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Sunday 20 January 2019


This week I am very pleased to participate again in Carrie Van Horn's weekly poetry circle,

The Sunday Muse #39

Hey Mate! Why Have We Got Stripes?

One day Zebra A said to Zebra B,
"Let's conclude the debate which we could not agree,
On why we have stripes, and what does it mean?
And why they are there to be clearly seen?"

"The answer", said B, "is simple, of course,
For without them we would look just like a horse!"
Said A, "That is daft and your answer is silly,
Please think and give reasons, you illogical filly!"

"Hmm, maybe it's all about recognition,
Courting and selection and mating ambition,
Imagine a stallion approaching a mare,
Walking with a swagger and a lusty stare."

 'Hey, honey, you're it, I'm in romantic mode!
We have the same stripes and a matching bar code!'"
"At last you have noticed," she said with a stutter,
As she brushed his fetlock and her eyelids did flutter.'"

Said A, "That's just plain nonsense and you well know it!
If you have any brain cells, wise up now and show it,
Us zebras have stripes and they are all the same,
Unlike tigers in Asia, all unique, scientists claim."

"I don't agree and I read it somewhere,
That our stripes are all different, just see over there,
That's Charlie, I can pick him out from the rest
By one little stripe ~ look there on his crest!" 

"An interesting thought, you speak like a tutor,
But our brains are all finite, and not a computer,
There are too many bar codes by far to remember,
With all combinations of each herd and each member." 

"It could be to confuse all those hungry predators
Lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas,
"I don't think you're right and my reason for saying,
Is stripes make us stand out, thus assisting the slaying!"

"I think what you say is entirely absurd,
That's why we stay close in a very big herd,
Where we're often safe if we all stick together,
Lions often miss out, if we run hell for leather."

"So the reason I feel it is not camouflage,
For a lion will attack us with wild sabotage.
It is in their breeding and for each hungry pride
They want us for food to fill mouths open wide!"

"Oh don't frighten me with that horrible stuff!
I'm feeling scared and I've had just enough! 
So tell me the reason and just what it is?
I'm keen to get answers for this very old quiz!"

"Research has suggested the stripes may be for
Cooling us down in a high temperature,
Because we are grazing in that very hot sun
Unshaded for ages, while we eat a ton!"

"But non zebra grazers feed hour after hour,
All prey for lions, wanting them to devour.
Impala, Antelope, Springbok, Great Kudu.
With none having stripes ~ ask any Gnu!"

"And how do stripes work, why should they cool?
What is the reason? and what is the rule?"
'A' said to 'B' that he'd work hard and try,
 To answer that riddle, to explain how and why.

"Heat strikes the black in a different way,
To the white all day long on a very hot day.
Where white meets black it causes an eddy,
Resulting in cooling, making us feel less heady."

"That may be so but I really don't buy it!
I think my solution is better, just try it!
It's all about flies which suck blood when they bite us,
And not camouflage, or lions that fight us!" 

"It could be infections from blood sucking flies,
Biting us as we graze, wanting us as a prize.
They could spread disease which would make us quite ill,
With a very good chance they might even kill!"

"Experiments show that for black and white types,
The flies are attracted, but not when in stripes!
When striped there's confusion and flies will not settle
So to bite and drink blood will not test their mettle!"

"So that is the way us zebras evolved.
It may be the answer to that old problem, solved.
But does this really prove 'stripes evolution',
And is it accepted as the true solution." 

"Darwin was puzzled and had no idea
about this conundrum, he was very unclear.
The fact is that for the last two hundred years
There is no solution, or so it appears!"

"All this may be rubbish as ideas we plod,
It could be the creator, let's call him God.
He may like our stripes and made us this way,
For he's King after all, and has final say!"

* * * * * * * * * 

Eddie Bluelights
20 January 2019

Research to this problem is still on-going  and scientists are baffled.

To reach Carrie's website at the Sunday Muse please press HERE

I recently joined The Sunday Muse and just missed out on Muse #36 which I found interesting so I have written something HERE