When I start out with one of these animal's images I took a few months back from this provincial French museum, I think; "How can I help bring this poor stuffed antique creature back to life"? Most of them are well over 100 years old and looking quite sad and moth eaten. Some are so old that the original taxidermists had no real idea of how they looked in life. Those are around 200 years old, probably Napoleonic. The lions have the wrong shaped eyes, their stance and aspect are all wrong. Still, I'd rather have these antique figures as wrong as they are than a new kid on the block, that would be all wrong too, both morally and aesthetically. This little guy was with the Monkeys, I don't have a name but he is a mammal and not a rat, as I've affectionately called him. Martine called him simply; 'mon pauvre petit ' - 'Poor little thing'.
The story doesn't end, because just this morning, on flickr, in the pictures thread, I had this message from a fellow flickrite, Ian;
"Ah -it's an aye-aye. I think. Those fingers- they are really creepy. Wonderful and misunderstood nocturnal primates from Madagascar: "The Aye-aye is often viewed as a harbinger of evil and killed on sight. Others believe that should one point its long middle finger at you, you were condemned to death. Some say the appearance of an Aye-aye in a village predicts the death of a villager, and the only way to prevent this is to kill the Aye-aye. The Sakalava people go so far as to claim Aye-ayes sneak into houses through the thatched roofs and murder the sleeping occupants by using their middle finger to puncture the victim's aorta."