The Sloth Story Continues…..

From Lucy Cooke’s Book The Truth About Animals.  A sloth painfully crawling across a road.

“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…..


10 thoughts on “The Sloth Story Continues…..

  1. Two things:
    1. That video is amazing! It sure looks as if the sloth is smiling (and blinking—very catlike) at the man for helping him.
    2. During my last year of university I had the same nightmare of not being able to move my legs almost every night. I think it had to do with my uncertainty about what I would do when I graduated, because once I got a job the nightmare went away. It was so real that I was always surprised when I woke up and my legs were fine.

    1. I can’t stop watching that Video Jane! And I’ve heard of other people having that same kind of dream. It’s meaning for you makes sense the way you describe it. Often when I have that dream now, I tell I will tell myself in the dream to fly. And I do. That’s when the nightmare turns into a dream.

  2. Totally see this sloth acknowledging
    this good man’s help. Nothing really funny about any of this. If you know what I mean.

  3. Hi Maria,

    These creatures are really magical, they are very special. Your feelings are legitimate.

    Years ago, I came across this image… I have saved this image on every iPhone that I have owned. If someone that I know is having a tough day, the smiley sloth comes out.

    Let the love of sloth continue 🙂

    1. They do so often look like they’re smiling Colleen. That’s a great Pictues. Jon got me one of Lucy Cooke’s books with all pictures of sloths. They do lift my spirits when I look at them.

  4. I happen to agree with you Maria, having experienced that same nightmare. I do see Jon’s point about it being a story but I think the author should simply have used a different word. A sloth cannot walk, but it does say “across the jungle”, so it wouldn’t have had to walk, it would have swung through the jungle or whatever you call how a sloth propels itself. So don’t think anymore about the poor thing dragging itself along, picture it up in the trees.
    That picture of the sloth on the ground disturbs me too.

    1. I was thinking that even if the story teller said, “now sloths can’t usually walk across the jungle but in this story she can”. That would have made all the difference for me.

  5. I have similar dreams Maria so I can understand how you feel. Especially since my dad died from a neuromuscular disease that prevented him from walking. I think I would also be upset by the story. So stand your ground with your hubby, lol.

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