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Stories & Scripts

Source: Adults

Author: Douglas Munday

Title: Conversations at the watering hole.

"Did you hear the two legged ones earlier today?" asked Cheetah, his ordinarily rather baleful stare surprisingly relaxed as he stared across at Gazelle, "they were making one heck of a racket, ah well, what can one expect from such clumsy bipeds, they seem to trip over everything." "Umm, yes, as a matter of fact I did hear them," Gazelle replied, mortified that he had failed to notice Cheetah slinking up to the watering hole and entirely nonplussed that he was being temporarily regarded as confidante rather than prey, "what do you think they're up to?"
"Destroying another few thousand acres of forest I would imagine," growled Cheetah, raising his head from the watering hole and suddenly eyeing Gazelle in a rather proprietry manner, "anyway, never mind that, you lot are normally mob handed, why are you here all on your little own?"
"Everyone else is off foraging," Gazelle stammered, "it's a bit lean out there nowadays, what with all this global warming" poised and ready for instant flight as he stared across the short distance that separated him from Cheetah, "Ah! look, here comes Elephant, let's ask him, I expect he'll know, he seems to know everything about everything."

"Good morning gentlemen," Elephant trumpeted, lumbering slowly towards the waterhole and giving both Cheetah and Gazelle a puzzled look, "this all looks unusually friendly, what's the matter Cheetah, have you gone and lost your appetite?"
"There are times when conversation, rather than confrontation is best,"" Cheetah replied loftily, "the two legged ones are getting rather too close for comfort, and you know what they're like when they get overly excited. Only the other day I was set upon by half a dozen of them, and all sporting those extremely noisy sticks of theirs, I only escaped by the skin of my teeth." "Mmhh, well, there seems to be no stopping them," Elephant rumbled, dipping his trunk and taking a long, lazy slurp of water, "Ahh, how refreshing. Bit brackish of late, but we must be grateful for what we can get nowadays."
"So what do you imagine they are are up to?" Gazelle asked, settling a little as he sensed that with Elephant present he was no longer in such immediate danger, "Cheetah thinks they're cutting down the forest again." "My sources tell me they are actually building a dam across the river," Elephant replied, taking another long, luxurious slurp of water, "goodness knows what that will do to the local environment, especially as the rainy season is about to start." "I keep wondering what drives them on," Cheetah said, "they seem to have an incredible instinct for destruction rather than simply survival. I think that eventually they'll muck the whole thing up completely."

"I can explain it perfectly, It's all to do with a flaw at the design stage," Elephant replied, "It was our maker's first attempt at upright and although he pretty much got the exterior right in terms of function and appearance, he was so involved with other matters of the universe that he rather messed up on the old grey matter bit. In fairness of course and if memory serves, he did send his son down to sort things out some two millennia ago, but unfortunately the lad was seen off in very short order and things haven't really improved since. The two legged ones simply don't seem to understand that not only is there a reaction for every action, but there is also a consequence and they've been messing things up for a quite a while now. In fact it was them that pretty much finished off my ancestors the Wooly Mammoth, that and global warming, which in fact the two legged ones were entirely responsible for even that long ago."

"How were they responsible? Gazelle asked, looking rather puzzled by Elephant's somewhat long winded explanation. "I mean, I know you're a clever chap and all that, but surely this climate change lark is pretty recent?" "Not at all," Elephant replied, warming to his task as he saw that he had his audience eating out of the palm of his hand. "It was all that hunter gatherer nonsense the creator programmed into them. By hunting my leaf chomping ancestors to extinction they accelerated the spread of ground cover vegetation, thus darkening the land surface and causing it to absorb more sunlight, which in turn created a self repeating warming cycle. I won't bore you with too much detail old chap, but it's called the albedo effect. It's a shame really, but the two legged ones simply blunder on with no idea when and where it's all going to end. Now, it's time for my bath, so if you fellows don't mind, I do like a bit of privacy when I'm carrying out my ablutions."

"Well, that was extremely interesting and I thank you for enlightening me," Cheetah mumbled, trying to stifle a most impolite yawn, "I think I shall be on my way then. What about you Gazelle, I expect you're off to join your mates aren't you?" "I expect so," Gazelle replied, a sudden shiver running through his slender frame as he gazed across at Cheetah and caught him lavisciously, or at least so it seemed to Gazelle, licking his bewhiskered chops, "they won't be very far away." "Off you go then," Cheetah said, stetching out to his full impressive length, then giving Gazelle a very meaningful look indeed. "I expect a thirty second head start will suffice will it not. I mean, albedo effect apart, a chap has gotta do what a chaps genetically programmed to do and it is of course now way past my lunchtime."...

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