10th January: Confused

‘It really is quite simple,’ Dave said.

‘No, I get what you’re saying, I just don’t understand why,’ replied Hep-B-2-9. Dave stared, considering the reptilian alien before him.

‘You’re confused about the why?’ he asked.

‘It simply doesn’t make any sense. How does the paper have any effect on the rock?’

‘Well it,’ Dave paused, ‘I suppose it kind of covers the rock,’ He made a motion with his hands, ‘Maybe it blinds it?’ Dave trailed off, feeling confused himself.

‘But, human-Dave, rocks do not have eyes.’

‘Oh, no. No. Not literal eyes.’ Dave said, shaking his head, ‘It’s a thing called personification, where you give an object human, er, traits.’ He trailed off, fidgeting under Hep-B-2-9’s five eyes.

‘Human-Dave.’ Hep-B-2-9 finally said.

‘Yes?’ Asked Dave, hopefully.

‘I have eyes.’

‘This isn’t working.’

‘My eyes are fully functional under human understanding of eyes.’

‘That’s not what I meant.’

What had been a simple conversation about Earth games had suddenly taken a strange twist.

‘Human-Dave, am I a rock?’

Dave had no idea how it had happened.

‘Human-Dave?’

‘Yes Hep-B?’

‘Would you like to play  rock-beating-scissors-with-paper?’

‘It’s just called rock, paper, scissors.’

‘Oh. Would you like to play?’

‘Yeah, alright.’

10th January: Confused

Z is for Zebu

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Well, I didn’t make the deadline, and I’m posting on a sunday. But at least I’ve wrote it and at least I can say, “I finished!”

This is the final instalment of the A to Z blogging challenge. More information can be found here.

He had grown around the animals, a fact of life as common as a dog or a cat in any other family. But to others they were wild creatures, to some they were no more than a cow, and to another group they were holy. All his life had been spent with the animals, his father had them on his land and now he had them on his own.

So you can imagine his surprise when a man knocked at his door in a business suit, with a lanyard around his neck and a letter that told him he was no longer allowed to keep his animals.

“I’m sorry sir,” the man had said, “new government decree. They’re going extinct in the wild, and this is their way of saving the animals.”

“I don’t understand. The land where the wild Zebu’s live is miles away! Most of it was cut down for that new building project, where will they live?”

“That’s not for you to worry about, sir.”

“It damn well is!” he had replied, “These are my animals! They’ve been in my family for generations. I was there when they were calves and I’m gonna be there this spring when the new mothers have their calves.”

“I’m sorry sir,” the man repeated, “government decree. They’ll be gone by the end of the month.”

It had taken all of his will power not to slam the door in the man’s face. Instead he took the letter and immediately went to his computer. Surely he had rights? These animals were a part of his farm, they were part of his livelihood.

It took him nearly all month, even with help from his family, to get the evidence he needed. When the truck pulled into his farm he was ready. In one hand he had the original letter, in the other he had a folder, full of information and evidence. And by his side stood his lawyer.

He wasn’t going down without a fight.

These were his animals, and they depended on him.

They were his Zebu, and he was their farmer.

Z is for Zebu

W is for Water Dragon

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Written for part of the A to Z blogging challenge. I’m also, once more, a day late, but don’t worry, I’m still striving to finish on time! This one is short but hopefully amusing.

Huge amber eyes peered down at the small, trembling lizard below it. The creature snorted, and plumes of thick black smoke flared from its nostrils, spiralling lazily upwards in the afternoon sun. Cautiously the lizard flicked out its tongue, tasting the air. There was the sharp scrape of claw on fragile stone as the creature adjusted itself.

“So this is what the great dragon name has become? My ancestor’s legacy has been reduced to a tiny reptile that can hold its breath for a while,” said the creature.

“Ah, don’t worry about it, Martuse,” replied a small human, patting the beefy leg he was leaning against. The dragon’s giant head swung round so that he could see the human out of one eye.

“At least your descendants have learnt how to think,” Its head swung back to the lizard, which was hastily scampering off the rock, “That creature has yet to realise it is a being.”

There was silence, disturbed only by the sounds of the forest and the water as it gurgled past them. Then, with a plop, the lizard vanished into the river to hide.

This seemed to be the undoing of the man as he burst into giggles, heedless of the angry glare being sent his way. Deep in the river the lizard swam as fast as it could from the giant paws that churned the riverbed.

W is for Water Dragon

V is for Vulture

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Part of the A to Z blogging challenge.

Did you know that there are nearly 30 different species of Vulture? I did not. Did you know that 16 of them are endangered? I did not. I was quite surprised to find this out. I always thought of vultures as those mean looking creatures that circle the Evil Queen’s body at the end of Snow White. But this challenge has really opened my eyes to them. They feed on animal carcases, ew yes, but they provide a really important part of the food chain. Imagine if there were rotting animal carcases everywhere! They also kill the bacteria and viruses that are spread by the rotting meat thanks to the acids in their stomach.

Thanks to humans, through deforestation, poisoning, poaching and habitat loss, many vultures are now facing a crisis. So if this story moves you, or you want to find out more, visit this website, which lists the 16 species that are most endangered, and has links to the various organisations that are trying to protect vultures. I have one last thing to say, and that is that this is nothing like what I have previously wrote in that it has a more serious tone and is also not really a story. However I hope it is enjoyable and informative, and helps save at least one vulture.

An open letter from the vultures to the humans.

We the vulture would like the humans to rethink their view on our species. We may not look pretty, and you haven’t done us any favours in your portrayal of us in media, but we serve a very important purpose in your world. One that humans themselves cannot, or will not, do.

Think about this: if we go extinct who will clean your roads of animal carcasses? Who will take care of your wild animals rotting on the planes? Who will protect humans from the spread of diseases caused by such deaths?

Will it be you, humans? Will you spend your precious paper money on animal and human carcass removal? Even for those small and unimportant villages that survive in the wilderness?

No, probably not. Like many other things humans do not stop to think of the devastation they spread on Mother Earth.

You are the killers, the poisoners; the destructive species that grew thought and believed yourselves above the animals. And we are the caretakers, the cleaners, the waste disposal group.

So the next time you, the poacher, puts a lead bullet into a wild animal, think of the one who will be eating your waste, hiding the evidence that you were ever hunting there. Change the bullet if you most poach, and do not leave us to suffer an agonising death of lead poisoning.

The next time you, the veterinarian, use Diclofenac to help relieve the livestock’s pain, burn the carcass, bury it, just do not leave it in the open. We smell the meal you have left for us, we see the body but we cannot sense the poison you have left in its veins, we cannot protect ourselves from this strange medicine you have spread throughout its body. It is not a pain killer to us, it is simply the killer.

The next time you, the farmer, uses any chemical to help protect your farm, think beyond the animal you are protecting to the animal you are killing. You protect your farm by killing the wild animals that have lived there for centuries. You take their land, their habitat, their home, and you put a fence up and believe they will stay away. But why should they, it is still their land. Just because you are human does not mean you own the land. You cause agonising, painful deaths with your poisons, and think that this is just because it means you have one more cow. And we think we have a meal, only to suffer again, we are punished for the actions of a hungry animal and a greedy farmer.

We recognise that we are not the prettiest of creature, but who would be in our position. Feathers on the head can cause all sorts of problems when eating. But we are worshipped in some cultures. Does that stand for nothing? That some of you humans can recognise that the deeds we do and the food we eat provide you a service? That the bodies of animal and human alike carry disease and more death within them, but we prevent it from spreading.

The next time you watch your media and see us as cruel and cunning, scavenger and circling death, remember what we are doing and what it means for you. We eat what you will one day be, and we do it because that is what we were born for.
Were humans born to destroy the earth and every animal, or have you evolved to be the ones who save it?

V is for Vulture