All posts by Josh More

Flamingo

She’d been living in the woods for weeks. It took a while, but she was able to adapt her skills from the streets to her new environs. Stealing a gentleman’s wristcomp wasn’t all that different from snaring a grouse. Street rats and squirrels both gathered caches of food that could be pillaged if you watched and waited. Keeping an eye out for coppers, even when sleeping, required the same ever-present awareness you needed to avoid the invaders.

Until today.

Today, in fleeing one triad, she ran into another that she has not sensed. Though she successfully got away, she found herself in a part of the forest she’d never seen before. She could hear both triads off in the distance, looking for her. Taking a few deep breaths, she forced herself to calm down and she climbed a tree to ascertain her whereabouts. Though she saw nothing familiar, there was a glint of sun coming nearby from the green. She marked hew way to the water, hoping that she could lose her scent.

Before she could climb down, though, there was a tremendous flash far off in the distance that could only mean one thing. The dome had given way. London had fallen. As she watched, fighter pods converged where she knew the city must be. Letting a sigh, she climbed down and, resignedly, made for the lake. She knew it wouldn’t last forever, but living half starved in the wild was better than the half-life she could expect were she captured.

The noise of the triads pursuing her faded into the distance as she neared the lakes edge. Exhausted, she waded to her waist and stopped, staring down at her reflection. She thought of her friends (and enemies) in the city and the fate that was almost certainly befalling them. She thought of the life she wanted, but now could never have. As she watched, a tear fell, ripping the still waters.

Then she heard a voice. “It is time.”

As the water began to bubble, the voice spoke. “Long, long, ago, this day was foretold. Seize your weapon. The future rests on you.”

Flamingo_15

As she stared in astonishment, a perfect flamingo rose from the depths, shaking itself three times. As if in a daze, she reached out, and grasped its leg, preventing it from flying free.

It was England’s darkest hour.

And Alice was armed.

Siamang

Siamang_7
This is one of those a classic “animals in zoos are sad” photos. Apes and monkeys are easy for humans to empathize with, and seeing one in a cage is hard to see without thinking of how it would feel for ourselves to be in a similar situation. It is very easy for articles to use photographs like this to illustrate their “get rid of all the zoos” articles.

This siamang was in the cage for ten whole minutes. They are trained to go into the cage so the keeper can get onto the island and keep things clean. I watched him row is boat over, reward the ape for getting into the cage, then walk the island picking up the litter that had fallen into the water and washed up to the shore. Before and after the visit, the siamangs were happily cavorting on their ropes and swinging all over the island. It would be nice to see them living happily in their native forests, but so long as humans continue to consume palm oil and coffee, that will not be an option.

For now, they’re living as happy lives as the world allows. Much like the rest of us, really.

Bush Dog (Speothos venaticus)

Bush Dog (Speothos venaticus)_14
Bush dogs do not appreciate humor on the Internet. Therefore, I must tell you that bush dogs have a head-body length 55–75 cm (22–30 in), with a 13 cm (5 in) tail. They have a shoulder height of 20–30 cm (8–12 in) and weigh 5–8 kg (11–18 lb). Most interestingly, they have unusual dentition for American canines, with 38 whole teeth. Like all other dogs, they eat meat, hunting in packs to catch their prey. Their pack is made of family members within a home range of 3.8 to 10 square kilometers. (Partially copied from Wikipedia)

There may or not be any truth to the rumours that they independently invented algebra in the 1300’s, engage in group rituals every third Tuesday night or transform into humans under the light of the full moon.

I don’t think they, despite popular opinion, capture, raise and train hummingbirds as an elite air force used to police their territory.

Pretty sure it’s chickadees.