A Capy Mother’s Song

Wild capybara mother with three babies

Tell us a story!

I left my mother when I was only seven days old. I know! Way too young. I don’t know why my mother’s people took me away from her, it just happened. But even so, I learned some things from her. Every baby capybara learns the Song of the Dangers from the very first day they are born. My mother used to sing it to me and my siblings as we went to sleep, which we did a lot in those days.

The Song of the Dangers

Brazilian jaguar walking

Stealty paws of death

Sleep my little babies
But do not make a sound
For in the tangled forests
The jaguars abound.

Open-mouthed caiman

Deadly teeth

Swim my little babies
But don’t you make a splash
Underneath the water
The caimans’ teeth flash.

Wild anaconda on ground

Slithering death

Jump my little babies
Jump straight onto the shore
In the murky river’s depths
Slithering anaconda explore.

Three Venezuelan llaneros

Death on two legs on four legs

Run my little babies
Run as far, as fast you can
For nothing is more dangerous
Than the sight of man.

There are a few more verses about eagles, piranha, crocodiles, and other deadly dangers, but these are the best ones.

Do human mothers sing songs like this to their babies? I bet they don’t. Maybe they sing the opposite song, one about killing and hunting rather than staying safe and alive. Our song is scary but I think I like it more.

One thing really puzzles me though. Isn’t “man” short for “human?” And isn’t MelT a human? Maybe that’s why I’m so afraid of he.

Leave me a comment with your favorite verse from a human bedtime song! Is it scary?



5 comments to A Capy Mother’s Song

  • Julia S

    Hello, Mendel and Yasushi here! We’re guinea pigs and we live in Finland. We lived with our mom and sisters until we were 3 weeks old, then we moved to a different cage right next door. But a few weeks after that, we moved in with our human.

    Our mom taught us about very different dangers than yours! The most important monster she told us about is called Research Scientist. We don’t know what that one does. Mom said nobody has ever come back to tell. Scary, right?

    Our human sometimes sings us human bedtime songs. They seem to be mostly about the moon and stars, though, no scary stuff at all. (What’s with this human obsession about the night, though? The night is for eating and popcorning and rumblestrutting and generally making a lot of noise! We really don’t know why our human uses that time for sleeping, of all things.) She also says we shouldn’t be afraid of anything, because she is the most dangerous thing around here and she’s on OUR side and won’t let any dogs or cats or crows (whatever those are) or research scientists anywhere near us. Phew!

    So, anyway. Terveisiä Suomesta (best regards from Finland)!

  • Kenneth Harry Klibaner

    Beautiful post!

  • Andree Wheeler

    Brahm’s lullaby is very soothing. Rock a bye baby is scary. So is now I lay me down to sleep.

    Your mother was trying to protect you. It was scary but she loved you very much and wanted what was best for you..

    MelT and Rick love you very much, too. They will keep you safe just like your Capybara Mama did.-

  • Ed

    I know this happens all the time with pets, but when I really think about it it’s pretty sad that they’re taken away from their mothers so quickly. Must be scary.

  • Nancy Ray

    Dear Muddy,
    What a sweet post–I’m so happy you remember your capy mother singing to you! Rick and MelT love you so much, and you have lots of friends like me who love you too. Here’s your verse from my favorite bedtime song:
    “Now run along home and jump into bed,
    Snuggle down, and cover your head.
    There’s one other thing I want you to do
    That’s you dream of me, and I’ll dream of you.”

    I hope you feel safe every night. Sleep tight.

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