An olive complected man closed both of the doors, which were
hinged with hydraulic cylinders, behind him. A moment earlier, he had shut
another of the exhibits twinned gates.
The lemur enclosure was a vast, open space, framed on one side
by a people walkway. The rest of its perimeter was secured by a high barrier
softened with sustainable vegetation. The electrical fencing, which the animals
had learned not to touch, was activated only at night.
The fellow pulled out a lined tablet, a pen, and a cell phone.
He spoke in a semantic tongue.
Our plans demand more than might. Why do those old stallions
feign allegiance? They must sacrifice their families. Better men can lead.
The lemurs spent their days hanging from trees, sniffing each
others bodies, and elsewise scampering on their grass and rocks. Sun rays
made them look pith-helmeted. Smiling, the visitor withdrew a large quantity of
fruit from his pocket. There were signs in Hebrew, in Arabic, and in English,
stapled to the fence. It was forbidden to feed the animals.
Theyre insufferable. We unite the Arab World. We achieve
the great Umma. We bring home our ancestors dream. Theres no time
for comfort. They must separate from wives and children. Too many have been
deprived too long.
A mother and her small daughter entered the enclosure. They
noticed the foreigner and approached a zoo keeper to point out the mans
The keeper shrugged, explaining that the man visited the lemurs
daily and that he was loosely associated with the zoos volunteer
organization. As long as he showed up, at six each morning, to chop biscuits
for the primates, for all that the zoo keeper cared, the man could download
stolen data, launch a nuclear missile, or pick his nose in the lemur cage. She
turned from the young family to grab a sidewalk broom.
The chief commanded. Najair still sits in jail. Of course we
resent facilitators who misunderstand. The Brotherhood demands.
Taslim caused no deaths; that uncle would have been terminated anyway.
The keeper pointed out how the zoos obsessive
preoccupation with the lemurs ecosystem motivated it to spend many
shekels on bamboo, tamarind, and crateva, specifically, and to make the
lemurs home resemble grassland, complete with herbs and low growing
flowers, in general. The mother bent to clutch her child and made narrow eyes
at the zoo keeper. The child, though, who was enthralled by the caches of lemur
treats the keeper was unlocking, reached toward the zoo keeper.
Ignore the females. Kill all disobedient males. Impale them or
draw and quarter them. We used motorcycles in Gaza City.
An adolescent lemur, which strode up to the swarthy man, got
stroked. Thereafter, the man used both hands to change his shoes to the rubber
clogs that he pulled from his day pack. In three yanks, he pulled off his
mustache and shortened his sideburns, too. Neither the zookeeper nor the mother
Shoot protestors. Our laws are sacrosanct. If I had both thumbs,
that would be more loyalists. Commanders can be replaced.
The child squealed. A semicircle of lemurs surrounded her,
having sniffed out the pellets that the keeper had at last thrust into her tiny
hand. The keeper prattled, describing how the lead female of each social group
becomes that groups focal point and how dominance establishes hierarchy
Were not to blame for their miseries. We serve Allah. We
dont need medals. He who watches knows all. I envy the beasts.
The man slipped a pair of sunglasses out from a side pocket of
his backpack. He greased his hair with gel.
True. Thats more than Amid wanted. Before his son was
born, he helped the infiltrators. After the baby died, may his soul be revenged
one hundredfold, Amid killed them.
A red ruffed lemur with a smaller one clinging to her back, the
latters tail so long as to wrap twice around its mothers torso,
inched closest to the little girl. The young human startled. The lemur
responded with growl-snorts. The child froze. The lemur whined. Others
Jari can separate himself from personal concerns. A true
warrior, he walked away from his dying sister.
Another mother, one with two small children, entered the
enclosure. Her kids ran at the lemurs in the same way that elsewhere in the
world children run at geese. The lemurs huffed, grunted, and sprang into the
Our sons must kill idolaters, must destroy all greedy
corporations. Think of Bosnia, of Herzegovina, of Boston. The medias
The keeper suggested to the second mom that she collect her
children and scolded that the animals home was to be respected. The
second mom huffed and grunted. She collected her children and then quickly
pulled them through the exhibits exit gates. They left behind a trail of
junk food. Quickly, the lemurs gobbled up those remains.
Trust no friend. I know your sorrow. The devil makes vanity.
The man pulled off his windbreaker, and rolled it into a ball.
He traded it for a nondescript, dirty cardigan that he pulled from his pack.
Leave rapture to song birds. Failure and uncertainty are
The noisy family gone, the alpha female leapt once more toward
the little girl. The child screamed. The keeper reached into her treat bucket
extended a handful to the frightened animal. The lemur stuffed her cheeks with
Deciphering those words takes practice.
The man reached his hand to the ground and scooped up some dust.
He smeared that earth onto his brow and nose. Thereafter, he shrugged. Upon
leaving the lemur compound, he banged the double doors none too softly behind