I like hyenas

“I am not one to hold a prejudice against any animal, but it is a plain fact that the spotted hyena is not well served by its appearance. It is ugly beyond redemption. Its thick neck and high shoulders that slope to the hindquarters look as if they’ve come from a discarded prototype for the giraffe, and its shaggy, coarse coat seems to have been patched together from the leftovers of creation. The colour is a bungled mix of tan, black, yellow, grey, with the spots having none of the classy ostentation of a leopard’s rosettes; they look rather like the symptoms of a skin disease, a virulent form of mange. The head is broad and too massive, with a high forehead, like that of a bear, but suffering from a receding hairline, and with ears that look ridiculously mouse-like, large and round, when they haven’t been torn off in battle. The mouth is forever open and panting. The nostrils are too big. The tail is scraggly and unwagging. The gait is shambling. All the parts put together look doglike, but like no dog anyone would want as a pet.”

Found in: Yann Martel “Life of Pi”


4 responses to “I like hyenas

  1. quite magnificent prose, did you know that hyena is greek for ‘glutton’, that it’s not a dog at all, that it’s the top predator in Africa, and what flummoxes the most is that our learned Mr Martel has failed to point out is that the lady hyena has a wang

  2. I know that a hyena is not a dog, and that they are dangerous animals. Their jaws are very strong.

    But what do you mean with wang?

  3. 😀 I didn’t know the word but I knew the fact. Nature is fascinating.

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