I was going to write about language-learning woes today, because that is where my mind is at these days. As I pondered my potential prose however, I was reminded of a post I did a while ago on that same subject. I went back and reread that other post and was impressed with how aptly it described my current mental state.
Not wanting to waste time re-inventing the wheel (or, in this case, “re-complaining about my lot in life”), I’ve included a link to that post here. I think you will enjoy it.
Now that I’ve saved all that time I was going to spend whining, I can move on to other subjects. What a joy modern technology can be!
In family news, we have made a recent addition to our number this last week. Meet Isabella “Izzy” the Cuscus (pronounced “cuss-cuss”).
An Iski friend of mine, Greg “Candy-Man” Skombo, found her along the trail when he was coming back from his garden, and he passed her on to us. We don’t know what happened to her mother, but since she is still “pouch-sized,” she wasn’t going to last long in the jungle on her own.
The boys and Rochelle set a new family record in the animal-taming department with this new acquisition. In about the span of 3 days, Izzy’s temperament went from “homicidal rage at being held captive” to “uber snuggly and content with life,” which is no small feat when you consider that she was legitimately coming from one of the wildest contexts on the planet!
We are still working on developing a comprehensive species-specific ecological and behavioral profile to add to the scientific community’s global database, but here’s what we have put together so far:
The common spotted cuscus (Latin – mammilius tanish-brownicus) is a tree-dwelling marsupial. Unlike its North American counterpart, the opossum, the cuscus does not present itself as a hideously grotesque, bug-eyed rat-thing. They are actually quite cute. In fact, according to several cuscuses that we have spoken with, the opossum isn’t even a relative of theirs at all, but they can’t seem to get them to stop showing up at the family reunions. Opossums also, apparently, burp loudly and tell rude jokes. But I digress.
In its natural habitat, the diet of the cuscus consists mostly of papaya and cooked oatmeal. If there is milk and sugar in the oatmeal, then they will more-or-less eat it until it comes out their tufted little ears. This brings us to cuscus anatomy.
With each forepaw having two opposable thumbs, each back paw having a single opposable thumb, all of its claws being razor sharp, and the inclusion of a long prehensile tail, the body of the cuscus is very single-function specific. That is to say, each of its anatomical features seem geared towards the same singular skill: the ability to cling to the human face with near-legendary tenacity.
Even if, say, the cuscus is clinging painfully to your scalp and face, while actively peeing an entire day’s worth of urine into your left eye, and you are screaming, and your wife is yelling at you not to hurt it (instead of helping), and your children are rolling on the floor laughing at you, you will still be physically unable to remove this creature from your person without incurring great pain.
In the absence of human faces, I assume this skill-set might also be utilized effectively when climbing trees.
One of the other defining features of the cuscus is its abdominal pouch. Unlike the potentially lethal pouch found on some humans, the cuscus pouch is used as a means of protecting and transporting its young. Also, it seems like it would be a very handy place to store one’s car keys.
As far as behavior goes, the cuscus is a very voracious sleeper. We have observed Izzy sleep ALL DAY, except for feeding times, without taking a break! That was a bit intense though, even for a seasoned professional like herself, and she had to take a nap afterwards.
We have been having a lot of fun helping her get familiar with the rest of the family. Rochelle has put a little sling together that she (Izzy) can snuggle in, and we take turns wearing it throughout the day. We’re hoping she will become a permanent fixture in our home.
Anyway, that’s a bit of the news from our little corner of the jungle.