Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Promised Alpaca (with Bonus Animals!)

I have a daunting backlog of things to blog about. I will begin with the alpaca that I told you I would post about a hundred years ago in the golden days when I was a reliable blogger. This alpaca is from June, when I went to the annual Alpaca and Frog-Racing Festival in town. I'm pretty sure that's what it's called; anyway, those are the only reasons I go. Summer doesn't start until I've caught up with Meridian and asked him how he is.


Tolerable well, he says. He's getting a bit white around the snout, but he finds that age suits him. He has grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren now, and he's pleased with all of them, except for Zenith, whom he's worried lacks direction. He's pretty sure the upcoming presidential election has been giving him angina, but until his agitation for ungulate enfranchisement succeeds, there's nothing he can do. He hopes the robot doesn't win, because he's pretty sure the robot will overspend on defense, and he's a pacifist.

The first bonus animal is frogs. This year there was a frog-jumping contest. Having never seen a frog-jumping contest in real life before, I was expecting to see a crowd dressed in period clothing (the period in this case being "Tom Sawyer") gathered around a circle of dirt in which about twenty frogs are jumping wildly in all directions, spurred on by the cheering of their captors, and in the background, maybe a little friendly gambling, and not more than two fist fights. But that is not how the modern frog-jumping contest is run. This is how the modern frog-jumping contest is run:


Two local frog experts, carrying nets for the safety of the contestants, let two frogs loose in the center of a circle. Because the circle is in grass, the frogs are nearly invisible. But our experts are keen-eyed professionals, and they are each assigned to one frog. When that frog stops jumping, as it inevitably does, a professional expert sprays it with a water bottle, whereupon it starts again. This repeats until one frog crosses the finish line. As you can imagine, the contest is almost but not entirely lacking in any actual fairness. A peculiar sport to be sure.

The second bonus animal is a three-banded armadillo from the Seneca Park Zoo. He is exceptionally cute. His name is Doug.


I don't know much about Doug personally, and the cold facts about his species are easily found on Wikipedia, so there isn't much to say. He's very adorable, but if I've learned anything from This American Life, it's that armadillos do not make great pets. I will, however, be happy to visit him at the zoo.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh I've missed this. Meridian's concern about "the robot" is quite a good one. Here's hoping, Meridian.
Amy S