Two Friends at the Wuzzle Cage

One hot summer day, a pair of friends went to the local zoo. Most of the animals were sedate and lethargic in the broiling sun, but when they came to the wuzzle cage, the young men found something causing quite a stir. Beside the cave, in the shade of a eucalyptus tree, two adolescent wuzzles were wrestling vigorously. Claws and jaws were flying everywhere, burying into the long fur of the animals, and loud growls emanated toward the gathering crowd. It appeared to be quite a ferocious fight.

One of the young men, who had once written deep, sentimental poems for his high school literary magazine, looked at his friend with bulging eyes and said, “Man! Those animals are mauling each other! That little one will surely die. Wow, these wuzzles are fierce!”

“Nonsense,” replied the other young man, a pre-med biology major at an Ivy League school. “Listen to yourself. I don’t understand how you make all these judgments without knowing the facts. Yours is the language of the worst kinds of rhetoric and propoganda.”

“Whaddaya mean?”

“Well, it just so happens that wuzzles are very tender, social animals. They’re just playfighting. They’ve been observed doing so in the field many times. It’s a natural means for releasing aggression in the young of the species. Wuzzles have a thick coat of fur and a strong epidermal layer below. They aren’t even hurting each other.”

“Oh….I see.”

“You know, you really should try to confine your observations to those which are based upon facts. Otherwise you speak nothing but subjective opinion and prejudicial judgments. There is no true knowledge to be found in subjective opinion. Even poets need to be truthful.”

“All right, I think I understand. Give me an example of a factual observation.”

“OK,” the biology student said, scratching his chin, then pointing at the wuzzles. “These wuzzles have black fur. You can look at them, and see that their fur is black. No opinions, just the facts.”

They turned and watched as the cloud of dust began to settle. The wuzzles had ceased their playfighting, and were taking turns stroking each other’s fur, carefully removing the dirt and dry leaves.

His friend nodded. “You’re right,” he said, “I should be more objective in my statements. Just the facts.”

The friends strolled off in the direction of the air-conditioned snake house. As they left, the wuzzles climbed out of the shade of the eucalyptus tree, and crawled over to clear off a spot on the rock ledges. There they lay down and basked in the sunlight, letting its toasty rays warm their thick brown pelts.

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Published by Waldo Noesta

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