The World Outside These Walls: A Journal of the Natural World

by Theodora Thoreau-Roosevelt, Professional Window Washer and Amateur Naturalist
ENTRY 57: A Rare Opportunity
I apologize, but I must interrupt my catalogue of the various parasitic organisms that live on the feet of the average person, not to mention those of her dog, in order to take advantage of a rare opportunity.
As I have previously mentioned, the area surrounding the HartLife tower is home to a thousand strong pack of ravenous wild dogs who live off the frozen corpses we leave on the surface, as well as anything else they can kill, dig up, or swallow. For this reason, very few other animals venture this close to the city. However, when a large storm is imminent, the dogs abandon their howling vigils outside our walls and make the trek out to the lightning rigs in expectation for the fresh meat of those who fall overboard.
Now, nature, much like Emerson, hates a vacuum and the absence of dogs is quickly filled by many species looking for food. This allows us access to all sorts of creatures who would not normally approach the tower. Except the wolves. They refuse to come any closer than telescope range, darn them.
I apologize for cursing. That was uncalled for.
Anyway, normally, the pack will be gone for anywhere from one to five days, or until the largest storm cell has passed.
The pack has been gone a week and there is still no storm.
I intend to use this time to make observations of what would be, if not for the wild dogs’ sheer numbers and viciousness, the apex predator of the these frozen plains, the noble our ancestors called the raccoon.
My milk traps are set. My tranquilizer rifle is loaded. I’ve modified some lightning rigger equipment so that I can use electronic “tags” to track their movements at a distance, even when the dogs return. All I must do is wait for a raccoon. It should not be long. A baby, no bigger than eight feet tall, has been poking around, growing bolder and bolder with each dog free day. For the sake of the natural sciences, let us hope she makes a go for the milk.Fingers crossed.
ENTRY 58: A Curious Turn of Events
So there I was upon the frozen tundra, reveling in my success. Through the use of patience, perseverance, and tranquilizer darts, I had captured my long sought after baby raccoon. But lo and behold, I go to tag her and discovered that she was really a he and he was a person!
Such an embarrassing oversight. Such an amateurish blunder. What kind of naturalist mistakes a person, even one wearing a freshly skinned hide, for a raccoon. Stupid, silly Dora!
But I will not despair. I will redouble my studies and amend my identification practices so that such errors do not occur in future.
As to the condition of the unfortunate person, I have brought him back home, but do not hold much hope for his survival. The tranquilizer was enough to take down a full-sized bull raccoon and an ordinary person cannot handle that much sedative. I’ve already begun sanitizing my dissection kit, in preparation for the inevitable. No reason to let a learning opportunity go to waste, after all.
Addendum to Entry 58:
It has been two days and the man is still alive! Even now he is talking in his sleep. At this rate, I expect he shall rise within the next 12 to 24 hours. Truly an amazing recovery. I have so many questions. So many tests. My ink wells are at the ready.
Oh. I bet he will be hungry when he awakes.  Silly Dora. Basic needs: shelter, water, food. I’d better prepare some soup.

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