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While the cops and FBI in the U.S. have been searching high and low for terrorists behind every bush, our authorities have been outdoing themselves looking for two unlikely escapees — two dog-sized rodents (with the dubious name of Capybaras) on the loose from their enclosure in Toronto’s High Park. The Capybara is the largest rodent in the world, is ‘built like a barrel with legs’, and is semi-aquatic.

Of course I knew, if Gill caught a whiff of this chase, she’d be all over it like stink on shit. And she’s been captivated for the past several weeks with the hunt. There were two fugitives initially, but one has been recently recaptured. The other animal, after eluding its ‘keepers’ while its partner in crime was captured, is still on the run. Or walk…I don’t think they move quickly. Over the past few weeks, there have been random sightings of the creatures — once sitting behind a bush, just chillaxing, probably wondering how the stupid people hunting for them hadn’t been able to catch them., then once taking a ‘polar bear dip’ in Grenadier pond.

Many in Toronto have become obsessive, in the same way Gill has, about the fugitive. ‘Capy’ has a Twitter feed (captioned “Eat, Swim, Capybara’), a hilarious chronicle of its daily wanderings and activities. I have to say, it is hysterically funny and I’d much rather follow Capy’s Twitter feed than Donald Trump’s. True, they are both members of the rodent family, both are elusive (Capy evading captors;Trump evading the truth), and both are slick (Capy when he finishes his swim; Trump all the time and especially his hair.)

Gill has switched her allegiance (temporarily, I’m sure) from loving and being fascinated by turkeys to the Capys.  I must explain one curious thing about Gill. She attaches herself, in a  not normal way, to certain creatures (usually alive but not an essential prerequisite): Newton, her parakeet, the internet turkey on a plane to San Francisco, little dog( the tiny plastic dog that goes everywhere with her), her under-the-desk piñata at her work office , a hen named Monique that travels around the world on a sailboat with a human companion, and now, the Capy. I have long ago given up asking why.

I find it fascinating that people (including Gill) spend so much time following such creatures. I’m not one to point fingers, though, since I can easily while away hours watching live cam feeds of eagles hatching their babies, polar bear babies or pandas at zoos. In this case, the escapees have won everyone’s hearts by outwitting and outrunning authorities. It’s the ultimate Bonnie and Clyde tale minus the guns. And what with all the terrible news about guns in the U.S. these days, it’s a welcome, lighthearted respite. Who isn’t cheering for the Capys to live happily ever after with their freedom, busting free of manmade ‘chains’? I obviously don’t mean that literally, but you get the idea. They want to live freely to forage on picnic leftovers in the park, perhaps even enjoy a bit of bubbly left behind. Hiding out successfully must be stressful — they probably need a stiff drink at the end of a tough day. Who could deny them that small pleasure?

The one thing that terrifies me is that the other Capy will be caught before Gill arrives here for her summer holiday. Going to High Park to see the elusive fellow(s) was tops on her list of ‘things she has to do’ this year. Of course, when she said ‘see’ them I realize she meant ‘cheer them on’ in their mission to escape The Man. Gill always roots for the underdog…or UnderCapy. I haven’t been able to break the news to her yet that one of the rodent’s reign of terror has ended with its capture. She might, and I wouldn’t put it past her, refuse to come home if she can’t celebrate the rodents’ freedom.

I know she comes mainly to visit with us, her loving family, but I’m not stupid. I know that the Capys were right up there with us. Well, we all have our fantasies and obsessions.

 

 

 

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