Rio Animal Olympics: Water Aerobics

(Google Images/Rebloggy.com)

I’m Les Sloth, and I’m here with the Canadian otters, winners of the 2016 gold medal in Water Aerobics. From the left, we have Terry (team captain), James, Ian, and Joseph.

Les: Congratulations! How does it feel to win the gold?

Terry: It’s amazing. We’ve been working so hard, and it’s great to get the gold for Canada.

Les: The competition did not work out the way many folks thought it would. It was supposed to be a four-way contest between the Canadians, Americans, Russians, and Chinese. What happened?

James: Well, it was kind of a fluke with the Americans. None of us knew that it was illegal to shave our country’s name into our fur. Once the first team was disqualified, they really didn’t have much of a chance.

Ian: And the Russians were pretty demoralized when their coach wasn’t allowed to leave Russia with them. Who knew that his wife’s grandmother’s second cousin was married to a Chechen?

Les: It’s incredible that both of those things would have happened the same year. But what about the Chinese?

Terry: We’d rather not talk about that.

Les: Why’s that?

Terry: Apparently, there was some sort of political situation. As athletes, we try not to get involved in those things.

Les: Can you tell me anything?

Ian: It appears that they were using some kind of top-secret training facilities that may not have been approved for the Animal Olympics. The Olympic Committee was looking into it right before the Games.

Les: Did they find anything?

Ian: There was enough of an issue that they issued a warning to the Chinese. Of course, the Chinese denied they had done anything wrong and blamed a Western conspiracy to eliminate the Chinese politically since they couldn’t do it in the water.

Les: Do they know what was happening at the secret facility?

Ian: Rumor has it that they were using some kind of hyper-oxygenated water to train. It’s supposed to help develop stronger lungs.

Terry: But there’s no proof that the Chinese were cheating.

Joseph: We do know that for some reason they didn’t understand that the competition was happening at a river here in the zoological park. They have been training for the past couple of months in an extremely polluted river outside Beijing. They thought it would give them an advantage over those of us training in the wild.

Les: That’s awful. It’s probably the reason they wanted stronger lungs.

James: Unfortunately, most of them picked up some kind of river sickness that has made them incredibly weak. A couple of the alternates even died.

Joseph: They were training with the rest of us, but they weren’t in the clean water long enough to make a difference.

Les: That definitely explains why Iceland and Norway showed so strongly.

Terry: They did perform very well. Iceland, in particular has shown immense growth in the last few years. We’re proud to have beaten them.

Les: So what are you planning to do to celebrate?

Terry: The Canadians have a party every night for all of their medal winners. You are welcome to come.

Les: Thank you very much. However, after the incident in the Big Cat room yesterday, I’ve decided to eat in my room.

James: Yes, it was very unfortunate that the capybara was mistaken for dinner. They never should have sent him in as a waiter for the 200-meter dash winners. They knew the room would be full of hungry cheetahs.

Les: Yes, that is true. I suppose it was appropriate to hold the administrators responsible rather than the cats.

Ian: We feel the same way. The only carnivores allowed tonight are those on Team Canada. It’s unfortunate, but the cats understand. They really feel terrible about what happened.

Joseph: They are collecting money for the poor fellow’s family.

Les: That’s showing the true Olympic spirit. Otters, thank you so much for stopping by. And congratulations once again.

(Google Images/Wikimedia)



The Great Zoo Escape – Epilogue

My apologies for this story getting to you so late. Apparently the mice running this blog did not realize that there is a difference between black bears (me) and grizzly bears (my subjects). It was a lot more complicated than they thought. (Ed. Note: All bears look the same to us: big, furry, sharp teeth, long claws. How would we know that grizzlies have been known to kill and eat black bears? We are sending Bosco to two apple festivals to make up for it.)

Coeur d’Alene, ID – When I left Bonners Ferry, I didn’t really have a plan. All I knew was that the grizzlies had headed to Canada, and I don’t speak grizzly. So I headed north.

I had just passed into British Columbia when I saw a family of grizzlies by a river. They didn’t look too intimidating, so I took a chance. As it turned out, they were up from Idaho visiting family, and the children knew a little of my dialect from school friends. They explained to their father who I was and why I was there. He seemed a little suspicious and smelled my entire body.

Once he were convinced that I had no human scent, the father invited me to sit with them. Through the children he told me that his brother had said something about some American escapees, but he really didn’t know anything. He pointed me in the direction of the nearest Inter-Bear Information System (IBIS) station and told me where I could find some berries.

Ibis Communications Network (Google Images)

I walked up to the IBIS station and was relieved to find it staffed by a combination of grizzlies and black bears. When I told them who I was, they needed to smell me again. (I thought Canadian bears were kind and trusting. Maybe these are transplants from the U.S.)

Once they were satisfied that I wasn’t sent by the human authorities, they told me what they knew about Brutus, Julius, and Marc Antony.

Brutus had received an urgent message from his family via IBIS. They didn’t say what was wrong, but that he needed to be there as soon as possible. Marc Antony is from the same group so he wanted to go home too. Julius is not related but saw an opportunity to go home. He separated from them as soon as they knew they were safe.

I asked if they could let me know how to get in touch with Brutus. They really didn’t want to, citing the privacy policies of IBIS. They finally relented when I told them that the other animals were concerned about his safety. They sent me out with a guide named Beowulf. I’m not sure if being with Beowulf made me feel any safer. A couple of times I think he was sizing me up for dinner.

We finally made it to Brutus’ family. They were surprisingly friendly (and they didn’t have to smell me). They pointed out Brutus to me. He looked relaxed and happy. He was sitting with a female and laughing. When he heard who I was, he motioned me over.


(Google Images)

I asked him if everything was all right with his family. He told me that the family was fine but that a strange bear was trying to take over with his lady friend. He made it home in time to convince the other bear that it was time to move along.

So there’s the answer. Brutus wasn’t planning a rampage, he just wanted to save his girl from the clutches of a strange bear. It’s really kind of romantic.

I made it back to the border with Beowulf. He apologized for scaring me. He said he usually did his “bear act” for the tourists, but was bored when he met me. He’s actually a very refined, well-educated bear. We promised to keep in touch via IBIS.

(Aside from Snoops: I am so proud of the alpha male human. He came home from work and told us that he had caught a mouse. Finally. Of course, he didn’t bring it home or have pictures. Hmmm.)