It is with great sadness that I have received this news: Zaphod, the oldest meerkat ever to be studied by the Cambridge team, has passed away. He saw countless victories and defeats over his lifetime, and led several different groups. His legacy will, I hope, remain strong in the generations to come. I have written a tribute poem to him, as he fully deserves one. It is as follows:
The skies today are dull and grey,
and shepherd's trees are whisp'ring to the wind.
Their mournful wails and tearful tales
can only mean one thing:
the longest life has finally come to an end.
While others sleep, the Aztecs keep
and wait and watch the stars all through the night;
now comes the dawn, but their leader's gone,
and no-one sees the sun
or revels in its rays of oft-beloved rosy light.
The sun is bold, but the sand is cold,
and so the hearts of all those standing still -
Monkulus grieves, and yet she receives
no comfort to her wounds:
no grooming, not a lick; no greeting trill.
The world seems bleak - but the spirits speak
of brighter times gone past and yet to be:
Zaphod is gone, but his children live on -
the future lies with them;
the desert is a kingdom for this monarch's legacy.
Those left behind will quickly find
that life can suffer loss and still go on.
Indeed, up above is a once-lost love
of Zaphod's very own,
and Flower seems as though she'd never gone.
So ends his story, but never his glory:
the Aztecs and the Whiskers will survive.
They fight in his name and speak of the same
in legend and in song:
in the soul of every meerkat he is very much alive.
x Elinor Blackwood 9 April 2011