Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Prehensile: or, If I Only Had a Trunk

The zoo’s prehensile-tailed porcupine can—as its name suggests—direct the movements of its tail with great finesse and control; it can even wrap its tail around branches and grip them. I’m not sure that it can suspend itself from anything by its tail—as some monkeys with prehensile tails can—but then, it might just prefer to do that sort of thing when there’s no one watching.

That’s pretty cool, I admit. But when it comes to prehensility, no matter how well a tail can curve and curl and cling, nothing is as magnificent a manipulator as an elephant’s trunk.

The elephants wield their impressive elongated noses with such panache that it often prompts—not just me—but various other zoo visitors (usually my friends and relatives) to echo Virginia Woolf and express a desire for a trunk of one’s own.

I don’t know that I’d want to have a trunk all the time, since it might get in the way on the bus or when drinking out of champagne flutes—but it might be fun to have for a day.

Since I suspect that by this point in the post you, readers, have either given up in bafflement at my weirdness or have been imagining just what you would do with a trunk of your own, I won’t bother to discuss the matter further; instead, I present to you a brief photo-essay on the fun to be had with trunks:

[monastic self-flagellation with bamboo]


[hours of fun with
brushes on sticks]

[getting at that itchy eye]

[becoming one with a tree's trunk]

And finally...

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}

1 comment:

Anca Vlasopolos said...

There are those itchy spots on one's back! Plus, brushes on sticks for fun rather than house cleaning, YAY!

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