When one considers the broad diversity of the animal kingdom, one has to be in complete and utter awe at the diversity of the human being.
For instance, the snake kingdom, of which I have written about before, offers a near endless supply of diversity all on its own. You have your cobra, rattlesnake, garter snake, gutter snake, eaves trough snake, garage snake, hiding-under-the-deck snake, and the firm of Over, Chargeum & Profit. Yet you hardly ever read about snakes trying to smuggle people into Australia, or any other country for that matter, with the possible exception of Bermuda, because if we are honest with ourselves, we deeply feel that the wealthy people who vacation in Bermuda on their yachts could do with a few smuggled snakes in their ship-board commodes just to keep their lives in perspective.
But I don’t want to pick on Bermuda or wealthy persons. I want to pick on the person who tried to smuggle eight snakes into Australia in his pants by taping them – the snakes – to his legs. Four of the snakes were deadly king cobra snakes. The identity of the other four snakes was not released, presumably because they were under age. This example alone illustrates the immense diversity of the human condition. What sort of mind conceives of such a plan, let alone executes it?
Fortunately, I am in a position to answer this otherwise rhetorical question.
It is the same sort of mind that would not only consider, but also actually insure his dog’s ears for $64,530 Canadian dollars, or about the price of a cup of coffee and a bagel at your corner Tim Hortons in the United States. I am referring to Mr. Jeffries, the grandson of Biggles, the famous basset hound that gained world fame as the spokesdog for Hush Puppies brand shoes. It seems that good fortune doesn’t just run in human lines – like the Rockefellers – but also in canine lines. For Mr. Jeffries is not only the son of a famous dog, he has gained his own fame, no doubt through selfless dedication to an extreme training regimen, by having the longest dog ears in the world. It’s true because the Guinness Book of World Records people say so. And you don’t mess around with the Guinness Book of World Records people.
Especially if you’re a lost moose in Norway. This moose had the misfortune of losing its ways in the Norwegian forests and ended up ambling through the downtown streets of the capital of Norway, a capital city that is filled with natural beauty and awesome architecture and whose name nobody can remember, not even the Norwegians themselves. Anyway, despite the best efforts of the Norwegian policeman to corral the moose back into the forest, the moose wouldn’t cooperate and the policeman was forced to shoot the moose, which is a federal offence in Canada, but is only a misdemeanour in Norway. The Guinness Book of World Records people got wind of this story and have decided to record Norway as the least moose-friendly country in the world.
Speaking of policepersons, we must naturally turn our attention to Britain where no fewer than twelve policepersons were caught speeding by their very own policeperson brothers and sisters in a speed trap. Each of the caught British policepersons were fined about sixty pounds which leads us to ask the question that we all want answered: when are the British going to start using dollars instead of pounds?
The Franklin Park Zoo in Boston sure could have used some of those speeding British policepersons to help capture one of the zoo’s gorillas that got loose and wandered around the zoo unfettered for two hours. The gorilla would have been spotted sooner had it not, through an unfortunate coincidence, also been “Dress Up As Your Favourite Zoo Animal Day” at the zoo. What is truly unfortunate is that this was the second time that this particular gorilla has escaped.
Which brings us back to the original point of this article about the incredible diversity of the human being. We are so diverse that we seem to be willing to hand over the keys of humanity to the animal kingdom and let the monkeys run the zoo.
Nick Burn is a freelance writer, husband, father of three, engineer, teacher, and webmaster for the Canadian Catholic Information Network. In his spare time (hah!), he enjoys camping, skiing and reading.