Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Doc Barbara moves up the Chain of Being

   Readers will have noted Doc Barbara's interest in invertebrates (in her worm-training programme which was hugely successful) and amphibians (in her encouragement to male frogs to perform their natural functions this spring which inexplicably failed to achieve its aims, despite help from the W.U.G) and may have wondered why she does not engage with other species.

   She is well aware that the higher animals come close to humanity in the great Chain of Being and has always been deterred from any dealing with monkeys or apes since the phrase "group of primates" always brings to her mind unwanted images of bishops in conclave (somewhat unfortunately the reverse is also the case).  However, on her recent travels, she encountered scenes of distress which she felt necessitated her help. When she saw two sheep in a muddy field, cold and wet with their wool bedraggled, she bought them substantial raincoats, intended for larger dogs and was relieved to see them much happier as a result.

   She then observed two bears struggling to carry a heavy bench - back-breaking work - and ran to ask six sturdy male passers-by for their assistance. After several minutes of bewildered consultation, they obliged and all is now well.

   Yet, did our heroine rest? She may have relaxed physically after her exertions but her mind remained active attempting to answer the existentialist questions; "Why do sheep always behave like sheep?" and: "If there are two bears in a garden does that make it a bear garden?" Truly, Doc Barbara spares herself nothing to promote public benefit.

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