Interview with a Lemming

by Dave McNally


Mr. McNally orders books three at a time from the local book store in order to get the special discount. He enjoys a steady blend of British trip hop music and bluegrass. Once he enjoyed a peanut.

For years the lemming has been an underappreciated creature. Unfairly maligned as suicidal, small and furry, the lemming’s reputation has suffered through the years. These animals are actually some of the sturdiest in nature, able to survive throughout the arctic winter unscathed and to outwit foxes and predatory birds quite easily. Axes & Alleys took the opportunity to speak with a lemming this month to find out exactly what it is that makes them tick.

Axes & Alleys: So, lemming, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Lemming: Well, it’s a full life. Foraging, running, smelling, nesting. I especially like the tunneling.

A&A: Do people ever confuse you, a lemming, with a lemur?

Lemming: A what?

A&A: A lemur. You know, furry little critters similar to yourselves?

Lemming: Critter? Similar? To us? Lemmings are a quite singular animal, sir!

A&A: Okay, then, what other kinds of animals do lemmings talk to?

Lemming: It’s actually impossible for us to communicate with most other animals. Very few animals speak English. Donkeys speak Flemish and armadillos know Urdu fluently. Lemmings speak English and the only other animal that I know of beside humans that speaks English is the katydid.

A&A: I must admit I’ve never heard a katydid speaking English.

Lemming: Well, of course not. Not with that imperfect hearing you people have. You just hear some clicking and buzzing. Katydids do speak English. It’s just too high-pitched for you to hear. They’ve got some very interesting things to say about physics.

A&A: They have a concept of physics?
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