Taking Hope

“Hope.” Blue Whale. Natural History Museum, London. Photo by just-pics

Fire&Ice week 13 – this photo, 150-160 words and include a non-human character or a phrase in another language…


Nobody wants to see fish-bones.

Not in food, and not in a museum. Pointing out that the blue whale is actually a mammal just invites the retort “whatever”.

What people do want to see is dinosaurs.

So the Natural History Museum needed a T-Rex and, since they had just one tibia and a lot of guesswork, bones were needed to put flesh upon the bones of their ambition.

They wrestled with their conscience. Their conscience lost.

So their T-Rex is ninety-eight per cent Hope, a snarling metaphor for paleontology itself. Hope, meanwhile, is literally something else.

She has the jawbone of an ass, though not at the front, obviously, since her mouth is huge. The rest of her is mostly bear, giraffe and prairie-dog. Her fin is made of Lego.

One bone is actually from a T-Rex. They had thought it was bison.

Hope is not really a blue whale. She’s a je ne sais quoi.

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