• Joan Carris

Fantasy Pets

Updated: Jan 11

Imagine having an elephant for a pet/companion. Yes, this is nuts, but just think about it. I want only a modest-size elephant, a female African Forest Elephant—smaller than the big African Bush elephant—a first-time mom, near the end of her pregnancy. As an old-pro mom, I could be very helpful! I’ll name her Princess.

And when her tiny, 200-pound calf arrives, I will name her Minerva, after the Roman goddess of wisdom. She’ll grow up to be wise, like her mother, and for now she could be Mini, as a baby name.

Mini and I will have so much fun in our baby pool! Not big enough for Princess, of course. She’s used to the pleasures of an entire river…and sometimes I see her gazing pensively into the distance. She misses her home, and her herd, I can tell.

Okay, elephant-sized booboo. Princess has eaten most of our greenery by now anyway. I’ll ship her and baby Minerva back to the forest where they belong, and get a better idea.

Better Idea

How about a furry wombat from Australia?? Much smaller than an elephant. (Well, almost everything is.) Wombats are about the size of a badger, maybe 50 to 75 pounds, they’re marsupials, and they dig long, elaborate burrows. Unique in many ways, wombats have pouches that open to the rear, so that a baby (joey) doesn’t get dirt in its bedroom as Mom works on her burrow. Wombats are nocturnal and just laugh at fences, which are never a deterrent.

Another distinctive trait is their cube-shaped feces, arranged to mark territories or to lure mates. One industrious wombat can easily eject 80 to 100 pieces of poo each night—depending on its mood, I suppose. Wombat Day is October 22nd in Australia.

Way back in the Pleistocene era lived giant wombats—each the size of a rhinoceros. But as author Will Cuppy observed, that was “too much wombat and he was discontinued.” *

Hmm. A property full of underground tunnels and cube-shaped scat. I should get another, better idea.

To Be Continued

* How To Attract The Wombat, by Will Cuppy, 1935. A brilliant, hilarious book.

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