“Did you tell Kelly about the sloth story?” Jon asked. I was working my 3 3/4 hours per month shift at the Cambridge Co-op, when Jon came in to do some shopping.
Ah, I thought, Jon’s looking for a fight. I casually continued refilling the jar with dried mango as if him bringing up the sloth story didn’t bother me at all.
Kelly, who I was working with yesterday, said she saw we did a podcast about the sloth, but didn’t hear it. Her cat freaked out when she heard Simon braying at the beginning of it.
I don’t know who got their side of the story out first. Jon probably started, defending the writer, saying it was just a story and didn’t have to be true, then I’m sure I interrupted him, then he no doubt interrupted me, and so on.
“Have you ever had one of those nightmares where you’re trying to walk and you can’t move your legs?” I asked Kelly. When she said that she hadn’t, I knew my side of the story would be a tough sell.
If you haven’t heard our Sloths, Menopause, The Good Fight Podcast yet, Jon and I had this argument over a bedtime story we listened to on an app that he has.
It’s the story of a sloth who has to walk across a jungle to try to help another animal get some rest (which of course sloths are experts at).
But when I heard that the sloth had to walk across the jungle, the story became a nightmare for me. Because I know how hard it is for sloths to walk. They actually can’t walk. They have to crawl very slowly because their muscles are made for them move hanging upside down in trees.
As Lucy Cooke says about sloths, in her book, The Truth about Animals, “gravity removes their dignity.”
As I listened to the story, all sleep left me and I was flooded with memories of the nightmares I often have of my legs being so heavy, as if they’re stuck in thick hardening cement, that I can barely move them.
The thing is, became of my nightmares, I feel like I know what a sloth feels like when it’s crawling across the ground and it is truly and awful feeling.
Unfortunately for me, Kelly had made up many bedtime stories for her kids about animals that did things animals really can’t do, like fish walking and birds talking.
When I heard this, I knew I was outnumbered.
Until I came home and saw the video that Anne sent me on facebook.
It’s of a man rescuing a sloth who was trying to the cross the road. You have to watch the video, (click here to see it) and then maybe you’ll understand my side of the story. Watch it to the end and you’ll see the gratitude of the sloth toward the man who picked him up and put him back in a tree where he belongs.
I’m not opposed to stories about animals who can do things they can’t in real life. I actually love them. But somehow the sloth story is different. I can’t get over the awful feeling I get when I think of a sloth actually trying to walk.
Anyway, you can decide for yourself. And if you’d like to hear Jon’s and my discussion/argument about the sloth story on our podcast, just click here.
I’d love to know what you think…..