Animal Farm is here. Not George Orwell’s political pigs, horses and hounds, but all kinds of little krible-krable creatures and maybe the occasional bird.
A few years back I was blind as a starling, as we say in Denmark, without my glasses. Couldn’t even see a banana fly – or drosophila melanogaster – these little creatures that flock around our wine bottles and are in general a royal pain in the backside.
I can see them now. Without spectacles. Because the bird is gone, the starling. I don’t know why we say blind as a starling, my merry-winged neighbours on the Granada Coast and in Denmark seem to be able to see very clearly whatever larvae and insects they need to uphold a decent livelihood and feed their young.
Another thing I don’t know about starlings is why I had this green starling in my eyes, or rather why we in Denmark call them green starlings. In other countries they call them glaucoma or catarata. I like the starling better, though. Anyhow they put the knife in my eyes and operated the starlings away before I went blind.
And now I can see the banana flies, the drosophila melanogaster, even without the glasses. I can see how they flock around the wine bottle, and they seem to enjoy it very much. What I can’t see, though, is what they are doing apart from flocking. I suppose they’re doing what rhymes with flocking. And of course drinking my wine. But I can’t see it.
Now an Israeli research has made me wiser on banana flies. It seems that the male, banana flies will do anything to make their short lives comfortable. When they’re not reproducing and getting the females pregnant, they drink wine. Or masturbate in groups.
No matter how many starlings they operate out of my eyes, I will never be able to establish whether a banana fly is masturbating, making love or drinking my wine. But these guys can, it seems.
If the drosophila flies were wearing burkhas, and I can’t see if they do, I’m sure the Danish politicians would put a stop to it and save my wine and my modesty, that’s making me blush when the damn creatures are not drinking wine.
They, the politicians, are already trying to get rid of another uncomfortable animal, the wild boar. With some reason, as the kradsbørstige boars, meaning that they have long, stiff hair on their backs as do some men, may contaminate our domestic tame pigs with bad diseases. There are by far more pigs in Denmark than there are Danes, and we can’t have our bacon spoiled by intruders from Germany.
So they are building a 70-kilometer-long Berlin Wall, well, just a fence, really, along the border to Germany to keep the wild boars out. Those beasts can swim, though, so they are going to launch floating barriers along the coasts. That’ll teach them a lesson, that will.
The fence will leave minor entrances for emigrating hedgehogs and other petty animals. And as people, roads and rivers and the occasional okay animal must also cross the border, they’re going to establish gates in the fence at frequent intervals.
The politicians think, that when a wild boar meets a fence on the border, he will just turn around and say, “Too bad. Let’s go back to Germany.” I think he’ll take a walk along the fence till he finds one of many gates and say “Hey, let’s go to Denmark. They’re supposed to have nice beaches up there” And we do.
Also for the first time in Man’s memory we have nice weather. A little too nice for my taste, really, but let’s be thankful for what we get. After decade after decade of cold and wet summers, we are having three months of hot, dry weather, hotter than any man remembers.
Anyway, animals. Be it banana flies, starlings or wild boars, they are better than their reputations, I guess. I don’t think they are really that dangerous. The really dangerous animal is man.
(Feature: Danish Corner by Jes Rasmussen)