November 07, 2012

No. 237

Marty was a sloth, and it always amused him how much of the jungle gossip he would overhear. It seemed that other animals were quite willing to overlook a hanging, shaggy lump in a tree. Obviously, though, all the information he learned was difficult to exploit to its fullest potential, because Marty was a hanging, shaggy lump in a tree. He was also prone to sleeping upwards of twenty hours a day, so the information he did pick up was spotty at the best of times.
One day, probably a Thursday but Marty wasn’t sure, he overheard something important. Ajax, the jaguar, was going to make a play for King of the Jungle. Marty knew that if Ajax were to succeed, the delicate balance of the rain forest would be shattered, and that every animal would be in danger.
The sloth watched as the scheming cats crept off into the undergrowth. According to the story he’d just heard, the coup would take place the next evening. He knew he was the only one who could do anything to stop them.
With great intensity, Marty unhooked one crooked claw from the branch and moved it forward. Then, reaching deep into his energy reserves, he did the same with his other paw. Then another. And finally, the last one. He had now moved roughly the length of his body toward the trunk of the tree. If he hurried, he could reach help just before the jaguars sprang their trap.

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