…not made from real humans
365 DAYS, 365 POSTS #21
The Doclopedia # 1,229
The Potawango Island Bestiary, Part Two: Pole Dancing Lemurs
From the notebook of Dr. Thaddeus Silkmelon:
I am constantly amazed by this island. The animal and plant life are a constant source of wonder. However, even the very land itself is an incredible puzzlement. I speak, of course, of the size of Potawango Island.
The earliest known mention of the island comes from the log of a fishing boat blown off course from the southern Philippines in 1120 AD. If one sifts through the rather hyperbolic text, one finds that they estimated the island, which the captain swore had never been there before, to be 40 miles long and 20 miles across. Of course, their measurements are suspect due to all the running in panic that they did.
The next mention of the islands size comes from 1356, when the Chinese explorer Ying Ko sailed around it and pronounced it 50 miles across and almost completely circular. This, however, does not match up with any other description of the island. I will point out here that he also encountered the island almost 600 miles northeast of where the Filipinos found it. Had Ying Ko not written descriptions of both the Screaming Hyraxes and the Man-Eating Oysters, I would have discounted his report out of hand.
In 1688, the “Dona Maria”, a Spanish merchantman, was caught in a typhoon and blown far into the Pacific. After 4 days of sailing west, they came to Potawango Island and spent several days here while sailing around it. Their very accurate maps depict an island 130 miles long and anywhere from 40 to 90 miles across. They describe the interior, or rather what they could see from various beaches, as ranging from tall snow capped mountains to steaming jungles to vast swamps.
Finally, we come to the ill fated expedition of Grackle and Thubbley in 1853. A sad bit of history, that. Captain Grackle and Professor Thubbley set off with two ships and an expedition crew of 60 sailors. Two years later, Professor Thubbley and 8 sailors were rescued from a large raft just off the coast of central Chile. All of them were hopelessly insane and swore that they had been gone for over 10 years. Thubbley was in possession of excellent maps which showed an island 35 miles long by 12 miles wide. Despite having longitudes and latitudes. The ensuing rescue mission for the remaining members of the party found no island.
I recount all of the above to explain that we are now camped some 100 miles inland from the coast and north of the highlands we had visited previously, a distance that we should not have been able to travel given our charting of the island as we initially sailed around it. Indeed, we should be about 45 miles out to sea, not gazing north at high mountains that remind me of the Sierra Nevada range of California.
But enough of that, I am writing today of a new species of lemur that we encountered yesterday. These lemurs were slightly larger than the Ringtailed Lemur of Madagascar and had no rings on the tail. The creatures are colored a warm reddish brown except on their faces and abdomens, where they are a cream color. The eyes of the females are blue, while the male’s eyes are brown. In almost all ways, these lemurs behave like most other forest dwelling lemurs. I say “almost” because they have a mating ritual unlike anything I have ever seen before.
To describe it, I as you to imagine an area where several bamboo plants grow about 4 feet from one another. This species of bamboo is about the thickness of a broomstick and grows 7 to 9 feet tall. In the early afternoon, many male lemurs gather around this area to watch female lemurs dance about the poles and do complex and frankly erotic movements on them. I must say that several of us were a bit scandalized, although Miss Abigail seemed to watch with great intent, nodding every so often and taking some notes in her journal.
As the dancing progresses, the male lemurs become more and more aroused until, in a full state of erection, those possessed of the greatest, umm, equippage, grab a female and carry her off for an hour or more of very loud mating. Once all those females are taken, new ones arrive. This continues until nobody is left dancing or watching.
As I said, a quite singular event that we have dubbed “pole dancing”.