Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Colossal Hunters

It first happened when I was about 15. It was my first visit to the then brand new Night Safari at the Singapore zoo. I was standing next to a man at the Golden Monkey exhibit who was pointing the little nimble little creatures out to his son. What a touching little scene. Immediately my thoughts were filled with romantic notions. Thoughts of how I perhaps someday I would be able to take my own kids to the zoo...until I got the gist of their conversation.
"Look boy, how small they are... their meat must taste so sweet."
I was horrified. How could he even associate those cute little monkeys with... food?


The setting was different this time: a tiny table at a Malaysian restaurant in Amsterdam's Chinatown with my fellow hobbit friend, Timi. Our conversation was of course rife with talk of our favourite subject: food.

The Char Kway Teow (surprisingly tasty although hardly authentic*) came first. Then came the squid.
"Imagine if this were a Colossal Squid!" said Timi as she took her first bite. She looked like was on to something.

" What's a Colossal Squid?"
Apparently (as I was explained to by my most knowledgeable friend), Colossal Squid are mysterious and highly evasive sea creatures which are similar their cousin, the Giant Squid but are believed to be much, much bigger. Their tentacles do not posses suction cups. Instead they are equipped with teeth that allow them to attack prey as large as sperm whales.

I was fascinated.
"So imagine if this tiny squid were a Colossal squid."


"We'd have to sit at this restaurant for weeks to eat it all."
I wasn't horrified. Something was different this time.
The Colossal Hunter in me understood.

*Note: Char Kway Teow is those things you just have to have in a hawker (food) center on a hot, humid Singaporean afternoon. Any other way and it just isn't the same.


Anonymous said...

we are predators. our appetite ensure our survival. we may be hobbits in size, but colossal in appetite ;-) . neither colossal squids nor bullies can scare us. we say, 'back off, or i will eat you! and i will drink your milkshake!!!" ;-)

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