Monday, April 2, 2007

Heidi Lasher

Heidi Lasher is a freelance writer and editor with a knack for saying yes to fun, time-consuming projects. She is a mother of one, and is currently incubating number two.

Irwin leapt from his chair and twirled with delight. “My Pangolin! She LIVES!” he exclaimed. His index finger circled his iPod, landing quickly on “O What a Beautiful Morning,” by the dashing and flamboyant Jengbu Lakhpa. He shook his hair loose from its rubber band, and held the Bozeman Daily Chronicle to his cheek. Wearing nothing but his leopard-skin briefs, he pirouetted in front of the picture window and giggled in anticipation.

For nearly 12 days Irwin had scanned the Bozeman police blotter for news about the rare and scaly anteater he’d rescued from a Chinese restaurant in Lhasa. He shuttered, remembering how the poor creature had been dying a slow death in a cage, losing up to six scales a day to greedy customers eager to enhance their sexual performance by drinking tea spiked with her potent scurf. Moved by the animal’s dismal existence and the sense that he could provide a better life for her (and perhaps a more lasting sexual state of arousal for himself), he devised a plan to rescue her like he’d done for so many other reptiles in the past.

Under the cloak of darkness, Irwin and his thespian friends liberated the animal from her cage and ran to a local monastery for cover. The following morning, Irwin bid a tearful adieu to his friends and smuggled the terrified and slightly odorous creature over three borders and past a suspicious TSA agent who was tipped off by a 6 ounce tube of hair gel floating in his carry-on bag without the protection of a Ziplock baggie.

Fortunately, the scaly creature hiding in Irwin’s saffron robe did not catch the agent’s eye.

For the past month, Irwin safely harbored the Pangolin in his renovated grain tower apartment in Bozeman. With love, plenty of fresh, local, organic ants and water, her scales grew back to their God-given glory. Irwin, too, began to heal the emotional scars of his previous relationship, pouring his pain and humiliation of their last sexual encounter into a deep and soulful song called “O Virginia.”

Then, one night, without warning, the reptile vanished. Her plush cedar bed from L.L. Bean still bore her outline, but she was nowhere to be found.

Every day since, Irwin had combed the neighborhoods, calling her name. His devout prayer was that a neighbor would spot her and call the police. And today his prayer had been answered. The Pangolin was spotted by the dishwashing staff at the Panda Buffet, scuttling across the parking lot.

Irwin pulled a saffron robe over his head and grabbed his Sorels. Just as he was walking out the door, the phone rang.


Sam Louden said...

I remembered Marlon Perkins on the Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom wrassle a pangolin in southern Africa. I thought the scaly ant-eaters were mammals. I also thought they were egg layers (properly Monotremes) too, like the equally freakish spiny echidna and duck-billed platypus. I lumped them into the Echinoderm (This actually includes starfish and sea cucumbers.) family. I was only right about the mammal part, so it was good I did not hold up the story to clear changing Heidi's story with her or worse do it with out consent. Plus, who is going to notice if the pangolin is identified as a reptile? Most likely, we could change a thing or two when I got the story back from Craig. And if worse came to worse, we could always take the lie and run with it, the story of Kansas.
The furthering of the scheme to produce Butte the Musical mollified any distress I felt about the confused creature. The play was on its way, what more could I ask?

Anonymous said...

me... i would notice, theyre my favorite animal. and theyre NOT FEAKISH THEYRE CUTE