Komodo Dragons

(The following is submitted for your consideration, given that there are, at this exact moment, a family of Komodo Dragons in temporary residence at the Indianapolis Zoo). Enjoy.

            Well, now, it must be that the Almighty was in a sour mood the day He created the Komodo Dragon.  He probably made this lizard right after he made us and probably to spite us. This, the largest living lizard, is high on the list of the most unpleasant of creatures.

            First of all, his appearance does not lend itself to endearment. He can be long, up to 10 feet. He is also expressionless, unless a large gaping mouth capable of swallowing a small pig in its entirety is considered a captivating visage. Second, they have a ponderous gait that gives the illusion of slow physical and mental ability. They can however, move with lightning speed at the prospect of a meal. They are known to reach short bursts of speed up to 13 mph. You and I cannot run that fast. This is an eating machine so its mental ability and function is completely devoted to locating a tasty something or other. He has the habit of hanging around game trails (think a commuter route for animals) a long time, motionless, patiently waiting for some unsuspecting whatever to pass by. He is at the top of the food chain so will eat pretty much anything he can get his mouth around. He does not think much of us though, as it would seem attacks towards humans are fairly rare unless you happen to get in between him and lunch.

            It is a wonder they have managed to survive – Varanus komodoensis is a cannibal. It would seem that Mr. and Mrs. Dragon like to feast on their own kids. They have been at it so long that these creatures are born with a highly refined genetic ability to climb trees. It’s true. They are, at birth, highly accomplished tree climbers. Further, they seem to know the second they are born that it’s “off to the trees quick!” They further have it in themselves an uncanny knowledge that, if they smother themselves in dung and other unmentionable filth, they will render themselves unsuitable for any of the older lizards’ dining pleasure.

            Such is their extreme and total lack of social skills that the Creator put him on his own island way out in Indonesia. They have now made the place into a park and have decided to hire a bunch of rangers to protect this lizard from us. Or maybe it is to protect us from him. He is a wholly nasty and unlikeable (though oddly fascinating) creature. I hope to never meet one in the wild and, in support of that goal, will most certainly never visit the Komodo National Park.

            Say what you want, but the Komodo is a patient and tenacious survivor. He is also opportunistic. He is the walking, talking example of patience being a virtue.  Patience. “He who waits on the Lord will renew his strength.”

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