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Siili Sympathies
by Jan Sand
2007-05-14 07:34:59
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The French author Anatole France once noticed that, in his words, "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." (from The Red Lily, 1894).

But the law, at least in Finland, seems somewhat more generous with creatures not human.

Recently, while meandering around my neighborhood a few evenings ago, I heard a strange clicking sound coming from a culvert under the path in a small local park. My knees and my back are not as limber as they used to be but I managed to scrunch down to peek into the large pipe and thought I saw something quite strange. It seemed to be a hedgehog, known locally as a siili, squatting before a laptop computer industriously punching away at the keys.

A gust of wind ruffled a small pile of papers next to the computer and blew one in my direction. When I reached down to pick it up my presence became obvious and immediately the computer illumination ceased and I heard the sharp click of the screen cover snapping down. All was silence and darkness in there and, although I waited for a full quarter hour despite my aching back, the darkness persisted.

At the time I assumed it had been an odd illusion generated by my imagination so I painfully straightened up and walked slowly home wondering about how the hell the mind can sometimes play such odd tricks.

As is my custom I first checked my e-mail and, as I sat there before my computer, heard the crackle of the paper in my pocket that I had picked up in the park. In the light at my table I saw, at first, nothing on the paper and was about to toss it away when I noticed something printed across the top: suomensiili.com.

I tapped that out on my keyboard and a site appeared full of very strange marks strung out in straight horizontal lines like writing but like no writing I had ever seen before. I Googled through quite a few exotic linguistic sites but nothing similar turned up. Finally, in desperation, I investigated the marks on the basis of English letter frequency and was elated to discover there was a simple relationship. I won't go into all the twists of code I used for manipulation but at the end I had something that seemed to make sense.

Once I had the requisite information it was simple to fabricate the necessary software for automatic translation of the esoteric characters into readable material. When I applied this to the original page I saw numerous references to the "presidential project". This puzzled me until I saw that there was a large archive of material at this site and I made a thorough exploration of the basic material. It revealed something somewhat sinister and frankly, astounding.

Just recently there has been a good deal of exploration of animal intelligence and it has come to light that what we humans have considered lower animals possess many of the fundamental mental capabilities of humans. The archive I explored consisted of much material that indicated that humans have uncovered merely the tip of the iceberg. There is a total integrated animal culture that is not only comparable to human civilization but is aware and active in trying to reverse the severe damage that humanity has inflicted on the life support systems in our planetary environment. The feeling is that they have trusted humanity long enough to discover humanity's incompetence in the matter and are making a major effort to retake the planet and bring it back into some kind of sensible operating shape.

Their initial attempt was made in the election of 2001 in the USA when they managed to persuade the American public to elect George W. Bush who is actually a stack of three acrobatic orang-utans who spent several years in training to mimic a Texan – not a terribly difficult accomplishment for orang-utans once you got them the requisite sombrero.

Cheney, on the other hand, was a quite clever construction composed of blue bottle flies who spent a decade perfecting the buzz of their wings to mimic the human voice. Mentally, of course, they have severe limits but the office of the vice president, as exemplified by, for example, Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle, puts little in that area as a necessity.

But orang-utans are amiable fellows, guys you would delight in sharing a beer with, and the blue bottle flies, whatever their mental competence, can be rather forceful in their persuasive abilities. Which is why the world is in such a mess today and why the hedgehog (or siili) I spotted in the culvert is busy in a monumental effort to get an animal combo into office to get the world back into proper working order.

The orang-utan/fly combination was obviously a bad move so the hedgehogs and armadillos have joined together to get their people into office.

A couple of the Democratic contenders are stacks of seventy-six hedgehogs and no less than four of the Republican aspirants are each sixty-two armadillos. They are each having problems lowering their rational capabilities to human level but, considering, it seems to me they are doing remarkably well.

I can only wish them luck as the current situation under humans is sliding downhill fearfully fast.

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