Average crowd today: about 63% children, 3/5 of whom have been spoiled, accompanied by a proportionate number of their progenitors as well as the occasional mating-age couple holding a bouquet of caramel popcorn between them and smiling meaningfully at each other. And I wonder if they experience love the same way we do: the forging of a silent iron clasp between two hearts, the pleasure of breathing in the aroma of a kindred soul, the prickling excitement of simply digging for termites together.
I don’t think they do. The way that LA Dodgers fan is colonizing the waist of that tiny wretch in the flowy top is making me feel sick. Clearly these humans haven’t yet discovered love; they’re still stuck on the whole sex thing.
So I sit dumbly, gaping at the glass, chewing some leaves. My colleagues are keeping up the act as well, galoofing around the enclosure, blinking wide-eyed at the little blond girls as if they needed their eyes gunk-free to read the children’s thought-feeds.
I surreptitiously check the sun: 2.05 hours ’til closing time. These leaves still have some good chew left in them.
After all the humans leave, I will work on the paleological space station I’ve buried under the mud. Someday, it will be able to transport us anywhere in the solar system without emitting greenhouse gases or messing with migratory traffic. It just needs a few tweaks to the music system and the regenerative refrigerator running on solar power.
Over in the elephant enclosure, Chibuzo is leading a team developing therapeutic vibration software to be implanted in the lower back muscles of any vertebrate. Using Geminy the kookaburra’s years of research as a guide, this technology promises to eliminate stress-related disorders and extend the span of quality lifetime for anyone with a spine.
I smell zebra feces, which reminds me that Kenya in the enclosure across the walkway is still engrossed in her latest project: harnessing the emotional power of smell to generate positive energy that can be consumed by any heterotrophic creature for optimum nutrient absorption and potential mood improvement. In other words, she hopes someday folks will be able to sniff zebra poop and feel like they just ate a protein-rich breakfast and read good news in the paper. I have every confidence she will see her dream realized. After all, we’ve got nothing but time.
The humans clearly aren’t ready for The Unveiling. Generations of zoo and domestic citizens have discussed this, and it seems that if we revealed the secrets of a peaceful, pain-free world to the dominant species now, they wouldn’t be able to process the information. It might even catalyze another war or a very bad art movement.
I’m still sitting here chewing my leaves, though they are beginning to lose their juicy flavor. Meanwhile, one of the blond girls is still standing there – she’s been there way longer than average for a juvenile.
Her phone weighs uselessly in her delicate hand. Her eyes peer right into mine, and for a moment I get the chills because it’s like she’s searching for an understanding of language. It’s almost as if she’s connected to the Intermind herself, reading my thought-feed. I know it’s ridiculous, but our blinking synchronizes and I entertain the notion that I have encountered an intelligent human.
Maybe the humans still aren’t ready for The Unveiling. But I have faith they’re getting closer every day.
Image credits in order of appearance:
“Solar sys” by Harman Smith and Laura Generosa (nee Berwin), graphic artists and contractors to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. – http://www.nasa.gov/. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_sys.jpg#/media/File:Solar_sys.jpg
“Yangshupu Power Plant at sunset” by 我爱波音哈 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yangshupu_Power_Plant_at_sunset.JPG#/media/File:Yangshupu_Power_Plant_at_sunset.JPG