Chapter 11


Illustration de Paloma Agüera

– Some animals eat their offspring – says the guide as I pull one of my patients out of the jaws of a tiger.

– Stop playing, Tomás – I insist – can’t you see that they can’t be touched?

A few seconds later, and almost without time to prevent the feline from eating the patient, an orangutan grabbed Juanita by the neck and is trying to suffocate her. Once Tomás is safe, I approach them, but Juanita has been immobile in her wheelchair for years and her disability is not helping her to regain her life. One of the patients approaches me in the middle of my struggle, and says, babbling: 

– Assistant, Timón is attacking us.

I leave the primate to one of them with the wheelchair and, on my back, hundreds of meerkats that seemed adorable fight against the patients who, as the guide commented at the beginning of the visit without much accuracy, “are still bipeds”. The meerkats are more elusive and, although they have less strength than the tiger or the orangutan, there are many of them and they are accompanied by climbing rats that go up the legs and that some patients manage to remove “thanks” to their involuntary spasmodic movements without realizing it.

– It’s called infanticide – continues the guide, who seems totally oblivious to the final judgment being waged in the room – and they do it to ensure the survival of the species. 

What will not survive, I think, will be my salary, my patients and the day center that has organized this excursion to the Museum of Natural Science.

– This way only the fittest live – continues the guide addressing Tomás, who is now being eaten by a lazy bear – because the care of their sick offspring can harm the development of their lineage and the reproduction of the genetically valid offspring. 

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