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Day 4:

Life's rich pageant continues to unfold before me. The two tables nearest my enclosure have been pushed together to make a large feeding area. After slaking their thirst at the coffee pot, the lower-status members of the herd gather at this table, mimicking the "meeting" behavior of the more dominant members. Though I still do not understand their subtle language, the large feeding area principally serves to reinforce social bonding between females, who talk about their mates, their children, their mates acting like children. Their high laughter carries as far down the hall as Internal Sales, and during these meetings no male approaches the table, and few will even brave the break room for coffee.

Buku, however, has not yet learned the behaviors of a mature male of his kind. Today a small number of females gathered, two members of the south herd and two from Design. I have grown particularly fond of the female I call "Sasha." It was Sasha who brought danishes and tacos to the break room yesterday, and the dilligance and care with which she provides for so much of the herd is admirable in a less dominant creature. Despite her lower status in the herd, so clearly marked by her display of simple, bright floral prints, she has gained much status and recognition as a food-provider.

Sasha and another female brought a large cache of foodstuffs to the table--several bags of chips, guacamole, and finely ground meat. The smell of this imprompteau feast was surely calling to the rest of the herd, but they had learned hard lessons in the past, and would wait until the females had finished their savage discussion--wait for the laughter to die down. Buku entered the break room, walking first to the coffee pot, but then, drawn by the smell of meat and salsa, he moved hesitantly toward the table.

The females stopped their low, rumbling conversation immediately, and Buku, perhaps asking if this food was the claim of the females, reached for a small bowl of queso.

In a strange gesture of dominance and generosity, Sasha carefully prepared for him two rolls of meat and flat bread, a small salad, beans, rice, and three large cookies. The cockiness Buku displayed when challenging Brighteye was gone now, and he seemed smaller, as if hiding within himself from this aggressive display of mexican food. He chirped some sort of thanks, but he was pale and demonstrated many of the placating gestures he uses to appease upper management.

Buku's coffee mug is still here. He has yet to return to claim it, and has not investigated the leftovers of the feast. I know he will come back, but for now, this powerful clan of females has driven him from the break room.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
jenna_thorn
May. 7th, 2004 10:07 am (UTC)
snort
Okay, you don't know me, but I found you by way of squeakymaus comment.


That being said, I simply had to let you know that this is marvelous and that this:
her lower status in the herd, so clearly marked by her display of simple, bright floral prints
is a shining bit of why it's so marvelous. And it's narrated in my head not by Attenborough, but by the guy who did the voiceover narration for Walking with Dinosaurs. Just in case you were curious.

Anyway, howdy.
spottylogic
May. 7th, 2004 10:30 am (UTC)
Hi, Cawti! Glad I could get a laugh out of you :) I saw you on my LJ friends list and figured you were a friend of Maus's, he has taste :) Nice to meet you!

jenna_thorn
May. 7th, 2004 11:15 am (UTC)
Hmmmm
Actually, I've not tasted Maus. I've smooched on Tenar, though, so once removed...
spottylogic
May. 7th, 2004 11:20 am (UTC)
Re: Hmmmm
Ah. Perilously close to TMI there, dear :)
(snickers)
jenna_thorn
May. 7th, 2004 11:23 am (UTC)
TMI
I live to serve....

And take great joy in dancing on the knife's edge.

Well, you know...here, where it's safe.
hale
May. 7th, 2004 10:12 am (UTC)
Life's Rich Pageant is an excellent album.
spottylogic
May. 7th, 2004 10:32 am (UTC)
Never heard it, but we listen to *almost* completely different music--I got it by way of a british quote show, but I can't find the source--"Laugh it off, laugh it off--it's all part of life's rich pageant."
hale
May. 7th, 2004 10:41 am (UTC)
Actually, you'd be surprised how much music we very likely have in common. I'm definitely into a lot of weird music from the 80s (Wall of Voodoo, Thomas Dolby, etc.), which as I understand is sort of your forte along with novelty songs. Anyway, Lifes Rich Pageant is R.E.M.'s fourth album, and they're probably my favorite band ever, so naturally that's a reference I'd catch before a reference to British television.
spottylogic
May. 8th, 2004 07:46 am (UTC)
I think I'm getting to appreciate outsider music more and more, but 80's New Wave and British Folk will be my first love. I'm actually not that big a fan of novelty songs--with a few rare exceptions, they're "funny once." I have all the Dr. Demento two-CD sets, but they pretty much gather dust except for long car trips and making mixes for other people.
the_october
May. 7th, 2004 01:09 pm (UTC)
I believe this may be the first documentation, anecdotal evidence aside, of the use of Mexican food in dominance display. If nothing else I'm reasonably certain it marks the first appearance of the phrase 'hiding within himself from this aggressive display of Mexican food', so congratulations.
spottylogic
May. 7th, 2004 01:18 pm (UTC)
W00t! I treasured that sentence.
strigine
May. 7th, 2004 06:46 pm (UTC)
*busts. up. laughing*

Thing o' beauty, man. :D
spottylogic
May. 8th, 2004 12:05 am (UTC)
Thanks! I was particularly pseudostoned when I wrote this. Yay, sleep dep :)
kt_kat
May. 7th, 2004 07:17 pm (UTC)
I found the use of "Design" and "south herd" in the same sentence fairly amusing.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )