Monday, June 24, 2013

Mammoth Monday

The Land of Eternal Winter

The herd of great, furry beasts lumbered through the frozen arctic tundra. They were migrating south to the warmer climate and regions where the conifer forests were abundant. With the spring thaw, the herd passed this way on their journey to summer pastures in the north. Now, months later, they retraced their steps in hopes of finding something to forage under thepristine pellicle of snow. Food was good here last time.
     The late afternoon storm passed quickly and hadn’t flurried heavily enough to cover their deeply trodden tracks, but it was sufficient to blanket everything in a fresh coating of white. The newly fallen snow incited the rambunctious young sters into playing tag. Running and sliding beneath the fringed undersides and tree trunk legs of the adults, the calves’ acrobatic stunts stirred up clouds of confetti-like frost. One of the elder females chuffed at the impertinent nuisance of a snout full of powder.
     She reared her head as she recovered from the sneeze and blurted a loud trumpeting from her three-meter long trunk. The calves scrambled out and away from her gracefully curving tusks with their gentle upward twist.
     The woolly mammoth, a thirty-five-year-old female and the matriarch of the herd, stood eleven feet tall at the shoulder. She was draped in a thick coat of fur; the ropy, cashmere-like locks of hair flowed over each and every one of her kind from head to toe.
     In a panorama of nothingness, each massive creature resembled a hairy oasis. Even in the murky dusk their distinctive shape and oafish size made them oddities against the background of eternal ice age winter.

to be continued...

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