Given the sweltering jungle heat, my own current status in creating ancient and imaginary jungles, and my life-long fascination with the animals around my own world as well as the world's wildest animals, it's no wonder I'm getting emails with pictures such as this:
More dogs hanging out car windows here.
" 'Ah!' said the Cat, listening. 'That is a very foolish Dog.' And he went back through the Wet Wild Woods waving his wild tail, and walking by his wild lone. "
That's a line from "Just So Stories", which is entering dress rehearsals and tech challenges this week as opening night is on Friday July 29 at Rose Center. (Yes, I am shamelessly promoting a show I am directing, leave me alone.)
Digging into these tales by Rudyard Kipling (which offer highly dubious origins of animals wild and tame, O Best Beloved) has been stirring up my odd memories and experiences with Wild Things in the Wild Woods.
(That, and as I said, the jungle heatwave in this summer of 2011.)
So I watched a Nature documentary on PBS about "orphaned cheetahs". Sadly, the most modern iconic American reference to cheetahs is a corporate logo selling Cheetos. It's as if modern life has so caged or ignored wild animals that odd logos of corporate products are all that remain - but that is not the truth at all. We just live at a very, very far removed place from the Wild and the Past. (yeah, probably the Present too.)
Creatures with names like the Giant Hoopoe were gone long, long before I arrived on the planet, and others, like the Javan Tiger died out while I was in my teen years. Now they all occupy virtual catalog space.
And seeking out rare or previously unknown creatures holds little appeal to most of us.
The Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey is either ignored or imperiled by people. (I'd say they prefer the ignoring rather than the imperiling.)
And Kipling's book mentions such exotic locations as Socotra, which has forests of frankincense trees ....
.... but today this island off the coast of Yemen is a refueling base for pirates ...
I'm guessing most folks just don't think about how large or small (or ignored) our world might be.
So I think about it. I'm a little strange.