It's World Animal Day today, as I learned recently. To mark this momentuous occasion, I thought I'd do a post listing some of the stranger animals out there.
The Wedge-Tailed Beagle
This rare and majestic creature can be found by travellers in mountain climes, swooping from peak to peak, hunting for its only natural quarry, the Postman. Occasionally, it can be heard from far off, as it's eerie yet noble bark is heard ringing around the lonely mountain peaks. Soaring through clouds, this fearsome creature has inspired more than one poet to write lyrics in its honour:
She clasps the crag in crooked paws,
And on the thund'ring winds she soars!
The whole empyrean is her domain
From which her fur doth fall, like rain:
While those below scan height to height
To see her in her sombre flight.
Then, like a thunderbolt, she falls
On bone or biscuit which she mauls:
Yea, a mighty predator that flies
Is the WEDGE-TAILED BEAGLE of the skies!
Green Tea Frog
Many a tea-drinker, on pouring out a cup of green tea and turning away for a second, has been surprised to find on turning back that, with a plop and a splash, their cup is now habituated by a frog! Historically, the Chinese have considered this hot-water habituating amphibian to be especially propitious. Europeans, however, were less fond of the creature, due to the habit the frog had of occasionally hopping out of the tea and into the Europeans mouths (leading to the expression 'A frog in one's throat').
The Skylurk is a disreputable species of bird, which has a habit of malingering about the skies of the world, not doing very much, and getting in the way of other birds. For centuries, scientists have sought to answer the question, 'Why is the Skylurk such an annoying creature', but as yet, their researches have not come up with any firm answers.
Habits of the Skylurk include: loafing around clouds, loitering from one tree-top to another, and glowering in an irritating fashion at the smaller birds until they cry.
This curious reptilian species makes its home in water closets and toilets, and has surprised more than one user, in the middle of doing their business, with its booming roar and fiery breath. Despite the fear and terror that it strikes in the hearts of all natural toilet goers, the Commode Dragon does not habitually feed on humans, but rather makes a meal of small rodents and fish.
Nowadays, the dragon is an endangered species, but a breeding program is underway. If you wish to have a Commode Dragon habituating your cistern or water closet, please speak to the National Commode Dragon Preservation Society today.
The Squallow is a relative of a more common bird species, the Swallow. However, it lives in rather more squalid conditions, which are frankly too disgusting to go into here. So I don't think I'll mention any more about this species.
The Great Australian Wild Bore
The Great Australian Wild Bore can be found in large numbers around the Canberra region, and in lesser numbers scattered around all areas of Australia. It is a political creature, variously described by journalists as a pig, a swine, or a creature that loves rolling around in its own muck. Frankly, many people prefer ordinary boars or pigs - and I agree with them.
The Mountain Gloat
Adventurers and travellers in distant lands, seeking to test themselves in trials of strength, often find themselves in the mountainous regions inhabited by this creature. Perched on the peaks of the highest mountains, the Mountain Gloat will look down at these travellers as they attempt to climb onwards. The travellers will occasionally squint at the creature, and wonder why it seems to have a look of such sly self-satisfaction on its face.
The Mountain Gloat is typically a silent creature, but on occasion - perhaps a traveller breaking his leg, or mountain climbers having to run away from a slight avalanche which may or may not have been caused by stones pushed down its own hooves - it will open its mouth, and emit a sudden snickering sound, causing the travellers to look up again and wonder if the Mountain Gloat is not making fun of them. But as soon as it snickers, it is silent again - and all the travellers will hear will be the wind...
That's all for the moment. This evening, I'm off to a suitable film for the occasion, 'Dinosaurs OF THE DEEP!', screening at the IMAX theatres. (Incidentally, I was amused to find that a similar post I did a while ago continues to garner comments, months, and probably years, after the post was written.) Cheerio!
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