?
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Storm’s coming, tapir.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
No problem. I’ve got a house.
DWINDLE:
Strong walls. Cosy straw bedding.
DWINDLE:
Don’t worry about me: I’m completely safe!
Tapir enclosure
DWINDLE:
snore
Tapir enclosure
SFX:
thunder rumble
Lightning strikes tree by enclosure
SFX:
craaaCCCKK!
Lightning-struck tree falls
SFX:
crash!
Tapir enclosure
DWINDLE:
snore
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
yawn
DWINDLE:
Morning!
DWINDLE:
Ooh... what’s up?
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
What’s down, you mean. That storm...
CROW:
Trees down all over the city.
CROW:
You slept through it?
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Uh, yes. What did I miss?
CROW:
More to the point, what missed you? This tree!
CROW:
Hit your fence. Broke your sign.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
My sign... it’s got words on it!
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Of course it’s got words on it — it’s a sign.
DWINDLE:
I’ve only ever seen the back of it.
DWINDLE:
I thought it just said my name. I didn’t know it had so many words.
DWINDLE:
What does it say?
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Your sign? It says: “DWINDLE: Tapirus pinchaque”.
DWINDLE:
Tapirwhat?
CROW:
Tapirus pinchaque, your genus and species. A three-toed ungulate.
DWINDLE:
Pinchaque? I didn’t know that.
CROW:
Yes.
DWINDLE:
I... I knew how many toes I had though.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Is that all?
CROW:
No, there’s that bit about your situation.
DWINDLE:
My... “situation”?
CROW:
Yup.
DWINDLE:
I didn’t know I was in a situation.
CROW:
Oh. Well, you are.
DWINDLE:
Read it to me. All the words.
CROW:
Hmm. OK:
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
“DWINDLE — Tapirus pinchaque”
CROW:
“Three-toed ungulate with prehensile proboscis.”
CROW:
“Common name Woolly Mountain Tapir. Colombia, Ecuador, Peru.”
CROW:
“Hunting and destruction of territory; species due for extinction.”
CROW:
“Last remaining individual.”
CROW:
KEEP FINGERS OUT OF ENCLOSURE
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Wait!
DWINDLE:
What was that last bit?
CROW:
KEEP FINGERS OUT OF ENCLOSURE
DWINDLE:
I’ve never bitten anyone.
CROW:
They’re not taking any chances.
DWINDLE:
Read it again.
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
“DWINDLE — Tapirus pinchaque. Three-toed ungulate with prehensile proboscis.”
CROW:
“Common name Woolly Mountain Tapir. Colombia, Ecuador, Peru. Hunting and destruction of territory; species due for extinction.”
CROW:
“Last remaining individual.”
CROW:
KEEP FINGERS OUT OF ENCLOSURE
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
I’m... the last one?
DWINDLE:
About to be extinct?
CROW:
Yup. You didn’t know?
DWINDLE:
I... I’ve been on the wrong side of the sign.
DWINDLE:
I thought it said, “Dwindle”.
CROW:
Well... it does.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
I’m going to have to lie down for a bit.
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Extinct... Tapirless. No more. Nothing. Forgotten. End.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
snuffle
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
snore
Tapir in enclosure
KEEPER:
All the food you can eat, little fellow! Lucky boy!
DWINDLE:
Lucky boy!
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
snrffg
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
blinks
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
There’s going to be nothing. Nothing after me. A world without woolly mountain tapirs. Can that even work?
DWINDLE:
HOW CAN A WORLD WITHOUT WOOLLY MOUNTAIN TAPIRS POSSIBLY WORK?
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Hmm.
DWINDLE:
Sniffs
DWINDLE:
I think it will work pretty much the way it does now.
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
What’s the point?
CROW:
You make the most of what you’ve got, you hang out with your friends, you live, you love, you fly...
DWINDLE:
Tapirs can’t fly.
CROW:
...you soar above the clouds to see the sunrise, you play tricks, you fly through rain for the joy of it, you flock in fields of...
DWINDLE:
I can’t fly and I’m stuck in this enclosure. Always have been.
CROW:
Oh yeah. I was forgetting.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
And none of that stays, does it? That’s just stuff that passes the time. It doesn’t leave anything.
CROW:
Well I don’t need to leave anything, personally. Someone else will. Crows, we’re... Plentiful.
DWINDLE:
You’re what?
CROW:
Plentiful. Evolutionarily successful. Brothers and sisters in every continent.
CROW:
(except Antarctica... we left that for the penguins)
CROW:
We’re in ancient myths and modern novels. We’ve infiltrated culture. We’re in idioms, logos and films.
CROW:
Collectively, we’re covered.
DWINDLE:
Covered.
CROW:
Yeah. Look, I’m sorry.
DWINDLE:
I know. It’s... It’s not your fault.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Can you find something out for me?
CROW:
Uh, maybe. What is it?
DWINDLE:
I want you to do some investigation, some poking around, and tell me what difference we’ve made.
CROW:
Woolly mountain tapirs? That’s “we” is it?
DWINDLE:
Well, it’s me... Me and the others.
CROW:
The others?
DWINDLE:
The others that were.
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
OK, I’ll put the word out. We’ll look through some windows, tap on some screens. We’ll find out what’s out there.
DWINDLE:
Thanks.
CROW:
Cheer up. You’re unique.
DWINDLE:
Being the last of something is the wrong kind of unique.
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Hey!
DWINDLE:
So what have you got? What difference have woolly mountain tapirs made?
CROW:
Well...
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Well?
CROW:
Not much, to be honest.
DWINDLE:
Nothing?
CROW:
There are a few stories in Colombia. And...
DWINDLE:
And?
CROW:
They call you “the ghost tapir” because nobody knows where you go to die.
DWINDLE:
Where I go to do what?
CROW:
Yeah. Sorry. I told you I didn’t have much. But that’s all there is. All of it. Sorry.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
You looked everywhere?
CROW:
Everywhere. We sit on all the wires; we have good access.
CROW:
We see all the searches and all the websites.
CROW:
And we’ve got perches on the windowsills of all the big libraries.
CROW:
We watch the broadcasts, read the books. In this case, we asked around in the cloud forests too.
CROW:
We’ve got access to labs and research facilities. We can open locks with bent wire. We’re basically fully equipped.
CROW:
There’s nothing we can’t get. We have all the tools.
CROW:
So... that’s really all there is.
DWINDLE:
Right. Thanks.
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
You there, crow?
CROW:
Yup. Sleeping with one eye open.
DWINDLE:
Really? You can do that?
CROW:
Sure. It’s handy against predators. Gives us an evolutionary advant— uh. You wanted something?
DWINDLE:
I want to leave a mark.
CROW:
A mark. Okay.
CROW:
Nope. Don’t know what you mean there.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
I want to leave something that’s useful.
DWINDLE:
Something helpful. Something profound.
DWINDLE:
Something the world will remember tapirs for.
CROW:
Okay.
CROW:
pauses
CROW:
Nope. Still not getting it.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
I’m going to do something important. Something bigger than tapirs. Something bigger than any species.
DWINDLE:
A discovery. Something profound.
CROW:
Right. And do you have, uh, anything in mind?
DWINDLE:
Knowledge!
CROW:
Knowledge? Of what?
DWINDLE:
No, just knowledge. Knowledge itself.
CROW:
Okay. Uh, what?
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
I need to get all the knowledge that’s out there. Everything everybody knows.
CROW:
That’s a lot of stuff. I think that’s going to be too much for you to remember.
CROW:
A tapir brain is only about the size of a fig, you know.
DWINDLE:
I’m not going to remember it.
CROW:
You’re not?
DWINDLE:
No. You’re going to get it for me.
CROW:
And how will that help?
DWINDLE:
Because you can collect it all. You can put it all into one place,
DWINDLE:
and feed it into a compressor.
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
A compressor?
DWINDLE:
Yes! You need to build a machine that compresses knowledge.
DWINDLE:
Reduces it to its essence.
DWINDLE:
Compress it right down until it’s nothing but pure fact.
CROW:
I do?
DWINDLE:
Yes! You have to do the construction because I’m stuck in the enclosure.
DWINDLE:
But you have access to everywhere. And bent wires. And all those tools.
DWINDLE:
You told me you had all the tools.
CROW:
Right... and then?
DWINDLE:
And then, with condensed fact, I can isolate its quintessence.
DWINDLE:
Extract its purest form. I’m going to get to the very point:
DWINDLE:
the very matter of fact.
DWINDLE:
I’m going to discover...
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
the knowledge atom
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
whistles through beak
CROW:
The knowledge atom.
CROW:
And... I’m going to do that for you?
DWINDLE:
Well I can’t do it. I’ve got nothing in this enclosure. Not even a power socket. I need your help.
CROW:
I see.
CROW:
Are you sure you can do this? Human scientists haven’t, and they have the biggest brains.
DWINDLE:
Their brains might be bigger, but they are not as focussed as mine.
CROW:
They’re not?
DWINDLE:
Of course not. They have celebrities and appetites and lipstick.
DWINDLE:
They are thinking about what other people think.
DWINDLE:
They are thinking about everybody else all the time.
DWINDLE:
I don’t have the distraction of comparison. I have urgency. The humans, they can always think that...
DWINDLE:
...someone else will sort it out.
DWINDLE:
Perhaps if there was only one of them left, they’d be more focussed too.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
If you think mortality is motivating...
DWINDLE:
...you should try extinction.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
So will you help?
CROW:
Help collect everything that’s known?
CROW:
Build a compressor and feed it into it?
DWINDLE:
Yes.
CROW:
That’s a lot for a single crow, you know.
DWINDLE:
You’re not a single crow. You told me. You said you were... plentiful.
CROW:
Yes, I did.
DWINDLE:
And are you?
CROW:
We are.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Then help me in my extinction. Be what I cannot: be plentiful.
CROW:
Hmm. I need to ask the others.
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
We’ll help.
DWINDLE:
Good. Bring me...
DWINDLE:
pauses
DWINDLE:
Bring me everything that’s known.
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Hmm.
DWINDLE:
Er... you’re still here.
CROW:
Yes. I’m not quite sure how to go about this.
DWINDLE:
Well, I thought maybe start with Wikipedia. Everything’s on Wikipedia, right? So download that.
CROW:
OK... Download that.
DWINDLE:
And then compress it all down, until it’s as small as it will go...
DWINDLE:
Zip it, zip it, zip it. Then print it out, reduce it A3 to A4R and scan it in again.
DWINDLE:
And zip it some more.
CROW:
OK...
DWINDLE:
And then print it out in 3D.
CROW:
What?
DWINDLE:
Yes. If you compress it down until it’s small enough, you can just print it out. On a 3D printer.
DWINDLE:
You’ll get a block of ultracompressed knowledge. Elemental knowledge.
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
I’m not sure we will...
DWINDLE:
Well, you’ll get something. Let’s try.
CROW:
OK. This... this may take some time.
DWINDLE:
Then start right away. We don’t know how long I’ve got.
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Here you go.
DWINDLE:
What’s this?
CROW:
It’s knowledge. Everything on Wikipedia, downloaded, compressed, and printed out.
DWINDLE:
It... it looks like an old bottle-top.
CROW:
Yeah, we thought so too.
CROW:
But, still, that’s what we got.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
You compressed everything?
CROW:
Yes. Exactly as you said. Everything from Wikipedia...
CROW:
...compressed right down...
CROW:
...and printed out on the 3D printer.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Hmm. Somehow I was expecting... something more impressive.
DWINDLE:
I’ll think about it.
DWINDLE:
stare
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Hey crow!
CROW:
Tapir!
DWINDLE:
I think I know what the problem is.
CROW:
The problem?
DWINDLE:
Why the essence of all knowledge came out a bit... odd.
CROW:
Ah yes, that.
DWINDLE:
Yes. It’s not really pure knowledge.
CROW:
It’s not?
DWINDLE:
Right! It’s not complete. There’s knowledge missing.
CROW:
Missing?
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Yes: all the books.
DWINDLE:
And newspapers. And pamphlets. And scrolls.
CROW:
You need all those?
DWINDLE:
Well, it’s old knowledge, but it’s part of it. We need to get that in too. Collect all those!
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
That’s a lot of reading.
DWINDLE:
There are a lot of crows.
CROW:
Hmm right. So you want us to read everything and put that into the compressor too?
DWINDLE:
Yes!
CROW:
Right. Of course you do.
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Here you go.
DWINDLE:
That looks like the end of a plastic spoon.
CROW:
It’s what we got.
DWINDLE:
Hmmm.
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Look, if you’re not happy with it, we can stop. We don’t have to do this, for you, you know.
DWINDLE:
No, no. Thank you. I’ll think some more.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
It’s missing smells.
CROW:
Smells?
DWINDLE:
Yes. Knowledge about what things smell like.
DWINDLE:
It’s a big part of the world, but online doesn’t have it, and most books only smell like books.
CROW:
You want us to collect smells? Seriously?
DWINDLE:
Yes! It’s part of knowledge. The smell of things. Can you get it?
DWINDLE:
Crows can smell, right?
DWINDLE:
You got me everything else.
CROW:
Okay.
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Hey crow!
CROW:
Tapir!
DWINDLE:
Did you get all the smells yet? It’s... it’s been a while.
CROW:
Ah yes, that. That was a big job. I think we’re almost done, yes.
DWINDLE:
Great. Tomorrow perhaps?
CROW:
Yes, right! Tomorrow!
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Here you go.
DWINDLE:
That just looks like a bit of broken glass.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
I’m missing... oral tradition.
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
What?
DWINDLE:
The things people know but have never written down. We need that.
CROW:
Right.
DWINDLE:
You eavesdrop, right? You can get all that.
CROW:
Sure.
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Here you go.
DWINDLE:
That looks like a bit of knotted shoelace.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
I’m missing... secrets.
CROW:
Secrets. Right. Yes.
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Here you go.
DWINDLE:
It’s... I can’t see so clearly now, crow. I’m getting old.
DWINDLE:
It feels like a pearl. Tell me what it looks like.
CROW:
Yes, it looks exactly like a pearl.
CROW:
It looks like a pearl that’s been prised out of a crown. That’s what it looks like.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
There is something else missing.
CROW:
I thought you’d say that. What is it this time?
DWINDLE:
Lies.
DWINDLE:
Falsehood. Deception.
CROW:
Uh, what do you mean?
DWINDLE:
Everything you’ve brought so far, maybe it’s corrupted because something in there wasn’t true.
CROW:
This sounds like it’s going to be hard to fix.
DWINDLE:
Yes, I think you need to pick out the bits that aren’t true.
CROW:
Right.
DWINDLE:
Sorry. That’s going to be hard, isn’t it?
CROW:
Nah, don’t worry. I’ll get the brothers and sisters to pick out all the untrue bits, and print it out again.
DWINDLE:
Thank you.
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Here you go.
DWINDLE:
You’ve been away for so long!
DWINDLE:
Is it different? Different from before?
CROW:
Uh, yes. A bit smaller.
DWINDLE:
Really? It seems the same.
CROW:
Well we went through everything and took all the lies out, like you asked.
DWINDLE:
Really?
CROW:
Of course!
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
There’s just one thing we haven’t got.
CROW:
You don’t surprise me.
DWINDLE:
Death. What happens after death? That’s not in any of the knowledge.
DWINDLE:
Can you add that and bring it?
CROW:
Add death?
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Yes... can you do it?
CROW:
Yes. We’ll fly to the edges of the world and look under the corners.
CROW:
Everything buried and burnt and swept away ends up there.
CROW:
We’ll tear a piece of that off and drop it in.
CROW:
Compress it all. Bring you that.
Tapir in enclosure
DWINDLE:
Thank you.
DWINDLE:
And then we’ll have elemental knowledge. We’ll have the atom of truth.
DWINDLE:
People will remember Woolly Mountain Tapirs for this.
Tapir in enclosure
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Tapir?
Tapir in enclosure
CROW:
Tapir?
CROW:
Here you go.
Tapir in enclosure
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Tapir note:

World Tapir Day is 27 April | @worldtapirday