Sunday, October 21, 2007

R - The Rasch

[click to enlarge]

The Rasch is a six-legged marsupial that lives deep in the bamboo jungles of China. It is named after the German explorer who first brought news of it to the Western world in 2006. Strangely, Chinese cryptozoologists don't seem to have been aware of its existence before then.

The animal is primarily arboreal, and has a long tail that helps it keep balance as it leaps from tree to tree. The fur is predominantly light gray, with three distinctive black stripes on the head. Its eyes are often said to be "flashing"; they are usually so dilated that they appear entirely black -- except for when light reflects off the retinas and they seem to glow (much like a cat's eyes at night).

The Rasch is highly animated. It has a metabolism that is in over-drive. During the course of a 24-hour period it never sleeps. It is in constant motion seeking out flying insects, which are its food. Every action is fast, alert, and precise.

The price for life on fast-forward is an early grave. The Rasch is only conscious for three weeks. At the end of this period, it buries itself deep in a burrow and goes into a comatose state -- which it will remain in for the rest of its life, approximately 15 years more.

When the Rasch goes dormant, it takes its offspring with it to this "grave". The several young it has in its pouch will spend the next decade slowly developing -- before bursting to life for their own brief period of consciousness.

One must wonder: Sleeping for almost 25 years of its existence, what does a Rasch dream about?

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