Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Animal Spotlight: Homo Sapiens Sapiens

Welcome to the very last Animal Spotlight blog. I wanna talk for a little bit about an animal known as the homo sapiens sapiens. I know what you are thinking. Isn't that a human being? Not really, and the reason I am writing this blog is to explain the difference. I'll give you a different perspective than what Wikipedia will tell you.

Homo sapiens sapiens is a creature that looks very much like a human being. They can talk. They can drive cars. They can do pretty much anything you can do. The difference really has nothing to do with abilities as much as what they are willing to do.

This creature spends it's entire existence trying very hard to get what it wants. What does the homo sapiens sapiens want? To go to any length at all to do as little as possible. This animal loves to sit. They likes to eat too as if it was the most wonderful thing in the world. There is no real desire to create or bring anything into the world.

Homo sapiens sapiens are incredibly cynical to the point that it has become a natural way of thinking. They believe that they are the only ones who matter and anyone who gets in their way is expendable. They are incredibly selfish, but really, all animals are.

This creature tends to get very fat when placed in an environment with much food. They eat and eat and then complain that it is so hard to walk when they are so fat. In fact, they spend a lot of time complaining about their problems. They will even fight for their right to complain about how bad their lives really are.

Homo sapiens sapiens are very absorbent. Not necessarily fluids but for information. They will soak in massive amounts of trivia and consider themselves great for knowing so many things. All of this occurs while not really doing anything of importance in their lives.

Lastly, homo sapiens sapiens hates human beings... with a passion. And the real way to explain why is to give you some insights into the thing that they hate. You see, the reason homo sapiens sapiens are not humans is because they refuse to break out of the animal category. They only do what their instincts tell them to do and never try to do anything greater than the sum of their parts. Real human beings always strive for more. They break the rules. In fact, rules mean very little to them. This gumption is what is making the homo sapiens sapiens jealous.

Human beings are not animals. They never were. They break the rules of what makes animals animals. In fiction, both cases have been presented well enough but never really named in the way that I have done in this blog. In my own fictional story collection "Wild," I said that there is no problem within the animal kingdom that cannot be solved with simple murder. Homo sapiens sapiens believes in this too, but they will only commit murder if they think they can get away with it. Animals have a similar belief. Human beings believe that it is best to uplift others who are striving for better things and likewise make the world a better place to live. Human beings do not act anything like animals.

You have a choice. You can be an animal and live like one. Many people have chosen this path. They even pride themselves in calling themselves animals. They like being monkeys. It allows them to not pay as much attention to their heart. They can be selfish with no consequences. You can also choose to be a human being. You can strive for greater things. You can pour your soul into a personal passion and give back to this world.

There is no need to be a great politician or king if you want to change the world. All you have to do is have love and use your talents to their fullest. Never stop trying. Never stop adding to the world.

“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love." ~J.R.R. Tolkien

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rodent Spotlight: Mouse (Redux Rursus)

Did you know that my very first animal spotlight was for the mouse? It was released on July 13, 2013 and was followed by the first rat spotlight. I then went dark for nearly a whole year. Anyways, if you want to read the very first spotlight I ever did, just click HERE. There is also a second one I did later which you can find by clicking HERE. And now, let us begin.

In the beginning, there was a mouse. He was just a tiny, little thing. He was cute, so there was at least that going for him. But really, there was not much to say about him. Over time, this mouse would run about trying to find his place in the world. Most animals did not bother with such things. They are already pretty good at doing this and that, but the mouse wanted more.

Living in the wild worked out well. He enjoyed eating seeds and living in holes. It was difficult in the wild, but the mouse was always optimistic. Most mice are. Much of the cynicism fall upon the rats. No, mice aspire to greater things. So eventually, living safely in the wild did not seem like it was going to be enough.

The mouse then decided to be our pet. He liked that too. As it turns out, wood shavings are much more fun to burrow in and pee on. The only predator to worry about is a local cat and he can't do anything while the mouse is in a cage. But then... the cage really is a problem. It's a fun place to live, but nothing really happens. Oh, sure, the wheel makes it seem like you're going places, but are you really? No. The mouse moved on.

The mouse discovered the sword. Well, it was not really a sword as much as it was a needle. But it might as well be a sword when your only two inches tall. Yes, he was small, but this sword somehow made him feel much larger, and he was ready to take on the world. He trained day after day to become a great hero, and one day, he set out to seek his fortune.

Now, this story can end in a number of ways, and you are certainly welcome to imagine how that will happen. But the point of it is that the mouse was never content with his lot and always wanted more out of life than the small portion that he was given. He was small, and he certainly had that to consider; however, he was going to try for greater things regardless.

Many people throughout history have romanticized mice to aspire for far greater things than they are likely capable of in reality. I have done the same. We come into this world with a very small starter's kit and a world that seems far bigger than us. Some people fold and others keep trying no matter how hard it gets. This is why we like mice so much. They stand with rats as my two favorite animals in the world. I love them both so much.

Next week will be the very last Animal Spotlight. It is all about to come to an end. Thanks to everyone who has stuck by me as I have put these out every Tuesday for so many years. I've never had so much fun.

Thank you for reading this blog. If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at Squeak!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Rodent Spotlight: Rat (Redux Rursus)

This is technically the third spotlight I have done for rats. If you want to read the two original blogs you can click HERE for the first one and HERE for blog #2. And with that out of the way, we may proceed.

I am constantly struggling with what my absolute favorite animal really is. I do know this: it is either the mouse or the rat. I'll be honest... I can't make a decision! After years of considering this, I think this may end up a draw. The main reason for this is that I like them equally for completely different reasons. So why rats? Let's look at them from a more straight-forward perspective.

1. We hate rats. Why do we hate rats? They cause us no end of trouble. They breed way too fast. They consume our food without asking. They spread diseases. They are simply intolerable. We must kill them at all costs!

2. We love rats. After all, they are a benefit to science! Rats have organs that are very similar to humans. They also are rather intelligent and seem to learn at a similar rate to us. We need them!

3. We don't need them. They are a menace. Alberta, a Canadian province, completely ran rats out. I don't really blame them. These rats are out of control! Good lord, they have no off switch. All they do is go where they please, breed anywhere they like, and cause havoc! We are better off without them!

4. Rats make awesome pets! We pamper them, give them special treats, and let them sleep in fanny packs. We call them fancy rats, and they live like kings without a care in the world.

5. After the eventual nuclear holocaust, rat's will finally have their chance to rule the world. All they have to worry about are the roaches. It will be rat vs. roach until one bests the other. I've already put money down on the rat.

6. Rats are actually fun to kill. I know that sounds horrible, but how are dump owners supposed to make any extra money if they don't let people come in with shotguns to cull the herd. There was even a popular video game called "Vermintide" all about killing giant, mutant rats. Face it, someone has to do it! If not, we'll all end up human slaves in a tyranical rat nation.

7. Context doesn't matter. Be they good or evil, should we kill them or cuddle them, should we love or hate them, rats are awesome. They are a fascinating animal in our world. All they want to do is have fun, and as we all know, having fun alone is not really that fun. That's why they have so much sex!

Rats represent one of two parts of my favorite animals. I have written many, many stories about them. I have shown them in both good and bad lights. I both love and hate them, and I love to hate them. They are wonderful! But just remember, we have to destroy them before they do the same to us. Keep them in small numbers. They will be happier that way anyways. Well, its either that or fall to the mighty force of the Vermintide!

Thank you for reading my ratty blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at Screee!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mustelidae Spotlight: Ferret (Redux)

It has been a very long time since I wrote the original spotlight for the ferret. Like last time, I offer you a chance to read the original before moving on to this new one. Click HERE if you want to give it a look-see.

Ferrets are actually my favorite mustelid. I like many others too. Skunks were a close contender. I struggled over that one for a whole week. In the end, Ferrets won out. I just cannot get enough of the little guys. Let's look at the facts.

Ferrets have no spine at all. Well, that's not true, but if you see them worm about, it's almost as if they completely lack any bones at all. They move like they are filled with jelly. Owners sometimes buy plastic tubes that the little guys can crawl around in. It is very cute!

Ferrets also like to steal things--shiny things! Who knows why? This is one of the great mysteries of the animal kingdom. I kind of understand it though. Shiny is pretty and fun! Why wouldn't you want to steal shiny things? The thing about animals is they have no moral code. They simply do what makes them feel happy. Ferrets are a good representation of greed when compared to humans. But let's be honest: it's cute when ferrets do it!

Ferrets are villainous and stinky. Both actually true. Even though we could probably do without the smell, we rather enjoy seeing our ferrets concoct their sneaky schemes to rid us of all our shinies. They sit there looking cute, but in their tiny brains, a vast and elaborate plan is in the works. One day, you just wake up in an empty house. You may not want to believe it, but ultimately, you know who was really responsible for the crime. You can only blame yourself. You bought a ferret for a pet.

Ferrets can dance! It's true! It's something called the Weasel War Dance! Well, it's not so much a dance as it is a spasmodic fit meant to lure prey into a hypnotic WTF trance. That's how they get ya! One day you come home to see your pet ferret rolling around, doing back flips, and singing show tunes, and the next thing you know, your toupee goes missing. You never saw it coming!

Ferrets are related to dragons. They must be! They keep little dragon hoards hidden somewhere in your house. All the things they steal goes into this hoard so they can go and stare at it for hours on end. "It's all mine! All the shinies are mine!" Yes, that's what they are really thinking. I did research this.

All jokes aside [were they REALLY jokes?], I can't help but watch these guys and see true evil genius at work. They are the animal representation of cunning and greed. Ironically, we love them for it. We adore them for their deviousness. We make them pets and find it hilarious when all our nice things begin disappearing. Madness! But is it really? Is it really madness?



Thanks for reading this weird blog of mine. If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at Dook.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Marsupial Spotlight: Opossum (Redux)

You may or may not have heard that I have been spending a lot of time thinking about possums as of late. I want to spend a little time chatting about how I feel about them. It won't take very long. If you want to read the original Opossum Spotlight, click HERE. Now, let's have at it.

I have always called the opossum a possum because of where I grew up. It is a correct term based on my geographical location. Additionally, I just like the shortened version better. The "O" at the beginning always sounds like an unwieldy stretch. It seems phonetically cumbersome. I'll be calling them possums until the day I die.

Back in 1992, there was a straight to video release called "Tiny Toon Adventures: How I spent My Summer Vacation." In this movie, they made a comical reference to the film "Deliverance" but with friendly possums instead of creepy hillbillies. I loved it when I saw it, and I never stopped loving it. I always saw possums in this way from then on to this very minute. This is really saying something because I have never seen them depicted as hillbillies since.

Let's look at the real creature for a moment and try to get into who they really are. Possums spend their days living cynical, trashy lives on the verge of our own human society... and we let them. We don't really like them, and they don't really like us. They may get into a scuffle with us when we catch them eating through our garbage, but at the end of the day, we often let them go on living.

The mothers are often seen carrying their babies on their backs. They have a permanent scowl as they do this. It reminds one of a mother with too many kids to deal with. They walk about the city scowling at everybody feeling generally unlucky about the hand they were dealt. The husband is nowhere to be seen--just a single mother and her clingy kids. Sound familiar?

When a possum is threatened, they open their mouths as wide as they can and show you all their teeth... and they have a LOT of teeth. They want you to know that a bite from them will not be pleasant, but biting is not their first instinct. They warn you first. I get the impression that they just don't want any trouble. Possums will often face off in this way even to very large animals, and if you give them a fight, they will fight back even to their own doom.

Possums will pretend to die if the situation seems to warrant it. They will go stiff as if rigor mortis has set in. Their mouths remain open but their tongue droops out limply. They will let you touch them, pick them up, whatever you like as long as you don't start hurting them. If left alone for enough time, they will snap back to life and walk away as if you never entered into their lives at all.

Possums hang upside down from their tails when young. They are being playful. This is a sign of innocence that is later destroyed by the harsh realities of adulthood. They come face to face with the cynicism of life and are broken for the remainder. I find this very sad, but as with all the above aspects, I find it very familiar.

One last point: When possums are adopted by a caring human family (very rare), they become very cuddly and friendly. They are very peaceful and seem to let the problems of the world drift away. It seems to be that this is some sort of unattainable dream to them, and we all have such dreams from time to time.

I love possums. They are very similar to rats in many ways, but we do not tolerate rats. We do tolerate possums. Live and let live. We hate them, yet we live with them. We fight them sometimes, but we ultimately give them room. We kill them often, but it's usually an accident. If a roadkill possum could speak, it would say, "Well, I was heading towards death anyways, so why the hell not?" Maybe, you did them a favor.

I'm not trying to bring you down. I love these guys more than I can properly express. I've even written a number of songs about them. I bought a banjo so I could learn to make music for them. They represent to me a strong redneck force in our country--as strange as that may sound. Live and let live. Take care of business even if the world doesn't seem to favor you. It's my life and I'll do what I damn well please. Possums. These are possums. And as nasty as they may look, they probably feel the same way about you... and that's okay apparently.

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