The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious WritingThe Orang-utan - Issue Five
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The Orang-utan, photo from Christian Artuso

The Orang-utan
Orang-utans have brown and rust-colored shaggy fur and weigh an average of 50 kg to 90 kg. They live in tropical, swamp and mountain forests, where they eat fruit, leaves and insects. They are arboreal and diurnal and exhibit a sophisticated use of tools for gathering food. The orang-utan was once found throughout Indo-China, Malaysia and north to China. In historical times it has only been known from Sumatra and Borneo. About 100 years ago it was present in most of the rainforest areas on these islands; however, it was never found in large numbers. It has declined drastically since then. The major causes of the orang-utan's decline have been their capture for the pet and zoo trade, especially the capture of young, which usually involved killing the mother and habitat loss, especially through permanent conversion to oil-palm plantations and for logging.






Barry Pomeroy

God spent his days dreaming of the good old days when people believed in him, and he spent his nights trying to rouse his slumbering sexuality. Not since Mary had he been fit for duty, as he called it, and even before that, with lions on lambs and all the confusion of the garden, his eroticism only came in fits and starts.

Hiding his nature, given his prominent status, was getting more and more difficult. He'd taken to signing his name as G, so that few would suspect his real name, but even that subterfuge was increasingly unsatisfying.

Many times he had toyed with getting rid of the whole show, folding the tents and taking it on the road, but he would balk at the last minute, remembering the reactions of Noah's pompous family, and the aftermath of incestuous descendants. Even the dove, he recalled, hadn't escaped unscathed.

The crucial moment came quicker than even god could have foreseen. He sensed in the firm ether around him a lively breeze, which turned to a wind and then a howling gale. Rigidly ignoring what was happening around him, god turned to the weather channel. Finding no satisfaction there, he fastened his windows and settled in to endure the storm.

Luckily, having foreseen such an eventuality, he'd laid in many thousands of bottles of preserves, made from the leftovers of the garden just before he'd had it demolished, so his larder was full. Below heaven, in a subbasement that few knew about, god had carefully preserved a spring, so that clear water would never be a problem in the event of a siege.

While god prepared for the blast, a descendant of that first dove, the incest driven survivor of Noah's misguided attempt to find land, saw her chance. Riding the wind, she entered one of the lower stories of the ostentatious mansion, and felt her way around in the dark until she bumped against a principle lighting circuit.

Alone in the dark, god muttered to himself and searched the cupboards for a candle. He could miracle a candle alight, but he disliked burning his holy fingers. When no candle was forthcoming, he opened one of the shuttered windows and stood a long while, the pallid light of the stormy heavenly sky lighting his shocked face. I'll be damned, he thought. I would have never imagined that.

From across the heavenly plain, on the wings of a massive storm, came the old gods he'd supplanted. Like a burglar in a summer cottage, the family had returned, and now it was time for the temporary resident to move on. Zeus was chatting with Thor, and sending bolts of lightning into the soon to be ruinous splendour of god's heaven, Aphrodite, dressed to the nines, was sporting with Tananora, who was famous for his stamina and the size of his equipment. Even Glooscap strode along, suspecting his club would be handy if god chose to be obstinate and insist on squatter's rights.

The confrontation ended in a way that no one could have predicted. Seeing his brother's plight, Satan generously through open his home and called god to his bosom, deliberately ignoring god's pointed lack of gratitude. Sitting in Satan's living room, consciously hiding the remote and the chips, god plotted how to get back his own, while thunder rolled above him, a constant reminder of what he had lost.

Barry Pomeroy received his PhD. from the University of Manitoba in 2000, although he refuses to let that be a limitation. He is an itinerant English professor, boat designer and builder, traveller, carver, sometimes mechanic, carpenter, and web designer. As a writer he is responsible for Multiple Personality Disorder, a long poem in dialogue, and the novel Naked in the Road and a collection of satirical biblical stories called A Bloody History of the Fertile Crescent.

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