Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Douc


Text from The Bestiary by Nicholas Christopher:

"It's called the douc. One of the most sociable primates. Very intelligent, with a musical voice. It used to thrive in the rainforests of Laos and Vietnam. Maybe you saw one over there. You wouldn't see it today. Ninety-five percent of the doucs were killed by Agent Orange and napalm. It used to group in families of twelve. Now, to avoid hunters, it travels in pairs. Some hunters eat it, others kill it for its fur, but most shoot it for target practice and leave the carcasses to rot." His voice was rising. "It's no different over here. Cowards who pick off grizzlies from helicopters or pay to shoot a penned tiger--or even a giraffe. You can fight pollution and sprawl, but killing for pleasure--how do you deal with that?" He smiled crookedly. "Maybe we need another Flood. When life began, the earth was entirely ocean--a chemical soup, bombarded with ultraviolet light. Shift a few molecules and everything could evolve differently. Maybe you end up with a planet of insects, or worms. Maybe that's an improvement."

1 comment:

Lisa J. said...

It's sad to know there are people who kill for fun. How do they get to that point? When does killing become pleasurable?

Perhaps this excerpt is right - that the planet would be better off without humans. Sometimes I feel guilty for thinking that.