According to Kari Frietag one must write 25 things about North American mammals or about one's self, but

what then is the difference? Then one must play "tag" with twenty five other north american mammals, okay?

1. Each morning the ocelot drinks ewe’s milk and treacle. Although she is an ocelot, she often wishes for an ocelot fur coat. Though others might think this is a desire that springs from vanity she knows it is one that comes from selfprotection. 2. Little black bears eat honey out of each others ears at midnight every other March 24th. 3. There once was a little kangaroo rat. He would leave a tablespoon of milk in the cartoon, a bite of food on the plate, and a swig of beer in the bottle. He would clean up almost thoroughly, but leave, in the end, just a little bit of trash out like that. When making love, he would bring himself to the point of climax, and then retreat, and do this for seven hours each time, until so exhausted, he could no longer self-repress. This was because he was terrified of death. Frequently his lover would whisper to him, “C’mon baby, it’s okay to die!” 4. Poodles are North American Mammals. 5. One doe calls her lovers not by their names, but by a string of accurate, but impersonal identifiers. “Come here, seventy eight year old Tasmanian Devil and kiss my neck” or “I once loved a twenty three year old New Mexican jack rabbit.” 6. There was once a moderately sized cloister of coyote who loved each other very much. They had a cache of bones and leather here and there, as well as an impressive collection of Mr. Pibb cans. They sang together every fortnight at the drainage ditch behind the mall. All the other animals hated them, “They sing too much & smell.” 7. The North American Mammal we most resemble is the Kinda Pretty Seal. 8. There was a fox one Christmas, then a fox again in summer, but these were two distinct foxes, and looked as if when they met each other they would not get along. 9. Very few people are aware of the tapir choirs. 10. In the more polite realms of cottontail society, one must refer to one’s tail never as a “tail” but as a “fuzzy button of gleaming thronginess” or “that incandescent meeting point of fluff and desire.” 11. The yellow faced pocket gopher, though a loving mother in theory, neglects

her children in practice, preferring games of chance. 12. Donkeys are lapsed grammarians. 13. Bison, oh. 14. Marcel Duchamp hated giant beavers, as did most important men of the twentieth century (with good reason). 15. The porcupine considers the soul itself a ponzi scheme. 16. There is nothing whatsoever to be said for raccoons. 17. The Southern Bog Lemming has a fetish for fat little hands. And arms. And legs. And rumps. And faces. And bellies. 18. The vole insults his friends almost as viciously as he insults his enemies, yet remains popular with both. 19. When I am a cougar, I will have a turquoise Jetta with a vanity plate, and this vanity plate will say “Lil Red.” I’ll circle the White Haven, checking my cell. Then he’ll show up! His name will be Tony and he will have a hot shift at the OGarden. I’ll buy him something later, like a silk tie. If I fall in love with him, I’ll never show it. 20. The ground squirrel only appears to be a hard worker. 21. There is a bobcat loose in that mainframe. 22. One wolf in particular had planned her entire life around a passion for carjacking, only to find out that there were no more cars. 23. Who hasn’t known an ermine with brilliant wit and a kind demeanor but also sorrow like a blanket held down by hair trigger bombs? 24. One skunk longed, as many do, to be gentle and beautiful, but found herself attracted to the strange, brave, and scarred. She grew evermore impatient with beauty, as if beauty (unaltered, as it is, by struggle) was not just banal, but also retarded. 25. Don't talk to wild horses.


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