You can’t spell swan without dick.

These birds have been acting out since ancient times. The Greek gods took their form to rape girls and did this because the swan lifestyle inspired them. It’s a form of divine thug life. Recently, in Chicago, a gang of swans flipped a man’s kayak and aquatically jumped him. Five of them held him underwater until he quit struggling and then their feather fingers let go and they watched him float to the surface. The most King Kong among them opened his wings like a post-fight cholo boasting, “That’s right! That’s right! That’s what’s up, bitch!”
Swans aren’t the only animals that should’ve been kept off the ark.
Bigfoot was intentionally kept off the ark. Noah and his family worried about having a cryptozoological creature with such big feet on board. You know what they say about hard-to-find monsters with big feet. Their feet stink extra badly.
On Noah’s Ark, they had dolphins, sea monkeys, and clams. They had calamari and canned tuna. Noah’s wife brought Miracle Whip and when the tuna behaved badly, Noah flashed them the pseudo-mayo and raised an eyebrow to remind them of his family’s tuna salad recipe.
It’s a good thing Noah decided to save the clams. Otherwise, the world would have no women.
Clams usually get their periods around age twelve. They loll in the ocean and then, pffff, the water they live in takes on a cherry Kool-Aid hue, and the clams are ready for feminine products. Their monthly excretions enrich the water. They make it salty and tangy. Like a glass of Clamato. Clams are disembodied private parts.
Some are hairy. Others are smooth. Some have hard shells and others don’t mind the barnacles growing all over them.
According to high schoolers, monkeys are the worst. Having sex with one will give you AIDS. According to many sixteen-year-olds, AIDS comes from monkey sex which these teenyboppers will tell you is sex with an ugly person, not necessarily somebody with monkey DNA. The DNA can be human, the face, pure lemur.
Some stray cats are into masturbating on women’s doorsteps. It makes them giggle to cat come on a lady’s welcome mat.
A lot of animals rape. Dolphins get the most credit for being gang rapists, but raccoons are pretty deviant, too.
One time, these two college students were hanging out at a gay male college student’s apartment when they heard what they thought was a cat fight in the parking lot out front. They listened to screeches and hissing until it bordered on hell sounds. The college students ran outside but only saw asphalt and cheap sedans under the parking lot lamps and moonlight. No warring cats.
They listened and heard feral noises coming from their left.
They followed the pavement down to the edge of the first floor and turned left again. They stood on their side of a cinderblock fence and knew they were near the sound makers and looked up, to the roof of a shed with dried pine needles creating a highly flammable mattress. The friends saw a male raccoon, wearing a little rapist mask, holding down a female of his species.
She was squealing. He was holding onto her furry shoulders and plowing her with fury. Her opera-gloved hands flailed and she lurched forward, trying to escape, disrupting needles, but her rapist had the gift of tenacity.
The lesbian college student felt terrible. It felt terrible to be in the moonlight, looking at the profile of a small mammalian rape victim, and her friend screamed, “Stop!” at the male raccoon.
“Yeah!” the girl echoed. “Stop!”
The gay bent over, reached for a pinecone, and pitched it at the rapist. It struck his side, he let go of his quarry, and she bolted away.
The gay whispered, “Do you know what the scientific name for raccoon is?”
“What?” asked the lesbian.
“Procyon lotor.”
“That sounds like another word for rapist,” said the lesbian.
The friends felt shaken, not stirred, by the nature they’d seen.
The lesbian went on to have other horrible experiences with animals.
Once, a rabbit made love to her leg. That wasn’t so bad.
The lesbian got a girlfriend who was a white person, and this white person got to have an offbeat experience with her school’s ecosystem. The white girlfriend was going to community college and taking a break from her geology class, standing by some Monterey pines with a gaggle of smokers. A rabbit was lunching near their feet, nibbling at taxpayer-funded grass. The geology students admired the animal’s innocence till a hawk swooped into their line vision. It extended its talons and used them to lift the rabbit by its nape, and it was like watching a more violent version of that game you can pay a dollar to play in order to navigate a claw that grips and lifts a stuffed animal that can becomes yours as long as you don’t drop it.
The hawk ascended with its Easter prey dangling, and he rose toward the clear sky, disappearing into pine branches. Since most of those watching were native city slickers, they panicked. Their community college campus was as rural as it got. One of the students whipped out her phone and dialed 911.
“A rabbit’s been attacked,” she spoke into it. The others could tell that the dispatcher was asking a question. The student answered, “A hawk. Hello?”
Something white, red, and beautiful fell near the students’ feet. They looked. From the grass, the rabbit’s head stared at them, like Marie Antoinette’s or Jayne Mansfield’s. It was as if the rabbit’s bloody neck was now attached to the earth and it was part animal, part celestial body.
The event made the campus paper. The headline read: “HAWK ATTACKS RABBIT. STUDENT DIALS 911.”
This story is verifiable but there are unverifiable hunches some community members harbor about the hummingbirds that live in this same city.
One person who shares these hunches gardens irregularly. She lives in a blue, Spanish style home with one tree, a very fertile guava, in its front yard. Around the guava grow astral succulents, cacti thin and fat, and native California brush such as Manzanita and Mexican sage.
It was while trimming the Fremontodendron that the gardener developed her hunch regarding her local hummingbirds. The Fremontodendron had put her in a bad mood. The Fremontodendron, also known as flannel bush, which the irregular gardener enjoys reimaging as a lumberjack’s crotch, releases a botanical dandruff that causes itching, sneezing, and eye-watering. The gardener was feeling the itch, cursing the tree, and hacking off one of its branches, which had grown so far into the driveway that it minimized parking space, when she saw the tiny, energetic bird.
It stuck its beak in twixt sage flower petals and instead of a sipping sound, the irregular gardener heard a snort. She set her hatchet down on the dirt and watched the sniffing bird more closely. It nervously bobbed from purple flower to purple flower, snorting. With each snort, the frenetcism in its body multiplied till it seemed liable to explode like the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Then, the gardener realized: “This hummingbird has a drug problem. It’s sniffing cocaine.”
From her dining room window each day, she watches this overly energetic bird return to the Mexican sage to do lines. It snorts at the flowers, becomes more and more trembly and darting. She puts her ear to the window screen and hears the bird humming cumbias. That is how she deduced his place of origin. He is Mexican like the gardener’s mother and her mother’s mother and her mother’s mother’s mother and her smother’s mother’s mother and so and so forth.
Last weekend, she watched him remove a tiny parcel from a flannel bush flower, carry it in his beak to the guava tree, and wait. A nervous sparrow with twine in its beak arrived. The sparrow deposited it on the guava branch beside the bird, and was then allowed a sniff of white powder that the hummingbird arranged on a twig. A blue jay came offering string, set it down beside the twine, and he was allowed a sniff done off the hummingbird’s beak. A pelican came all the way from the coast offering a shoelace, which he placed with the rest of the payments, and then he did a toot. After nearly a hundred birds visited the hummingbird, the drug hummingbird took the payments and fashioned a drug mansion out of them way up in the highest boughs of the guava. He hired six crows as bodyguards.
“Pollen” allows the hummingbird to be all he can be. Hummmmm…

Myriam Gurba

Myriam Gurba wrote Dahlia Season (Manic D Press), Wish You Were Me (Future Tense), and Sweatsuits of the Damned (Radar Productions). She enjoys coffee, crosswords, the Real Housewives, and lounging around in men's underwear.

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