|A white rhinoceros enjoys the grooming skills of an avian friend.|
This excerpt is from my short story "Not Extinct Yet," which is still looking for a home. Any takers?
In this story, it has been Discovered that most animals can speak human languages. See another six sentences from it here. The main character, Suzanne, has been talking with the rhinos on the preserves in South Africa and has to convince her husband to leave New York and come with her.
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After these initial successes, Suzanne managed to be transferred from her post in the Twin Towers to a local branch of her company in Pretoria. Derek had hesitantly left his assistant professorship in human linguistics at CUNY in order to stay with her. It had not been a simple conversation in the kitchenette.
“I have to say, I never pictured myself in South Africa,” Derek said.
Suzanne had. Her childhood bedroom’s walls had filled up with Johannesburg and Cape Town tourism posters as soon as the interest in rhinoceroses had dropped into her head.
Derek continued, “Haven’t I been providing for us?”
“Of course!” Suzanne had sat in on some of his linguistics classes, pre-Discovery, when they were often nothing more than one-on-one tutoring sessions. After the Discovery, Derek had tripled his income by teaching three times the classes to what seemed like hundreds of times the number of students. When Suzanne tried to sit in now, it was standing room only. The financial boost had given Suzanne exactly the freedom she needed to travel and, eventually, make first contact with her favorite creatures. “But maybe it’s my turn to provide for us now.”
“Did you know this was going to happen when you got this job as a rhino expert?”
“Now, that’s not fair. Nobody knew the Discovery was going to happen, and I’ve loved rhinos for much longer than five years. Just remember the couch I had when we met.”
Derek grunted, picturing the grey monstrosity, complete with face, horns, and tail, dominating her living room. “We’ve come so far.”
Suzanne opened the kitchen window and looked into the Manhattan street below. “See that dog? I bet he could tell you how much the world has changed.”
“He’s too far down there to talk with us,” said Derek.
“Yes!” cried Suzanne. “But six years ago, that wouldn’t have been the only thing keeping him quiet! Don’t you see? The zoologists’ time has come. This is my wildest, most ludicrous dream come true. Come and live it with me, darling.”
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The other sweet excerpts are here! Enjoy!
World Rhinoceros Day is September 22, 2011! savingrhinos.org