorbitant rates to countries that couldn't afford to pay.  Good
old Bob helped them out with the suckers' - you know, US taxpayers - money.  
Then he let a thousand, or should I say a million, flowers (like me) bloom.  And
were his friends grateful.

LS - Little stooge.  That's all one can say.  He did all the work to put RR's plans
into action and he got the least - peanuts to them but maybe a fortune to the
ordinary sucker - you know what I mean.

Well you are probably wondering, what about me?  What confessions do I have?  
Not much, just that I have this addiction.  No, nothing as bad as my cousins, the
blood sucking vampire leeches.  No sir.  I have an addiction to money, all forms of
it.  I never thought it did anyone any harm.  But look at what happened.  
Unintended consequences, that's what they call it.  Okay, I have confessed, I am
an addict.  I am asking them to regulate my behavior.  But will they do it?  No.  
They are addicted too.  What is the world coming to, when the doctors become
worse addicts than the patients?  I ask you.  See what I mean.  That's why I am
making this public confession.  So you can put the screws on these guys.  See ya
and good luck.  I gotta get me a munch.
January 17, 2010

UDDER MADNESS - A COW RESPONDS

Mad cow!  Udder madness!  What's next?  Blaming others is
a uniquely human characteristic.  They feed us tainted food;
we get sick.  They eat us; they get sick. Guess who gets the
blame?  They called it 'mad cow' disease.  They kill us, then
eat us, then blame us.  That's the way it is - blame the victims.

Not only are we murdered in the millions for their insatiable appetites but now we
have to endure slander.  We, let me repeat, we, are accused of murdering them.   
Worse one of their so-called humorists is using us as a medium for his so called
humor.  What humans find funny is usually tragic -- if you slip on a banana peel
and crack your skull, they laugh uncontrollably.  Here is another example:  Just
read this horror of a story (
The New Yorker, January 18, 2010 ).

Let me tell you something: I am a saint.  I am worshiped by a billion people who
adore me and everything I produce - and I mean everything.  It all depends on
where my species live, or, in many cases, die.  You see I live in India.  I roam free
among this eminently civilized people.  I take my pick of vegetables off the food
stands in cities and no one complains.  If you live in the US they stand you up
cheek by jowl, force feed you, then take you for a quick shot in the head, rapid
evisceration and hacking by huge machines.  They call this humane.  What a
difference the circumstances of your birth makes.

Now let's get to this propaganda of theirs.  Nineteen humans killed in a year  -
compared to what?  The millions of my fellows they slaughter or the hundreds of
thousands of their own for what they call just wars.  Just wars or just wars for the
profit of a few?  That's the question I am asking.

By the way, have you ever heard of justifiable homicide?  Is it justifiable homicide
to kill someone who intends to do the same to you?  That's another question I am
asking. But will I get a reply?  That's a question I know the answer to already.

As far as auteurs are concerned, I must admit, I have been sorely tempted -
particularly by the ones indulging themselves in aimless, serpentine footage
boring us to distraction in films that never end too soon.  And what's with those
thick black horn rimmed spectacles?  Do they match all the angst?  I am beginning
to think all of it is symptomatic of a common problem known as TNS, The
Napoleon Syndrome - a deadly combination of ego mania and dwarfism.  As I said
before, I have been sorely tempted.

But temptation is one thing, action quite another.  I remember that gorgeous bull
adorned in beautiful garlands ... well, that's another story ...

P.S. - I haven't been to school but even I know how to spell Rochefoucauld. These
humans again ... know so little and talk so much.
January 24, 2010

FAW PAS - BENEFITING FROM THE PROPOSED FULL BODY SCAN

Humans are constantly having problems.  
A recent attempt by one to blow up one of
their noisy air machines has sent them in
a tizzy.  They want to employ new security
technology to look through people -- they
call it a full body scan.  However, it took
the Foxes Analysis Wing of the Program in
Applied Science (FAW PAS), a frequent
consultant to human governments, to come
up with a plan capitalizing on these current
unforeseen and troublesome circumstances.

Foxes are known for their ingenuity, and when called in by the US to advise, they
observed immediately the potential for good in what appeared to be an unpopular,
expensive intrusion on individual privacy.  What follows is a brief summary of their
final report.

The full body scan is a huge opportunity.  It offers the potential to lower health care
costs and improve the health of US citizens and visitors to the country - the latter
generating untold goodwill towards winning hearts and minds abroad.   We
propose the following:  The Department of Homeland Security should be merged
with the Department of Health and Human Services to form the Department of
Homeland and Health Security.  We propose further that the full body scan be
used to assess individual health, and the results stored in a Personal Health Card
(PHC) which would also allow access to a record of all treatment in a central data
base (CDD).

We have offered to outsource the Radiology work to Bangalore, India because
Indians are well known to work for a song -- plus perhaps a dance to which they
take on a whim as is clear from Bollywood movies.  We will establish a large bank
of Indian Radiologists and Physicians who will offer their services 24/7 to Homeland
and Health Security.  Constant monitoring and early detection of disease will, we
estimate, save the US at the minimum, a trillion dollars in the next five years
thereby paying for the Iraq and Afghan wars, and having a cushion left over for the
next banking crisis, or even another war if desired by an adventurous President.

Satisfying Solutions for Humans in Trauma (SSHIT) is what we are happy to do for
humans because we foxes are basically nice and they deserve no less.
January 31, 2010

COCKROACH DISCOVERY AND CONGRESS

High school students have discovered a new species of cockroach right in their
own school, it has been reported widely.  However, another equally, if not more
important, story has kept a low profile.  Researchers have encountered a
remarkable cross-species behavior transference in a certain locale -- the Houses
of Congress.  Legislators have, in Darwin's words, adapted and adopted and now
mimic successfully the cockroaches found living there.  Here are the remarkable
results:

  • The cockroaches scavenge food; the legislators scavenge campaign
    money ... with such extraordinary efficiency that hardly anyone can
    challenge them successfully.
  • Both have long antennae to smell changing conditions.
  • Remarkable ease of adaptability to those conditions -- the cockroaches
    have been doing it successfully for millions of years; the legislators  for
    much less time but with similar success.
  • Quick reflexes make both impossible to catch -- in one case with stolen
    food, in the other with broken promises and bags of campaign money for
    favors.
  • Both have very limited vision.
  • And lastly ...  just can't get rid of 'em.
February 7, 2010

Bureau of Unlimited Legalized Bribery (BULB)
(Motto: From little bulbs do gardens grow)

Minutes of the Partners' Strategy Meeting - Feb 1, 2010

Present:  Percival Crow (Managing Partner), William Crow (President, BULB
Division), Arthur Crow, Dexter Crow and Vanity Crow

The meeting was called to order with a resounding Caw at 6 AM precisely.

PC: Gentlemen and lady, we have, as you know, a very serious problem.  For
years we have provided Congress here with increasingly sophisticated ways of
enlarging their individual purse always legally - for we pride ourselves on our
honesty.  But now the floodgates have been opened.  The Supreme Court's new
ruling on corporate campaign contributions has killed our BULB business.  
Legislators have discovered they no longer need us on retainer and contracts are
being canceled in dozens every day.  What do you have for us WC?

WC: It's worse PC, and it'll take all your lightning fast computer-like brain to
prevent our most profitable division being flushed down the toilet.  To date, 90
percent of our contracts have been canceled or put on hold. We just can't sit this
one out.  We have to get off the pot .... think of new ideas ... do something fast.  I
have asked AC for alternates, but to turn this large a ship will take time.

DC:  Alternates?  Bah!  It's time for direct action.  These guys owe us.  They come
here with empty pockets and we make them millionaires.

VC:  Yes, we teach them their stay in Congress is really like being in a farm league
preparing for the big time -- the lobbying firm after they leave.  Just look at them
now, hundreds of 'em lobbying for the industries they were responsible for
regulating, and making money hand over fist.  We have to appeal to their vanity,
how smart they are, and how the public might truly get riled up, so they have to
legislate a change back to the old days and come up smelling like roses, rich as
ever.  I'll never forget how a sly fox appealed to my vanity and stole my cheese.  
Yes, it always works.

AC:  Well, I have come up with alternatives, just in case.  First off, Britain and their
MPs.  These guys are so nineteenth century.  Imagine cheating on expenses ...
chicken feed.  There's a huge market right there.  We can show them where the
real money is and how to get it legally.  Then I have a list of dictatorial regimes
worldwide skimming the public purse.  There are still numerous opportunities to
make people honest and rich at the same time.

PC:  Thank you.  Let me have your ideas in writing and we can meet again in two
weeks to plan our next thrust.
February 14, 2010

DOLLY AND THE GREAT OLLAMA

"External happiness, you see, is the result of internal self-sacrifice. When you
have no desire -- you see, you have to conquer desire as I said to one of your
predecessors. He failed and look what it did to him -- a snap of a thong and he
became an animal -- and now every day he has heart problems.  As I was saying
when you have no desire there is nothing to be desired, nothing to fight for --
eternal peace, eternal happiness."  The Dolly Llama leaned back and smiled as
only the Dolly Llama can smile, eyes exuding warmth looking up from a downward
tilting head, lips parted displaying white teeth, waiting for the effect of her words.  
Her signature off-one-shoulder dress, copied and popularized by famous name
designers across the world was held perfectly in place.

"I understand what you're sayin'.  The world needs change ... change, you can
believe in,"  responded the Great O'llama.  Tall, athletic, young, yet controlled in
speech and temper.  He continued, "Even as a committed Christian, I can see the
truth of your words.  You know, I have been trying to conquer my desire for
cigarettes but it ain't easy.  But that's a llama, imperfect trying to achieve
perfection.  You can see I worked on my smile after our last conversation."

"Yes, yes, yes, great improvement.  There are many different smiles: some smiles
are sarcastic; some smiles are artificial -- diplomatic smiles.  You have to be
particularly careful here.  These smiles do not produce happiness, rather
suspicion, even fear.  But a genuine smile gives us hope, freshness, change, as
you like to say, we can believe in.  If we want to have a genuine smile, you see,
you have to have the basis for the smile to come.  Compassion is the key thing,
you see, and remember no desire.  These are key things, you see.  If they are
missing, disaster, personal and for the people."

"Man, o, man!  You are a wise one.  I've been tryin', honest, I've been tryin' but I'm
just a sinner as we say."

"You see, you have to work on the heart and it works on the eyes," she said with a
toss of her bare shoulder.  'Now, I must bring up my desire for our people ..."

Meanwhile in a land, far, far away the Great Dragon stirred, snorted, then
belched, having eaten a giant meal.  An enormous ball of fire shot out followed by
a hot sirocco like wind scorching a neighbor or two ...
February 22, 2010

THE CONSTRICTORS MEET

"Yes, as I have said before we just need time,"  the Citiconstrictor ventured.  "We
just cannot let them bring back the rule requiring us to value securities at market
value.  It would show plainly we are bankrupt; we just do not have the assets
required against our deposits.  But time ... yes time heals all and given enough we
can continue to use future profits to shore up assets until the losses are covered."

BoA the large constrictor living in the tallest "burrow" in North Carolina -- itself a
revolution in snakedom given their past preference for holes in the ground --
slithered closer, "That is why we have always preferred to squeeze the little guy,
one at a time.  This way we don't get indigestion and our prey population is not
too upset.  I can tell you we weren't happy when that large anaconda from the
snake pit at G-S, commonly known as we Get-Suckers, Inc., forced us to swallow
M-L the king snake dying from gluttony.  It hasn't been good.  And all we want is
to be left alone."

"Hey!  Steady on.  Stop biting the hand, I mean the scales that feed you,"  
protested Speculaython the world's largest python.  "Remember the Hong Kong
double play -- hit the currency and short the market.  If they defend the currency,
raising interest rates, the market falls and you make money; if they don't, the
currency collapses and you make a bundle.  Well, perhaps it didn't work in Hong
Kong.  Imagine a government raising rates to defend the currency AND propping
up the market.  Well that's not playing fair, and they had the resources.  But look
how it has worked in Greece and maybe next in Spain or Portugal.  You make a
ton more money with one Greece than lending to a million little businesses.  
That's passe banking.  You need to think to the future.  Financial innovation ...
that's the secret."

"Yes," said MorganChaseathon, "and we better get those little snakes we have
been feeding all the while to get a move on before Volcker's ideas of putting
Speculaython on a diet take hold.  It's our number one priority."

"Yes, highest priority," echoed the rest.

And they slithered off to make their plans.  
February 28, 2010

TILIKUM THE ORCA

My name is Tilikum.  I am an orca.  Humans sometimes
call me a killer whale, and now they are calling me a
murderer.  Not true.  Here is the real story.

My trainer Dawn and I had finished a SeaWorld show -- you know the one in
Orlando.  I know she loved me and I liked her.  But she tended to be bossy, so I
thought of playing a prank.  She had been teasing me with her pony tail, so I
grabbed it and pulled her down to give her a little dunking.  Well, she was my boss
and all that, and I never imagined she couldn't hold her breath very long.  She just
drowned.  I am more sorry than you can imagine for we whales form lasting bonds.
I miss her and nobody else doing her job next will ever be the same.

Now here's the thing, I've been watching the Winter Olympics and snowboarding is
a new winter sport.  But waterboarding ...  now that's a year round game you've
been playing for hundreds of years -- didn't the inquisition call it the water cure for
after a few rounds the player would start hailing Jesus and the priests would
pronounce him cured?  Well, your former Vice-President is a keen fan -- calls it a
little dunking and some players have died.  Yet, no one calls him a murderer.  So,
why me?

By the way, we orcas don't kill for fun, or sport, or in anger, or war like you
humans sometimes do.  We kill in hunting for food.  Maybe attacking a cornered
whale is not a pretty sight but that's what we have to do to eat.

Ah!  the open sea and my friends and relations.  Those were happy times.  Now
they have bought me like a slave and imprisoned me in a pool where all I can do
is go round and around.  Then I have to work several times a day, plus practice.

But Dawn was nice and I wouldn't have harmed a hair on her head.  It's those cold
owners who buy and sell us ... if I could get a hold of one of them ... .  Well, as I
said before we don't kill in anger, but it would sure be a change in diet.

That's all I have to say.  I have to get back to work with my new boss.
March 7, 2010

CHICKEN SURPRISE

Chicken-this or chicken-that -- humans have a tendency to use us as an adjective.
 We are considered stupid; hence, chicken-brain or more generically bird-brain.  
We are for some reason imagined by them to be cowardly, so there is
chicken-livered or chicken-hearted.  All of these terms are designed as insults for
fellow humans; our feelings are of no relevance.  We don't count.  So here's a
story that gives the lie to all these slanders -- a true story from the land of Great
Bitten, so named because its humans have had a pernicious habit, over centuries,
of biting off more than they can chew.

Dude, a rooster, and his hens had settled in for the night, beaks tucked into their
feathers fast asleep except Dude, protecting his hens, always slept with one eye
open and at best one ear listening.  There was a scratching sound.  Dude knew
instantly what it was for Mr. Fox had tried this before, and Dude had pecked Mr.
Fox's nose as he was trying to squeeze his way in, forcing him to flee in pain.  This
time the hole was partly dug already for these humans had not had the sense to
repair.  There he was, Mr. Fox, almost in the pen. Dude crowed loudly waking up
his hens Izzy, Pongo and Pecky.  He motioned them to brace themselves to push
their table when Mr. Fox tried to jump up.  This they did, in unison, using all their
might.  It stunned Mr. Fox and Dude flew upon him pecking and clawing with his
razor sharp spurs.  He was joined by the hens and it was all over in barely a
minute.  Mr. Fox would not be bothering them again.

So, tell the humans, we give you our eggs because we are nice and it is our way
of practicing responsible contraception for there are fourteen billion of us already.  
Perhaps humans could do the same because they are almost half our population
now and growing faster than we are.  After all, their carbon footprint is larger,
much larger.  Terrifying, isn't it, what they are doing to Earth our mutual home.


Human version of the story below:
THE BRAVE CHICKENS WHO KILLED MR FOX

By Jo Toscano 3/03/2010

Birds hatch amazing plan

When a hungry fox sneaked into a chicken coop for his dinner he bit off more than
he could chew.

The birds would have normally ended up as piles of feathers, but cockerel Dude
and his three hens fought back.

In a scene that could have come straight out of the film Chicken Run, they
knocked their perch table on the fox's head then pecked it to death. Owner
Michelle Cordell, 43, was stunned when she went to collect eggs from her garden
and found the dead fox and Dude strutting around unhurt with hens Izzy, Pongo
and Pecky.

The mum-of-two said: "I've never heard of anything like this before. It's like the
revenge of the chicken. The little table in the corner of the coop which the
chickens perch on had been kicked over and was lying next to the fox's head. It
seems they kicked over the table, knocked the fox out and pecked it to death.

"It was not a cub but it was only young and Dude and Izzy are big birds.

"I reared Dude from a little chick and he is very protective of the others. He thinks
he is human and chases our dogs around the garden, pecking them."

Michelle, who lives with partner Gary Howell, 45, shut the sliding door of the
chicken shed when she put the birds in to roost and thinks the fox must have
nosed his way under the hatch.

The family have kept chickens for a year but foxes repeatedly break in to the
enclosure in Langdon Hills, Basildon, Essex.

Two of their birds were killed before Christmas.

Michelle's daughters, Maddi, eight, and Ruby, 13, helped rear Dude and Izzy, both
a speckled variety, before they got Pongo and Pecky who are Rhode Island Reds
- like Rocky the hero of Chicken Run. Seems Mr Fox sometimes isn't quite so
fantastic..

24bn chickens exist in the world, more than any other bird
March 14, 2010

EAGLE ATTACKS DEER -- INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT  [Story below]

Mr. Chital Buck has lodged a formal complaint following an unprovoked attack on a
young American deer by a large golden eagle.  Describing it as a violation of
international animal law, he called it a new low in interspecies relations when
predators cross the boundaries of acceptable prey.  Many of the members from
prey nations are putting together a resolution condemning eagles, which they plan
to bring before the UAO (United Animals Organization) Security Council.

Mr. Baz Hawk representing the Raptor Nation claimed it was self-defense as deer
have been uprooting undergrowth and destroying the rabbits' habitat.  This
destructive behavior has left the eagles little choice but to starve or seek
alternatives.

Ms. Bunny O'Hare agreed.  She pointed out the United Hare and Rabbit
Federation had previously condemned the Deer Nation for encroaching on its
territory.  "This is what happens when the Security Council fails to act in timely
fashion.  Anyway, we do not mind the eagles and hawks culling our elderly who are
slow to move.  It has always been part of our retirement plan," she said.

The discussion continues.


Human version of story below:

When animals attack: Zion bird enthusiast snaps eagle hunting deer

March 4, 2010

A 46-year-old bird enthusiast from Zion visited the Nachusa Grasslands a few
weeks back with one main goal: catch a glimpse of a rare prairie falcon that had
been spotted in the Downstate preserve.

Camera, binoculars and spotting scope in tow, Eric Walters ended up with
something else: snapshots of a golden eagle hunting seemingly impossible prey
— a grown white-tailed deer.

“It was really, really exciting to see one,” Walters said, referring to the golden
eagle. “And to see one hunting, going for a kill — I’ve never seen that before. And
then to see a golden try to take something out significantly heavier . . . hunting a
deer is off the charts.”

It appears the deer got away, though perhaps with a few scrapes from the bird’s
razor-like talons.












Eric Walters captured this shot of a golden eagle hunting a grown white-tailed deer.
A FABLE FOR OUR TIMES:  FOXES, BEARS, HORNETS, COUGARS

Arshad M Khan

Once upon a time a large family of foxes lived in a den they had maintained for
hundreds of years.  Theirs was a hard-scrabble territory and their simple way of
life had not changed much in all that time.  There were always rumors of luxurious
living to the north, the west and the east in far away lands but the foxes were
mostly content with the hand nature had dealt them.  Yes, there were a few who
were dissatisfied and thought a change would make life much easier.  But then
aren't there a few like them in any family?

It was not until a few hot heads decided to actually act that trouble started.  First,
they ganged together and overthrew the den chief.  But the new chief was very
unpopular and when it looked like his days were numbered, he did something the
whole family would rue for generations.  He sought help from the big bears living
further up north.

For many  generations, the bears had coveted the foxes' territory, not for itself but
for the water that lay beyond for the bears knew that water contains fish, and the
bears loved nothing more than they loved fish.  So the bears came south and the
foxes scattered forming small groups to harass them.

It was not too long after when the foxes met the hornets who also were not too
fond of bears.  They joined forces and soon the hornets were everywhere flying
hither and thither, causing chaos and confusion among the bears with their
weapon of choice, the stinger.  For the bears, the comfortable stroll across the
foxes territory had become a pain (quite literally) and they soon went back home.

The foxes had their den and territory back and were very grateful to the hornets.  
So when the hornets asked for a small space in the den to build their nests, they
were happy to oblige.  The hornets were comfortable but something nagged at
them:  According to their way of thinking, their home nest, far away to the west,
had become over-run by the cougars from a far off land, and the thought of
revenge festered and grew in their hearts until one day it overcame rationality.  
They hatched a plot that brought sudden disaster to a part of the cougars' lair
making them confused, then angry and in the end thirsting also for revenge.

It was not long coming and it was swift and deadly.  The foxes again lost their den
and the hornets dispersed not to be found and becoming an ongoing threat.  Of
course, the foxes had learned quite a few tricks in dealing with invaders, and so
they set to work.  Very soon, they had the cougars bogged down and unable to
completely dislodge them.  It has been an expensive lesson for the cougars.

We do not know how this story ends, but it is safe to offer the moral, to not bet
against foxes, or disturb a hornet's nest.
March 28, 2010

IN THE DRAGONS' LAIR

"This lair is perhaps the most exclusive club in the world, and we've invited you
here to celebrate.  You see I have swallowed seven hundred billion from TARP
and a trillion plus a quarter from the Fed.  Now I am after another trillion for all the
second liens hanging over my clients.  It makes me the fattest dragon in history
and I am celebrating," shouted Dragon Bankster.  "Here Congressman Prank,
raise a glass, and where's Senator Wodd ... we told you we'd look after you and
we will."

"Oh, stop boasting so much," admonished Dragon Healthy Profits.  "We work
quietly.  We look grave.  We have to -- our most lucrative sources of revenue end
up in the graveyard.  But in the long term we will be ahead of you and we don't go
looking for handouts.  We just help our friends and they help us.  Isn't that so
Senator Balkus?  Come, raise a glass.  And where are my other Senator friends.  
We look after you forever.  Don't you agree Dashitall?  Money makes the world go
round."

"Yes, to some extent but a little bit of fire-breathing certainly helps."  Dragon
Oypack yawned and let out a blast of fire making Secretary Limpton jump out of
the way.  "Just keeping you on your toes my girl," he smiled. "I am glad our
differences are settled.  Just tell your boss midterm elections are round the corner
and two years go by awfully fast.  Am I thirsty?  This fire-breathing gives you a
parched throat.  Let's drink to good times ahead.  Remember we helped resurrect
Limpton's husband, even with all the filth in his past.  Here's to the future."  He
raised his glass.
April 4, 2010

FLEA-RING  CIRCUS

"Yes, that's how we live; we suck blood.  It is not out of choice; we evolved that
way.  There are others that do the same -- vampires, for example -- but we live on
the least amount; yet humans seem always to be irritated and angry at us,"
complained the health care flea.  "They have so much and we need so little."

"I agree.  They even blamed us for the plague.  It's not our fault they brought all
those rats along on the ships.  And if we didn't get sick, why blame us for their
lousy immune systems,"  said the bankster flea looking a little weary from fighting
all the negative news reports.

"Oh, do be careful with your language.  Don't defame our lice cousins,"  protested
the health care flea, "They bring me good business."

"It's a lot like now,"  complained the assets flea.  "They are calling me toxic, and I
was simply living a little high on some hogs.  It's not like I am one of those
investment bank leaches sucking a whole country's inhabitants dry."

"Language, language.  Please don't defame any blood suckers.  It's our cardinal
rule -- blood suckers must stick together."

"Well, the leaches have overstepped the mark.  They are heavily into my client list
and I am catching flack.  We have to talk to them," said the bankster flea looking
for support.

"Come on!  Come on!  Let's stop quibbling.  It's time to P-A-R-T-Y.  We have some
fat suckers lined up for you guys.  Let's go".
April 11, 2010

EARTHWORMS' RESEARCH

We earthworms have always communicated by
touch and made group decisions.  We even travel
together in herds.  But one of our professors Dr.
Albert Einerdworm has discovered that humans
possess a similar, albeit less sophisticated, capacity.

In his study of a human institution known as the U.S. Congress - no, no, it's not
that kind of congress but from their behavior one does sometimes wonder - Dr.
significant breakthrough because we had not imagined humans capable of
productive social behavior, and they do fall far short of our sophistication:  They
lack the tactile feel, warmth and social cohesion of our herds.  Humans have to
bark, spit and signal from a distance; yet they are able to coalesce into groups.  It
is not that they do anything useful; it's the discovery they are able to do it at all
that makes this research significant.

The group studied consisted of two herds, who while headed in the same direction
protested vehemently they were not.  They looked the same, had the same social
background and fed on the same diet - a gruel called dollars - handed by some
outside human herds called bankers, insurers, lobbyists and others.  The two
herds are completely addicted to this gruel and will do whatever is necessary to
keep the supply flowing even when it hurts the species as a whole.

Research is continuing on this self-destructive behavior.
April 25, 2010

DISCOVERY OF A NEW SPECIES

A new species has been discovered ... not in the dense jungles of the tropics, not in
the temperate regions further north, not even in the extreme cold of the Arctic and
Antarctic.  No, this is a species inhabiting far colder environs.  Heartless as a leech, it
is a leech; it is ... Goldman-Sucks, a terror among leeches and found in cavernous
Wall Street, New York, the City of London and similar regions worldwide.

Reporters and journalists coming to investigate are numbed by its saliva, unable to
fulfill their investigative roles; legislators and government executives succumb to the
addictive pleasure of its prolonged kiss.  Scientists have determined the salient
ingredient in its fluids to be a powerful agent known as dollars.

It is a long-lived creature.  Born over a century ago, it continues to thrive and hold
the powerful in thrall.  It and its sisters continue to grow.
May 8, 2010

THE GREAT OLLAMA ON THE WHITE MOUNTAIN

O great Ollama, we have come to tell you,
you have lost touch with all your llamas living
in the heat and grime at the base of this
mountain.

What do you mean?  I know my flock.  They
are like sheep.  No, they are like putty in my
hands.  I mold them with my words.

Your words will not fill their belly, O, Great
One.  All the water from the white mountain
melt is being used to grow arugula up here.  
It leaves little to grow anything for the masses
below.  None of the high llamas ever ate
arugula before so we never had such a
problem.

You just don't understand.  When my courtiers and I eat arugula, we produce more
manure; it runs down the mountain enriching the soil and in time those who are
complaining will have more.  It's our trickle-down theory.  High Llama Summer
Larceny is a great proponent and he practices what he preaches.  Notice how fat
he has become.  It is his sacrifice for the common llamas.

But everyone you have sent down below to collect our taxes is like him ... leeches
from Goldman-Sucks, the giant mother leech.  They are becoming fat like him and
the common llamas are weak and anemic.  They are sick and dying, O Great One.  
If things don't change you will not have a flock to rule over - they will be dead or will
have deserted you for other pastures and other leaders.

"Change," did you say.  I said I will bring change and you will get change.  Change,
you can believe in.  Just wait a little longer.  Let the trickle-down manure do its
work, then watch the miracle awaiting you as it unfolds, and the bottom land is
covered in green.

Just then the great Ollama's queen entered munching arugula and singing,
"Manolo! Manolo!  I love my Manolo, Blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blahnik."  She
was wearing an electric blue covering on her hoofs.

The weary delegation, trying to suppress laughter, looked excessively grave,
bowed politely and left.  "She is not going to last long when she comes down from
the mountain ... the jaguars will spot her a mile away."

They shook their heads and wiped the tears from their eyes.
May 23, 2010

GAS, OILL, SPILL

OILL, the Organization for the Independence of Louisiana Lobsters (commonly
termed crawfish) and the Gulf Association of Shrimps (GAS) called an emergency
meeting to discuss impending doom.  Although often at loggerheads -- forgive your
reporter, this human expression is offensive to certain turtles who say it demeans
them.  So... although often in conflict, the Society for the Protection of Independent
Louisiana Lobstermen (SPILL) were permitted to attend as observers because the
disaster affects the survival of all.

What are we going to do?  Bo Peep, the green giant we call BP for short, has
developed violent diarrhea and vomiting.  The best medicine is to kill it and bury it
on the ocean floor.  But how can we do that?

are saying he is not that great at all.  Some are saying he is just a pawn of Bo
Peep and others.  See, he was going to let them make more holes, guzzle more,
and maybe get sick more and kill us more till we won't exist.

Well, let's just call him Chief Grand Ollama. But what is he going to do?  He'll
probably set up a panel to investigate and go play golf.  He has played more golf
than Bald Humpty a half century ago.

And he likes to eat us with arugula?  Never had heard of it till he arrived on the
scene.

Oh, it's just some leaves they give you at fancy restaurants with French names
where the portions are tiny and the prices astronomical.

It's why he has lost touch with us common folk, said a SPILL member.

Suddenly a huge blob of black loomed over them... they swore at Bo Peep as the
meeting broke up in disarray and all scurried for their lives.
May 30, 2010

OREO -- the Organization to Re-Elect Ollama

O Great Ollama, the time is coming when those dirty little iceberg lettuce
munching, spud-chewing masses, the common llamas have to be persuaded to
vote the right way.

You mean another election.  That is a problem.  You know, I can't ask them to
vote for change or even 'change you can believe in'.  They might take me
literally.  How about 'more of the same'.

Forgive me, Your Greatness ---  it was time for DA, the chief strategist to take
control --- it just will not fly.  We have to face reality if we are to win.  He thought a
moment ... .  How about 'over the horizon a new day dawns'?  It matches your
literary persona Your Greatness, and reeks of erudition, intelligence and oratory.
 It will go well with that faraway statesman-like look Your Greatness has been
cultivating.

Yes, yes, yes.  But nothing beats a sack of potatoes.  Call Romuel.  He is my man
for putting the screws on these leeches we've been feeding all this time.  There's
that giant leech Goldman Sucks, there's colossal Citipede -- wraps itself around
you with all its legs -- BoA the Constrictor and so on.  Oh, there you are Romuel.  
You have the figures.

Your Greatness!  Last time we squeezed 994,795 potatoes from Goldman Sucks,
701,290 from Citipede, and so on.  But with all the billions they needed from
Llama Reserves to survive, we should do better this time.  We won't be lacking
the stuff that talks.

I think we should use a logo this time ... something that defines us ... something
evoking happy childhood memories ...  something ... you know what I mean ...

I do! I do!  Your Greatness, I've got it, exclaimed DA enthusiastically.  We'll use
an Oreo cookie ...

Everyone cheered for they were sure this would win the election.

The meeting continued ...
June 6, 2010

THE DOGS OF WAR

What is war, Father?

War is a good thing Son.  War is something only humans can make happen.  Yes,
other animals punish their kind for encroaching on their territory, often lethally.  A
pack of wolves may have a long-standing conflict with a neighboring one,
sometimes ending in the destruction of one of them.  But the scale of human war is
almost unimaginable.

Why is it a good thing?

Well, Son.  For one, can you imagine what this earth would be like if there were
even more humans?

I see what you are saying, Father.  They are worse than a pestilence.

Yes, Son.  And for another, it is a time of plenty for us.  We get to feast.  There is
so much food; our packs become large and strong.  And you can not imagine the
variety.  Of course, it is difficult to bite through their artificial skin, and sometimes
they are booby trapped -- your uncle was killed that way.

So, they are dangerous even when dead, Father.

Yes, Son.  Always, but always beware of humans.  And their greed is phenomenal.  
Their leaders look after themselves first, almost all the time; and the packs are
stupid enough to keep choosing them.

Why is that, Father?

Oh, many reasons.  But mostly they are afraid, Son.

Afraid of what, Father?

Oh, afraid of losing what they already have under a really different leader.  And
being untrustworthy themselves, they are unable to trust anyone new.

Enough of the humans, Father.  Thinking about them spoils our day.

Right, Son.

Tell me more about the feast of war.

Well, it's more of a feast from war, Son.  You see there is so much food, we get to
eat fresh every day.  Then there is so much left over, even the greedy vultures
can't finish off the rest -- though the humans do have a disgusting habit of carrying
away many and hiding them under the earth; so much is left over, it ripens over
time.  It takes a mature taste to appreciate that.

Anything else, Father?

Oh, yes. Humans make huge balls of fire and other humans get roasted inside.  
That is just delicious!  You've never eaten roasted human, have you?  I promise
you it's a treat - especially the overfed fat ones.  Tender as a baby bird and laden
with flavors you can not imagine.

Oh! Father.  I am looking forward to a human war.

Everyone is, Son.  Everyone.
June 20, 2010

HORSE CHIEF -- NO! --  HORSE THIEF -- NO! --  HORSE CHIEF TALK-A-LOT

We band of horses.  We prepare for election.  We have dry pasture, no rain,
sagging empty belly.  Talk-a-Lot say, "Rainy day coming".  We vote for Talk-a-Lot.  
Now Chief Talk-a-Lot say, "I say, 'rainy day'.  Now prepare for rainy day.  Eat less!  
Tighten your belts."

Me Stalking Horse.  Me do work for Chief in election.  Me get nothing.  Talk-a-Lot
got big sporran of good eatin' tied around his waist.  Big Black Mare look slick.  
Ample gaskin but vicious bite like Dracula if you come close.  Me got no belt.

Me Fat Cat.  Me like Talk-a-Lot.  He do as he told, Me no common horse; me sleek
rich fat cat.  Me get what Talk-a-Lot promise.  Me like Talk-a-Lot a lot.  Me know he
say he bring 'new day'.  But me know he mean 'Good ol' days.'  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!  Joke
on common horse.

Me Bill Lance-a-Lot.  Me like Talk-a-Lot.  He like Fat Cat; me like Fat Cat.  Me like
he send Hilla-the-Hun out a lot.  Give me chance to play Lance-a-Lot.  Talk-a-Lot
talk to moon.  Me talk to earth.  But we both like Fat Cat a lot.

Me Medicine Horse.  Me say, we promised good sweet medicine.  Now Talk-a-Lot
say, ' Horse must swallow bitter pill for brighter future.'  Me now call him (behind his
back) Trope-a-Lot.  Some call him Tripe-a-Lot.

Me Pat Buckhorse.  Me no like he make Little Fat Mare big judge.  But Little Fat
Mare never been even little judge.  People mad because Little Fat Mare no like
stallion.  People mad because Little Fat Mare want put people in jail she no like --
no trial.  People no like that.  Me no like that.

Me Little Fish.  Talk-a-Lot promise me clean water.  Now Gulf become goop.  Me
covered in goop.  Talk-a-Lot say, "Wash away your sins, I make 'em pay."  They
laugh at small amount.  Anyway, pay how, pay who.  We dead.

Me Horse Feathers.  Talk-a-Lot say, he like me a lot.  He say he use me a lot too --
in his speeches.  He say common horses want me in his speeches.  He use me a
lot.  And Big Black Mare wink and laugh at me a lot.

Me Little Bright Eyes.  Me young filly.  Me like Talk-a-Lot ... a lot.  Me have sticker
on haunch saying "Talk-a-Lot".  But pasture still dry.  No rain.  Just fat cats' poop
all over pasture.  Me complain to Talk-a-Lot.  He make speech saying, "... dawn of
a new age."  Me remove sticker.
June 27, 2010

PAPA BEAR AND THE BOB CAT

Once  upon a time there was a Papa Bear, a Mama Bear and two little Baby
Bears.  They lived in a large den and ruled over a large estate.  But Papa Bear
was ambitious.  He didn't like some little pesky ferrets who lived in scrubland
nearby.  He said they were a threat to peace and tranquility.  They had to go.  So
he hired an ornery Bob Cat called Chrys to help him get rid of them.  But ornery
as he was - and he even got other bob cats to help him - he could not get rid of
the ferrets.  So he got more and more frustrated and more and more angry.  He
said Papa Bear didn't feed them enough so they could have more strength to fight
the ferrets.  He said Papa Bear was really afraid of bob cats.  And then one day
Chrys was so angry ... The ferrets had escaped down their holes when he thought
he had blocked them all and had them surrounded.  To add injury to insult some
had even nipped off parts of his tail.  Well Chrys was so angry he stormed off
screaming at Papa Bear and sprayed him.  He was sorry he had because Papa
Bear was much bigger and could have killed him.  But Papa Bear always liked to
think about things.  And he was doing just that when Mama Bear came in. "Phew!"
she said.  "Where have you been?  What have you done?"  When she and others
found out what had happened Papa Bear was forced to get rid of Chrys.  But he
was afraid of the other bob cats (as Chrys had said), so he didn't kill.  He just
banished him from his estate.

Moral:  Look before you leap.
July 4, 2010

THE AGAMAMELEON -- NEW SPECIES DISCOVERED

No one has studied the mating habits of the agama and the chameleon.  But a
Nobel Prize awaits the biologist who does.  A new species believed to have
resulted from inter-species mating in the lizard family has been spotted.  From the
agama and the chameleon has issued the mule-lizard ... the agamameleon.












Papa agama                                                                              Mama chameleon

This news drew the attention of Specieal Enquirer investigative journalist Geraldo
Ferret who trekked through the wilds of Kenya, the wastes of Afghanistan and the
forests of Indonesia, to where the species had been spotted.  Unfortunately for his
fans and readers, who had been anticipating tales of salacious inter-specieal
encounters, Mr. Ferret had little to report.  The agamas are secretive, the
chameleon impossible to find, and, worst of all, their offspring, the agamameleon
like the mule, has little interest in reproductive activity.  So much for titillating his
audience!  There was a small consolation though, the species turned out to be
hermaphroditic.

Mr. Ferret does not give up easily.  It's what makes him the byword for investigative
reporting -- ferreting out information, digging out tidbits his audiences loved to
nibble and for which his editors paid handsomely all the while hearing the ring of
the cash register.  So it was he tracked down the only known agamameleon, and
snagged an exclusive interview.

"Sir," he began, quickly adding "or Madam" not wishing to offend.

"'Sir' will be fine," Agamameleon interjected.

Well, Sir, in a way you are unique.  What do you consider your special gift?

I have so many. Let me see now ... what would be of most interest to you --
perhaps my capacity to change, and yet ... not change.

Could you elaborate Sir.

Well, when I say 'change you can believe in' most see the flashing colors, the
varying hue and texture, the spellbinding transformation.  At the same time my vital
supporters, the ones who feed me, see stasis -- the head part, the thinking part
remaining the same.  It reassures them.

How interesting!  Anything else?

Well, one of your colleagues called me a female this week.

How unfair!  to your other half, so to speak.

Don't let it bother you.  I am not insulted.  I never am.  That is why lizard skin is so
long lasting, so prized by humans.  As I was saying, this female aspect ... well it
gives me empathy, the ability to see the other side, the other point of view, to think,
and think ... and think before I act -- to look before I leap.  Sometimes, I just look.

How extraordinary!  a nature's miracle, a true whole.

Well, thank you!  as long as you don't add any other descriptors.
July 11, 2010

PAUL, THE FIFA WORLD CUP  PREDICTING OCTOPUS, SPEAKS OUT


Let me introduce myself.  My name is
Paul.  I am an octopus.  I have been
imprisoned by humans and forced to
participate in childish games.  What can
I do but pick the best mussel.  If you ask
me, the choice is rigged.  And what is the
choice for?  I tried to explain to a fellow
prisoner and she laughed herself sick.  
Here's what these humans do:  they call
it a game and I warn you, be careful ...
don't eat anything while I explain ... you
are liable to laugh so much you might choke yourself.

There is this inedible round thing -- can you believe it ... all this running around
and you can't even eat what everyone is chasing and trying to steal from each
other.  Well, everyone runs, kicking, fighting, all the way from one end of an
enormous field to the next.  Then guess what ... there is one of them standing
around doing nothing in front of his nice little mesh den.  So there he is, sometimes
leaving on a post, sometimes doing knee bends, sometimes so bored he is just
picking his nose.  Well, they all run in a big hoard and give him this ball.  Now, of
course, he can't eat it either -- it's inedible you morons -- so guess what he does?  
He throws it with a mighty lunge of his lower appendage to another one like him
(also just hanging around scratching himself) at the other end of the huge field.  
Now you'd think having discovered that this thing they are chasing around has
been found to be inedible by everyone, they'll stop.  But you know what, humans
don't have much of a brain.  They seem to forget.  So they start running back
again with the damn thing.  Back and forth, back and forth.  Oh! and I forgot to tell
you the best part.  There may be a couple dozen of 'em on the field doing this
running but there is a swarm, and I mean a swarm, countless thousands of them
screaming, making all kinds of noises watching.

And not one of them can blow a cloud of ink, change color to blend with
surroundings, an impressionism some humans have tried to copy, or glide
gracefully away with hardly a ripple.

Now here's my part.  When I pick a mussel from one of two containers, I have,
apparently, predicted a winner.  How can there be a winner when there is nothing
to win since it is not edible, you say, and who is winning against whom.  Well, it
turns out they are not chasing this together, they are fighting for it -- there are two
sides, fighting for a piece of junk ... I know you can't stop laughing.  But that's
humans, they love to fight ... sometimes for no reason at all.

A final note:  I hope you will not consider me immodest if I tell you my accuracy was
a hundred percent.  But then, that's us compared to humans.
July 25, 2010

DRIVEN BEAR

I tell you these humans are crafty.  Just when we bears had learned to beware of
food laid out for us beside giant teeth that grab your leg and never let go, they
invented a trap that seals you in a bubble.  I have had an amazing escape from a
fiendishly cruel contraption ... oh!  it was the aroma ... oh!  the mix of scents ... food
delights that only humans can invent.

Well, it took some doing but we bears are pretty smart.  I pushed and I pulled ...
suddenly a large part of the bubble opened and I was inside.  Oh, the delights!  so
delicious!  I was busy wolfing it down (we are generally better mannered than those
greedy little dogs who run around in packs but it was all so good I couldn't help
myself) -- and I reached over to the back following a delectable smell when
something poked me in my unmentionables.  I jumped in surprise, drawing that
peculiar rod towards me.  That's  when it happened -- we took off ... bouncing,
jumping, careening ... all the food scattering everywhere and me hitting my head
again and again on the roof of this torture chamber as I bounced along with it.  I bit
into a cushion-like protrusion to steady myself but it came off in my  mouth -- yuck!  
awful tasting.  I bit into something firmer -- you see, I hadn't lost my head.  We kept
bouncing along gathering momentum and you know where that rod was.  I tell you,
these humans know a thing or two about torture.

I thought it would never end but nature -- my forest friend -- came to my rescue and
we came to a sudden stop wedged between some bushes and a tree.  The impact
through me forward shattering the transparent front of that human contraption and
I tumbled out ... a little scratched but not really the worse for wear given what I had
been through.  I had escaped, and I ran as fast as I could into the welcoming
embrace of my trusted friend, the forest.

Human Version of Above  

US bear takes joy ride  STORY HERE
July 18, 2010

GORILLA TAG

Humans are funny.  They think they invented everything but we gorillas know
better.  Take the game of "Tag" for example.  Not only have we been playing it for
millions of years but we taught it to human ancestors.  Of course, our game has
become much more refined and we now call it "Hit and Run".  Just compare it to the
current human favorite, "Football", and you'll appreciate what I mean.  Just imagine
running around all day kicking a ball and then not having the sense to use your
hands to make the game easier.  It is the kind of mental block that has prevented
humans from becoming a truly civilized and responsible dweller of this planet.

In our game, one gentle contestant hits another and then runs away.  But the
gradations of hits are infinitely variable and determine how far and fast he will run
and how quickly his opponent responds.  He can thus govern the level and
intensity of the game and also how many he wants involved.  True champions
might hit several at once and get away from all.  You see what I mean.  We don't
need referees; we control ourselves.  To put it another way:  we are civilized.

The Human Perspective
Gorillas Play Tag -- STORY HERE
August 1, 2010

THE FLYING DONKEY

Funny, isn't it ... humans seem to think they have a prerogative on dangerous
stunts.  Evil Knievel, the man who jumped his motorcycle over all sorts of
obstacles, even canyons, broke almost every bone in his body, yet died in bed.  
Nobody accused his promoters of cruelty.  Now me a donkey -- my whoops of
delight in the air are mistaken by these so-called animal lovers who pen their
animals in -- instead of letting them run free and have the power of decision over
their fate.  So they call it cruelty.  Why can't they let us decide what is cruel?  If I
hadn't wanted to go, I'd have kicked the crap out of my handlers.  If you don't
understand what I mean, come and stand behind me a second.  Guaranteed, I'll
have you singing soprano in the blink of an eye.

Listen!  How is a donkey from Golubitskaya -- have you even heard of the place?  
-- ever going to become a world celebrity?  So, I come up with this plan involving a
stunt.  My promoter gets publicity for his business and I am a sensation.  Don't
worry, it's quite safe -- it's over water and I am an accomplished swimmer.  So I
soar in the air braying my head off -- God it was fun!  -- and here I am.  Everybody
from the North Pole to the South Pole has heard of me and offers abound.  I made
it.  I am famous.  


Human version of above --
STORY HERE  
August 8, 2010

A [PRAIRIE] DOG'S LIFE

Today is Friendship Day here in my U.S. homeland.  We even have millions
working for Homeland Security.  Does that make me feel any safer?  I don't have
to answer that -- I might offend them and they can do terrible things.

The truth is, everybody feeds off of us.  And if we escape the terrible raptors, the
IRS (Internal Reptilian Service) bleeds us to death.  What I fear most is the latter --
it's a slow painful death.  Oh, the bankraptors (some call them bankruptors) are
the best.  It's quick.  Suddenly, everything is gone and the world grows dark.  It's
over.

Then there are the healthcarraptors (some call them 'corrupters).  They poke,
they probe, they play with you.  This goes on and on.  Some of us have even
escaped them but most just end up the same as the ones in the sharp claws of the
bankraptors -- dead!

And just look at the people we've elected to defend us.  It's summer and hot as
hades where we live, but you won't find our elected representatives around.  
They're off on vacation, often in far, beautiful, cool parts of the world accompanied
by raptor leaders.  You'd think if we elect them they'd think of us.  No!  They're
getting sleek and fat designing better ways for the raptors to feed on us.

That is why we call it a prairie dog's life.
August 15, 2010

LADEN BIN -- A CARIBOU'S TRAVAILS

It is not what it appears to be.  Homeland Insecurity (HI) has already accused me of
being a terrorist.  By the way, they call themselves HI because they say the visitors
feel greeted when they arrive at airports, etc.  and see their signs.  They want people
to understand the U.S. is a warm, friendly country.

Actually, that's what I thought when I arrived.  I didn't fly -- that's for the birds anyway;
I just walked across as my people have been doing for millennia.  Guess what, I liked
the HI signs everywhere and I know the food markets greet us with free food in great
large bins outside -- though the bears are a nuisance.

Well, I was strolling along --  to blend in with the locals, I was on two legs.  If you want
my honest opinion though, walking on two legs is dumb.  It's cumbersome and slower
than a sloth.  Imagine being on two legs with a wolf pack behind you!  Bye, bye!

As I said, there I was, nonchalant, savoir faire exuding, walking along on two legs
looking for the large bins outside with free vegetables -- hey, just a question:  Why
do humans like almost rotten vegetables?  Anyway, there I am.  And just look at me.  
The ladies are always going for me.  I am not boasting but my appointment book is
always full during rut.  What a way to end the summer!  Yes humans have nothing
like it.

So I am walking along and this lady gives me the eye.  Not the best looker but it's
been a long time ... since rut.  A wink and a nod and we're off.  Well, her stallion
didn't take it too well and here I am sitting with HI.  Hi!  to you too.  By the way ... ever
try getting into a police car with my headdress?  That was just the beginning ...

Guess what I am being accused of?  Kidnapping, to hold for ransom so I could help
some laden bin, or is it bin Laden.  Hell!  I thought the laden bins were a kind of
welcome wagon.  And how does one help a bin, laden or unladen?  I'll never
understand America.  Free vegetables at one end and HI at the other.  These guys
have been doing things to me you couldn't imagine.  I just want to go back to Canada.

Human version of above --
STORY HERE  
August 29, 2010

SARAH THE ALASKA GAME HEN IN WASHINGTON

Yes, I am an Alaska Game Hen, and, yes, I am in Washington.  Do you know
thousands have come to watch me strut and cluck and do my stuff.  No!  I did not lay
an egg.  Do you see my beautiful white coat?  Of course I could have done -- I can
do anything -- but I didn't.  I am a layer ... laier? ...liaer ... liar?  I get these confused!  
Not important though.

Here's what we must do an' I need your help.  We must refudiate all this
administration stands for.  We are just leavin' I-raq and the day after Al-Qayda slings
bombs all over the place.  Well!  We got bombs too an' bigger ones.  Bigger?  why,
we got a doozy.  So, why are we standin' still.  I say, we gotta preserve our honor; we
gotta recipornicate with immediency an' I mean now.  We gotta restore American
honor, American values, patri-oilues is what I stand for, is what we all stand for.

The crowd goes wild.  The clucking and crowing can be heard for miles.  She
continues ...

As I used to tell my little, game, Alaskan game cock.  Life ain't just a bowl of Alaskan
wildberries or fresh grass seed.  I'm tellin' ya.  Puttin' lipstick on a pig just gives yer a
pig with lipstick.  Ain't enough.  We gotta bomb the little sucker.  No pig, no problem.  
Same with taxes.  No taxes, no government ... no problem.

The crowd roars ...

Hey!  wait a minute.  What am I sayin'.  No government means no President.  An' I
wanna be President.

But the last words are drowned out in a roar of clucking and crowing.
September 5, 2010

THE ALASKA GAME HEN ON IRAQ TROOP WITHDRAWAL

Ya know, I just can't understand it.  We won it fair an' square and now we are leavin'
it.  Why?  When my flock wins some territory, we keep it.  An' why give it back to
those Muslin critters.  It's better to fight 'em there than fight 'em here.  Can you
imagine 'em here makin' us all wear that muslin wrapped from head to toe and me
with ma fine feathers no longer showin'.

Ya know, I figured that all out by maself -- all that cloth is why they call 'em Muslins.  
Can't trust someone who won't show hisself.  Like them communists I can see from
my backyard.  Given half a chance they'd communisticate us all.  Take away all the
eggs I lay an' everything.

Anyways, what's this Gran' Ollama doin'?  Who gave him the right?  The nice
roosters from the military took it, it's theirs to give back, right?  As MLK jr. said, an' I
agree, "Right's right an' everyone else is wrong."  I am fighting for everything right an'
fair's fair.  Anyways, where did this Ollama come from?  They're saying Indonesia.  
My guess is they're all from South America, or is it Africa?  Well, it ain't the good ol'
U.S. of A.  That I am sure.  Here we don't give things back when we win em fair an'
square.  Just like when we took half of Mexico.  Right?
Sept 19, 2010

Note:  It was announced recently that all combat forces have been withdrawn from
Iraq.  Such a momentous event required a departure from usual practice in The
Porcupine's Quill:  We have devoted this week to the most dominant -- some might
say destructive -- species on the planet, excluded so far because it is present
everywhere else.

THE PRESIDENT DISCUSSES WAR AND PEACE

What we have to remember is this ... war brings peace and peace brings war ...

But, Mr. President, with regard to the withdrawal of all our American combat troops
from Iraq, I have it on good authority there are still 4,000 Special Forces remaining
...

Those are UNREAL.

UNREAL Sir!  (incredulously).  But they have been photographed.  They are there,
Sir.

I am not disputing what you say.  I am just informing you they are UNREAL --  the
Unified Reconnaissance and Attack Leathernecks.  We have ... I mean the military
has renamed them.  Actually, I would have preferred Latitudinarians --  
Leathernecks sounds so WWIIish; latitudinarians would have emphasized the
tolerant nature of our society.  Americans are a generous, tolerant people -- just
look at the response to the Ground Zero Mosque -- and that's the face we could
have put forward to civilians there.  But the military wouldn't compromise, so I did.

But, Sir, that sounds like a force ready for combat operations.

No, not at all.  Their job is to seek and destroy the one WMD Saddam Hussein
nearly had ready.  Our Intelligence has learned the Iranians are looking for it --
disguised as religious pilgrims they are swarming all over the place, and, I repeat,
we just can't let them beat us to it ...  it's a uniquely powerful device.

Sir, are you able to tell us what it is?

Well, it's probably going to leak out anyway.  We first learned of it through our
enhanced interrogation of one of Saddam's scientists.  It is what I would call an
existential threat and it requires a definite UNREAL response.  You see, it's an
almost completed Aladdin's lamp and it commands a fearful, all-powerful genie.  
You can understand, if the Iranians get it first, they could wipe us (along with the
Israelis) off the map.

And your comments, Sir, are not off the record ... I can really print this.

Of course you can.  We are the most open Administration in history.

Well, thank you Sir.  I feel almost churlish bringing up the other half-dozen or so
brigades, all heavily armed.

Those arms are peace makers.

You mean like the Colt 45 of the Old West.

Yes!  It provided the means to seek out, disrupt and destroy the lawless
misanthropes of the time.  It helped settle the land ... transformed it into a
law-abiding prosperous addition to our great country ... a country that I love.

What about the BCTs, the Brigade Combat Teams, Sir?  They sound an awful lot
like combat units.

Exactly.  That's why we have renamed every unit "Advise and Assist".  The BCTs,
by the way, are now called Bilateral Cultural Teams.

And what will they do, Sir?

Well there are many ideas.  But the first teams are out scouring Iraq for the best
belly dancers.  The Iraqis are really good at it you know.

Belly dancers, Sir.  Are you serious?

Yes, couldn't be more so ... a very healthy exercise.  And it ties in with Michelle's
"Let's Move" anti-obesity program.  When these guys are expert, they will return
and run classes at the military bases back home.  It's all part of my plan for
trimming the defense department.  We will also send representatives to schools to
support Michelle's people.  Everyone needs to get with it if we are to be a healthy
country again.  Here, come join me ...

And he began to give a live demonstration ...
September 26, 2010

THE COLLARED IGUANID

News Item: House Minority Leader
John Boehner accused this week of
an extra-marital affair with a lobbyist
from the printing industry.

My name is Boehnericus Oplurus.  
From my photo you can see how
handsome I am.  Do you notice the
color?  It is the result of much careful basking in the sun.  Yes, they make fun of
me ... say I use a tanning lamp ... .  Far from it, my family going back millions of
years have favored a long bask in the sun. It helps to loosen the muscles and get
the blood flowing, and, as I get older, loosen the joints.

We believe in taking things easy and I continue that tradition.  After all, look how
long we have thrived on this planet -- millions of years compared to the humans'
paltry few hundred thousand.

Another reason we have managed to be around this long is very simple.  We take
what we can get, when we can get it.  We are not encumbered by human
conscience any more than many really successful humans.

So there's a lot of fuss about an extra-marital affair.  I was just doing what comes
naturally after a long bask in the sun, when the blood warms up, and the hormones
start ticking.  Hell, she knew what she was doing and she has no complaints.  So
what's your problem, eh!  Why, my grandfather knew (in the Biblical sense) every
female in his vast neighborhood.  And, truthfully, wouldn't you like to be the same?  
No!  Well that's your problem.  Don't ask, don't tell eh!
October 10, 2010

CIMEX LECTULARIUS AND FAMILY

News Item:  Bed bugs proliferating in the Eastern corridor; Meg Whitman,
Republican candidate for Governor of California, in trouble over mistreatment of
domestic staff.

Okay, I admit it.  I am Cimex Megtularius.  
Is that a crime?  I am what I am, and I am
being what I am supposed to be.  This is
God's great design and I have enough
humility to accept it.  So, I suck the blood
out of humans but that is my purpose in
life.

Look at my opponent.  They called him Governor Moonbeam last time, and guess
where he spent most of his time then.  Not in the State House, more in the
Governor's mansion with his singer friend.  Juicy weren't they?  Come to think of it,
some of my relatives were right beside them, so I have it from, as you say, the
horse's mouth - though theirs is a little different as you can see from the beautiful
photo from our family album.

As a matter of fact most of us are on the East Coast as these nosy reporters have
found out.  You know them: Cimex Rubinularius sucking away daintily persuading
people it's for their own good; Sommersularius, a greedy sucker but always missing
out on the big feast; Rahmilarius, another dainty one - a ballet dancer if you please
- turned nasty to get attention, now wants his teeth into the  big prize catch in
Chicago; Weillarius, the fattest one of all with the biggest appetite; the Sachsularius
family and their ilk sucking away around the world - my! some have been so greedy
they exploded literally from overindulgence. What a bloody mess they left us!

But that's the way it it.  I have to get back.  I have an applicant for housekeeper
arriving.  Yum! Yum!
October 24, 2010

THE PAN KIRKLODYTE

U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk running for the U.S.
Senate from Illinois has been accused of
lying about his background and issues.

Yes, there are Pan troglodytes and Pan
paniscus, but the family has now expanded
-- the new Pan kirklodytes, an articulate member of this branch is fortunately quite
eloquent.  Here he is, in his own words...

As a pan kirklodyte, deception is natural for me.  It's quite harmless and has sure
helped me along in life ... as it did my forebears.  But let me tell you something:
when you go to the zoo and a pan troglodyte throws his feces at you, do you
complain?  No, you just laugh it off.  My actions don't involve assault or battery
with a dangerous weapon -- some of it is hard stuff, I can tell you, from the crap
the media has been throwing at me.

The Navy's Intelligence Officer of the Year?  We all were, all my buddies, the
whole unit got the award.  So what's wrong with that -- not my job to name all the
others.  Anyway we've clarified that.

Being shot at in Iraq?  Well, of course, they were shooting.  That's war, isn't it?  
The fact that I was flying 20,000 ft above it all, safe, is a testament to our airspace
technology.  It's why I've supported military budgets ... to keep us safe, me
included.

Fighting in the second Iraq war ... in Maryland.  So what?  Aren't the drone boys in
Nevada?  You press guys want to make a mountain out of a molehill.

Buying oil from Iran, China drilling off the coast of Cuba for oil, it's all chicken
feed.  Where you humans buy and sell or drill, it's all the same to me, I can't tell
you apart.

Stop hassling me.  I can bring you a perspective you can only dream about ... but
I can imagine, so vote for me.
October 31, 2010

LUCY'S GREAT-GREAT-GREAT.... GRANDDAUGHTER

Christine O'Donnell, the Republican candidate for Delaware Senator who makes
her born-again Christianity a central issue in her campaign, has been accused this
week of having a one-night stand.  Prior to this, there have been numerous ethical
lapses starting with a failure to pay her final bills at her alma mater and therefore
not actually receiving her graduating diploma, etc.

Yes, Lucy is the Grandma of us all, and while I can believe that, I can not - not,
not, not - believe she is 3.2 million years old or she is a mixture of ape and human.

The Bible says 6000 years and that's what I believe -- these evolutionists just give
us a theory and then play God trying to force us to believe it.  I ask, why?

Okay, I am now the candidate of a major party for the Senate seat once occupied
by the Vice President.  Do you know why I am here and why more people know me
than my opponent?

It's simple.  I know about publicity as does Lucy.  I have worked in public relations;
she would have.  Australopithecus Afarensis, Homo sapiens?  We are all God's
children.

Now they are writing all kinds of things about me.  Even a story of a one-night
stand.  Can't we have more equality? They tell us we are equal to men and then
they punish us.  If it had been a single man, it'd just be a nod and a wink.  Anyway
I am not saying the story is true - could be a kid's fantasy now that I am famous.
Right?  Anyway, it was Halloween and the witch in me was loose.

Well, I love to run - so did Lucy, one of the world's first - and I don't mean just a
slow jog; I love to run for the Senate.  My third try -- third time lucky, eh?

One more thing... so what if I couldn't pay my bills.  Money is hard to come by - at
least till this Senate run.  You know Fairleigh Dickinson should have given me my
diploma, instead of the fuss they raised.  It would have been the Christian thing to
do.
November 7, 2010

THE MAMA GRIZZLIES CELEBRATE

Note:  The Republican Party Wins Big in the Midterm Election

Okay, I confess.  I am Sarah and I am a grizzly.  That's right when I get 'em, I
really get 'em.  My friend Nikki the Indian grizzly in South Carolina is the same.  I
warned the Dems, they didn't listen.  I have excludiated the Dems and refudiated
their claims.

I am Nikki and while I appreciate Sarah's help in my campaign, my poll numbers
were already on the rise and I am keeping my options open as regards who I
support for President.  You know Obama's been out in my ancestral homeland
trying to get jobs here promoting exports.  I could show him a thing or two.  I have
more in common with the Indian leader Manmohan Singh than anyone else.  He
belongs to my ancestors' faith, the Sikh religion (You know the guys with those
huge turbans on their heads) And I could have him eating out of my hands in no
time.  They call me a grizzly and with good reason.  I ain't afraid of nobody.  Hell!
Today South Carolina, tomorrow who knows!

I am Christine.  I disappointed ... you, me, all the grizzlies hands down -- no! strike
that and keep your hands where I can see 'em.  But you ain't heard the last of
me.  I love to run.

Yes, this is Sarah again.  Christine loves to run.  So do I.  I promise you I am
gonna expungiate the Democrats in 2012.  Yes, I believe it, I am running.  How
can I disappoint my supporters?  They know and I know my country needs me.  
And I in all humility prostate myself before God and pray for its welfare.
November 21, 2010

THE MANY-HEADED DRAGON -- A FABLE FOR OUR TIMES  

Once upon a time there was a land, unconquered, where the people were free,
and life easy to live.  Everywhere there was happiness.  In this land appeared a
dragon with many heads but it was not very large.  In fact, it was small, friendly
and quite kind to the people.  It employed them to look after it, feed it, clean up
after it, and it paid them well.  The people prospered and so did the dragon
becoming larger and larger, when, without the people realizing it until too late, it
had grown into a monster.  Now nothing seemed to satisfy it.  No matter how hard
the people worked, it wanted more for itself.  In its uncontrollable, unconscionable
greed it paid them less and less while it ate more and more .... growing ever larger.

The people sought a champion to fight the dragon for their interests and they
found one who convinced them he could 'feel their pain'.  His big nose was an
additional asset for they had heard of Cyrano de Bergerac, his huge nose, his
wondrous deeds and phenomenal loyalty.  But stories don't translate into reality --
they were wrong.   Big nose tried, had a minor skirmish with a head called
Insurance and took a stab at one named Healthcare.  But they struck back and he
soon lay down alongside the dragon stroking it and feeding it, and becoming really
chummy with the Bankster head.  Bankster fed him especially well and he became
sleek, then fat, then fatter, and had a heart attack.

The next champion promptly proclaimed he was the dragon's friend and the
dragon was the people's friend -- just misunderstood and not fed enough.  He
convinced the people the dragon would guard them, save them and feed them.  
But it was not to be.  The dragon ate so much, it got indigestion, belched, blew
and burned them, covering them with its toxic assets.

The people were fed up.  They looked for something different and found a Black
Knight in shining armor -- in fairy stories the Black Knight always comes to the
rescue -- armor whiter than his teeth, which he showed often for he smiled
frequently.  He was blacker than black, his armor whiter than dazzling silver white,
and he charged into the White House, a Black and White Knight ready, willing and
able.  But the dragon cast a spell, and he was soon calling it savvy.  The dragon
talked to him and he talked to it.  He talked and he talked, and he is talking today
... and every time he does, the dragon takes another chunky bite out of the
people.  No this fairy story or fable or, what you will, does not have a happy end.  
No, it has no end at all.

Moral:  If you can't beat the dragon, join it.
November 28, 2010

THE TIGER KING

Once upon a time there lived a tiger in a heavy, rich and bounteous marshland but
suffering from a terrible disease caused by the mammalian greed virus.  The tiger
said to the mammals, "Give me your vote.  Make me your leader and I will bring
change in our destitute land."  They believed him and he became the Tiger King.

Now the Tiger King wanted change but the change he was talking about was in
himself.  Many years ago he had seen a movie called "The Lion King".  "Ah!" he
had said to himself.  "What a leader!  What a king!  That's what I want to be."  But
he looked in the mirror and saw he was striped.  "That won't do," he said.  "I must
change" -- for the greed virus had affected him too.

Now he had his chance.  As  the King, he commanded all the resources of the
marshland.  So he gathered all the mud he could find and slung it on himself.  
Soon the black stripes had turned tan, but he could not muster a mane no matter
how much mud he caked on.  The lions laughed at him in their comfortable clubs
and salons; their hirelings mocked him with gossip.

And soon the other mammals were laughing too ... also crying, because nothing
had changed, only the king ...
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dedicated to the brotherhood of chimps, dogs, cats, rats, etc. ...