Y is for Yakeil

Y

Okay, we are scraping the barrel when it comes to Y. I’m not going to take the easy route like a Yellow Bellied Cowardly Bird. There must be something interesting to write about.

There’s always complete fabrication, that usually works:

“Behold the mighty Yungfrau Frost Tickler, historic prey of the Alpine Mallowhund and the fearsome nemesis of the lederhosen wearing Bavarian.

The Yungfrau Frost Tickler is fatally attracted to the sweaty stink of leather clad buttock. Many a Bavarian boy never discovered the joys of manhood after an attack from the tiny but mighty Frost Tickler – one bite literally freezes the tissue in the affected area. It has been said that the traditional yodel call of the Alps comes from the cries of Bavarian boys caught napping on the hillsides by the Frost Tickler. Their yodeling cry was an involuntary response as they desperately tried to rub warmth into their frigid tumescence, only to see their grapes literally wither on the vine.”

But no. My artistic integrity will not allow such dalliance this late in the Challenge. My original idea was Yak. But really, how much creativity can one extract from a Yak. A Himalayan bovid, beloved of Genghis Khan as the only beast smellier than he, hence great camouflage for raiding parties. No, I can’t deal with Yakkity Yak.

But then, lighting a path through the dark void of my creativity came Yakeil. Dear, sweet Yakeil. More commonly known as the Long-Beaked Echidna. Is anyone any the wiser?

If I may enlighten you, the yakeil has to be one of the coolest animals on the planet. Yakeil, or echidna, are familial bed-mates (not in the incestual sense) with that spare-parts animal, the Duck Billed Platypus. They are the sole surviving members of the Monotreme family, and together they stand on a unique (and relatively low) rung of the evolutionary ladder.

What do you call an overweight cat that just gorged on waterfowl?
A duck filled fatty puss!

The echidna may appear to be the quieter, more reserved of the Monotremes. Platypus gets all the press, after all. He’s cute and furry, with that funny little duck bill. Echinda on the other hand, eats ants and is spiky.

But echidna has a dark side. In Greek mythology she is the mother of all beasts. I mean, literally, she is the mother of all beasts. All the most fearsome, vicious, terrifyingly menacing beasts of the mythological underworld are spawn of Echidna and Typhon. Imagine the dinner table in the Echidna household with these chaps sharing the feast:

  • EchidnaCerberus – the three-headed dog that guards the entrance to Hades.
  • Chimera – Part-lion, part-goat, part-snake – all monster.
  • Gorgon – the snake-haired and snake-bodied humanoid that was created in its mother’s image. Its stare could turn a person to stone.
  • Hydra – the nine-headed serpent who grew two new heads for every one that was cut off.
  • Ladon – the snake that guarded the golden apples in the Garden of the Hesperides.
  • The Nemean Lion – the giant lion with an impenetrable hide.
  • Orthros – the two-headed dog that lived with giants.
  • The Sphinx – the half-human, half-lion that forces those it meets to answer its riddles, or die.

Not much to love about that! I think I prefer the ant-eating spiky little fellow.

So what makes yakeil and platypus so special? Well, they break two of the basic laws of mammalia, for starters. Sitting low on the evolutionary totem pole they lay eggs, just like our avian and reptilian ancestors. The egg hatches in a pouch (thereby linking to marsupials). Also, whilst they feed their young with (pink) milk, they are sans-nipple. Echidna mommies ooze milk from their pores and the mini-yakeils lap this up from the belly fur – just like a drunken youth picking bits of his late night kebab meat off his shirt.

I’ve used the family name of Monotreme a few times – just what is a Monotreme?

Quite simply, a monotreme lady uses the same orifice for poop, pee and penetration. I guess it becomes extremely important in monotreme relationships to have good personal hygiene habits.

So there we have it. You can have your echidna as a scary Greek monster mummy, or as a spiky slap in the face to Creationists and their nonsense.

And for anyone wondering why I’ve been rambling about spiky anteaters and Greek monsters in a post about Mexican food – that’s Enchiladas, you dumb ass!

Enchiladas

Echidna from http://www.greekmythology.wikia.com

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One comment

  1. Another laugh out loud post, Drew – I’m citing you as writer of one of my favourite blogs found through the A to Z Challenge – so pleased you put your name down on the less than 100 followers list else I’d never have found you and been so entertained during this past month. Obviously, you won’t be on that list next time – well done! http://pempispalace.blogspot.co.uk/

    Like

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