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Countdown to Caplin Day: 3

Melanie’s Post:

Just how wonderful are capybaras? Yes, they should be on the cover of National Geographic Magazine. That goes without saying.But how much more wonderful is a capybara than you are? Or do you imagine yourself to be the more wonderful? Before you answer that, you should read this poem.

Unit of Measure 

All can be measured by the standard of the capybara.
Everyone is lesser than or greater than the capybara.
Everything is taller or shorter than the capybara.
Everything is mistaken for a Brazilian dance craze 
more or less frequently than the capybara.
Everyone eats greater or fewer watermelons 
than the capybara. Everyone eats more or less bark.
Everyone barks more than or less than the capybara, 
who also whistles, clicks, grunts, and emits what is known 
as his alarm squeal. Everyone is more or less alarmed 
than a capybara, who—because his back legs 
are longer than his front legs—feels like
he is going downhill at all times.
Everyone is more or less a master of grasses
than the capybara. Or going by the scientific name,
more or less Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
or, going by the Greek translation, more or less
water hogEveryone is more or less 
of a fish than the capybara, defined as the outermost realm 
of fishdom by the 16th-century Catholic Church.
Everyone is eaten more or less often for Lent than
the capybara. Shredded, spiced, and served over plantains, 
everything tastes more or less like pork 
than the capybara. Before you decide that you are
greater than or lesser than a capybara, consider 
that while the Brazilian capybara breeds only once a year,
the Venezuelan variety mates continuously. 
Consider the last time you mated continuously.
Consider the year of your childhood when you had 
exactly as many teeth as the capybara—
twenty—and all yours fell out, and all his 
kept growing. Consider how his skin stretches
in only one direction. Accept that you are stretchier
than the capybara. Accept that you have foolishly
distributed your eyes, ears, and nostrils 
all over your face. Accept that now you will never be able
to sleep underwater. Accept that the fish 
will never gather to your capybara body offering
their soft, finned love. One of us, they say, one of us,
but they will not say it to you.

 

When Gari Was Three

A nose by any other name…

Melanie’s Post:

This post commemorates the third year of the life of Garibaldi Rous, World’s Silliest Capybara. I think you can see that he earned that title by looking at the photo above. Gari the Clown whose superpower was rolling, and rolling, and rolling.

Continue reading “When Gari Was Three” »

A Converstation With National Geographic

Me with Garibaldi Rous

Me with Garibaldi Rous

The following is my latest exchange with National Geographic Magazine concerning their article on Wild Pets. The first part of this exchange can be found in my post Why I Hate National Geographic Magazine. The first quoted text is an email I received from them in response to the email I sent. The second quoted text is my response.

Why I Hate National Geographic Magazine

2014_03_20_sNatGeo

I remember how excited I was when National Geographic Magazine contacted me about including Garibaldi Rous in their upcoming article on exotic pets. I could hardly imagine the great effect this would have on capybara awareness worldwide. And I would get a National Geographic quality photo of Gari!

Even so, I wasn’t so excited that I forgot that the media has its own agenda and twists things to meet its own purposes. I asked specifically what the focus of the article was going to be and said that I did not want to be part of an article that was just a smear against owners of exotic pets. I was told that the article would be about the animal-human bond but focusing on exotic animals. Great! I’m in. Continue reading “Why I Hate National Geographic Magazine” »

National Geographic and Me

 

I had a dream

I had a dream the other day, that large rodents and small rodents, tailed and tailless, brown and black and spotted, would all be featured in a special edition of National Geographic Magazine. That dream is, as yet, unfulfilled. The magazine cover shown above is a sham. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t made progress. It looks like at least one rodent, yours truly, may well appear in this prestigious periodical!

Continue reading “National Geographic and Me” »