WTF is that!?

Imagine the situation. I went outside at 8pm to feed the cat. Dusk had arrived, a mist had settled on the horizon. The only sound is the rattling of the cat food as it dropped into the bowl. A bush rustled, “Must be Satan, the cat” I thought to myself. But out of the bushes came a giant tailless rat.

As it came closer, it actually looked kind of funny. It had a big fat hind which was wobbling side-to-side as it sauntered towards the cat food. It also had this minuscule face with a long coneshaped snout. It approached the cat food and, strangely enough, didn’t seem to mind me standing just a foot away from it.

So, that was my first experience of a tenrec. I went straight on the internet to look up some information about it. Apparently tenrecs are practically blind, possibly the thing came that close to me because it didn’t know I was there! Also, the reason that it took the risk to come so close to a house is that it probably just had a litter of children that it needed to feed. Tenrecs can have as many as 32 offspring per litter! Wow.

I’m certainly not going to chase it away if I see it again. I might even leave some extra cat food out for it and its family. I’m sure Satan won’t mind. I don’t intend to eat the creature either. Many Reunionese that I know have eaten tenrec and, to be honest, I’d eat pretty much anything in cari form, but after seeing its cute posterior swaying side to side; I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it.

Another incredible piece of information I found online: Despite their resemblance to hedgehogs or porcupines, tenrecs are actually closer genetically to shrews.

Fascinating animals. Here’s a last piece of information so you will go to sleep tonight as a more intelligent human being. Tenrecs hold a world record. Are you ready for this? This is amazing. Tenrecs hold the world record for the most amount of nipples on a mammal. Up to twenty-nine of them! There you go. You can share that information with the family when you’re having your rougail saucisse tonight. You’re welcome.

Vocabulary

dusk – crépuscule
mist – brouillard
to settle – se poser
rattling – claquements
to rustle – bruissement 

tailless – sans queue
funny – drôle
hind – derrière
to wobble – osciller
to saunter – se diriger vers 

cone-shaped – en forme de cône
snout – museau
tenrec – tangue
litter – portée
to sway – se balancer 

to bring oneself to – se résoudre à
hedgehog – hérisson
shrew – musaraigne
nipple – mamelon
mammal – mammifère

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