The sloth invertebrate ecosystem is interesting science.
When we think of sloth, we think of slow moving, dirty animals, actually properly called moss tending animals (IMHO) who essentially cultivate spores and carry them around–on their fur. Jungle algae, as it were, a necessary component of the jungle ecosystems, and then, the question of caterpillars that turn into moths–carried in the sloths own fur!
Cryptoses choloepi, plus many other insects. Parasites, in the vernacular.
Do 950, or 150 species of bugs live in a sloths fur? It depends upon which study you study, and truthfully requires MORE investigation, and more research, but the general consensus–like all general consensus of sloths, is that ” a worm lives in their fur.” That worm debateably of “one species” and of course, we see the outliers bombing synagogues to challenge sloth study results, many of those sloth studies repudiated by synagogue accolytes.
Of course, much more study is required in that area of the world, but like all science, questions only beget only more questions–but also, more answers. Generally, the Costa Rican’s who do such science agree that a baseline of bugs–worms/caterpillars/moths housed in sloth fur is around 150 per sampled sloth.
In my honest opinion though, the 150-950 parasites is off, that’s way off, simply because of the outliers–micro caterpillars that have never been “discovered” for example, and microbes which have yet to be discovered–because researchers simply weren’t looking for THEM, and so on.
One worm, in all of that stinky fur, you are kidding me? Do you not understand eco-systemic parasitism?!
Yeah, so that’s why there is science anyways. Sloths needs to be studied, and analyzed from a variety of perspectives, not least of which is “Dad, I do not WANT to grow up!“
Yeah–me neither, for the record.
Neither Millie nor Lily were thinking about that thought either, on that day they made that photo–it was just natural for both of them to pose in the grass, while Lily danced around, in that wonderful autumn dress, which her father had bought for her as a gift of true love.
Spinning, posing, twirling, into an A-phone lens.
He said ” Little baby, you are ten years old. Everything about you as a person is exactly what the heavens foretold. You are perfect–this dress is perfect.YOU are perfect! My most adored child! And I trust that you will find perfection in your life. Your dance instructor is very happy with you. Your math teacher, not so much, but she predicts that there is hope for you despite your incredibly lazy habit of NOT USING SCRATCH PAPER!!!. Regardless, I am your father. If you came home with a crippled leg, or a bad test score in math, I suspect that you have not careful teachers”–or that you are trying to dodge your scratch paper!!!!!!
And I suspect that “I need to communicate with them more–and it is NOT your fault. Your brain is like a baby, stuck in the peanut butter spoon of your very slow progression into adulthood-which, painful as it is, can only get MORE painful if you avoid learning to swim in peanut butter. Swimming in peanut butter is mastery of swimming itself!”
Well. Who can possibly imagine THAT kind of weird talk at eight, nine, or ten? Seriously–swimming in peanut butter?!
She had that phone in her hand, a $1200 hundred dollar A-phone, the exact phone that famous movie stars carried. And she was looking at the blue sky, dappled with clouds, and puffs of what appeared to be mystical figures–from far out in space, creatures morphing to her eyes, like bears! and dragons! and other shapes that appealed to her seven year old self.
[picture of a girl dancing around under tender and recently dying autumn leaves in the orchard, those blowing around chased by tender autumn breezes, and colored RED! Yellow! Faintly Green and dying! Leaves!, as her dress flips just a bit higher than her knee, and an unbelievable internet shitstorm ensues.]
Well, that one photo….And Lily, her BFF there on the grass, just loving her dress, and filming it all. Lily even said that her dad’s idea about a beautiful dress wasn’t even close to her idea about a beautiful dress. Lily liked frills, then.
Her dad liked office worker uniforms. Poor Millie, though..Lily! Poor me, thought Millie too.
But that selfie–the one that made the headlines? It was Lily’s idea! Not her own at all! Who would take such a picture?What was her friend thinking! And she posted it online without asking!!
Monsters. Only monsters would do such a thing….though Lily herself had had questions herself. She knew it was an accident–Millie knew it too. But the internet…Lily should have asked!
It was only when it went “viral” that the dresses became an issue–when the “popularity contest” began. And then, it was very “not ok,” after that.
But right now, that day, that moment, Milllie was feeling the day, and the blue sky with its dragons and bears, and pigs and godess pillows! was slipping into a sheet of ugly autumn gray, the air turning colder, and her with Lily, side by side, warm, sun warm, and happy shouldered together–her head on Lily’s shoulder, looking at that one picture. Then, Millie’s head on Lily’s shoulder. Lily’s head declining towards her. Millie and Lily, best friends, looking at a picture.
And Lily, most pleased, and very comfortable putting HER head on Millies, that day. Millies on Lily’s; Lily’s on Millies!
There were no secrets, then. Only Millie, and Lily, best of friends.
“I am twirling!” she was saying in her mind. Her father catching her, her mother, laughing, just before the Iron Dome and its mysterious counterparts in the blue skies sent shrapnel to her house.
Lily there with the A-phone, filming. Millie there, twirling.
” I am spinning and spinning and spinning.” her seventeen year old brain was saying to her seven year old baby brain.
“Mommy, look at me! Daddy…..Daddy! Catch me now!”
And falling like an autumn leaf into Lily’s arms. Putting her head on Lily’s shoulder–looking at their masterpiece together!
Posting it all to CatchMeTube.
Those were the days….the days….the days of autum, such as it is in this region. Smoked and skewered chicken legs in the air. Falafel and river fish too.
Once upon a time in Palestine.
Minutes go by, we love our friends, and autumn has its way with us–those of us who know what autumn !!!S–. A frisking cold-then warm-then the brisk, cold bunch of fingertippling leaves falling around us. Falling. falling! Touching, touching and then….
Fragile leaf petals curling up. Fragile leaf petals withering. Fragile leaf petals….years have passed. Friendships do not lastt!
Where had all the flowers gone since then?!
And autumn, nearing once more. I can feel its fingertips. That kiss of fingertips! Tickling winds. Leaves falling in unexpected places, welcome visitors to my innermost places, at this innermost time in my life–I haven’t felt the human touch for SO long…so long. So, long.
And that breeze now. That’s the EXACT ONE! I smell it with a full breath, many breaths. Desert dust and dried leaf smells! That smell….those fingertips….
I loved you, you loved me. We’re a happy Fam-i-ly.
I have not forgotten a single fingertip touch from any one of you, and i never will.
And when I died, it was without remorse. Just another leaf, in the wind.
Dad always said “Do you see that mountain? It was here before us. It will be here after us. And many leaves have fallen, so that you may live. And after that? I will live with you forever too, in those exact mountains. We ARE the leaves, blowing in the mountain orchards.”
And Lily–what happened to her? I will never know now. But I see her face before me, like the wind–blowing by, yet surrounding me with warm and even cold breath–I have always loved her, despite lifes accidents, even now, as I ripple across a stream, and land upon a leaf still green.