|About the Book|
I think of myself as Fennel, but those in white coats—researchers, they call themselves—refer to me as “120112A” after my birthday (the First of December, 2012). The “A” means I was the first of the litter to be born (out of the gate, as it were)MoreI think of myself as Fennel, but those in white coats—researchers, they call themselves—refer to me as “120112A” after my birthday (the First of December, 2012). The “A” means I was the first of the litter to be born (out of the gate, as it were) that day—my three siblings, emerging right after me, one, two, three, are known, in researcher dialect, as “120112B,” “120112C,” and “120112D” respectively.They, however, think of themselves as Unicorn, Wishful, and Stream, respectively.We live in a big plastic tank. Not unlike a small, transparent, upside-down bathyscaphe. That’s how I think of it, anyway. Unicorn doesn’t agree. Then, again, he rarely does.We are lab rats. It is a dangerous job. Not so good for your health. I don’t recommend it.Next door to ours is another big plastic tank. In it are another four lab rats, two boys and two girls, just like in my family—or tribe, that’s how we see ourselves. Tribes. One tribe to a tank.We’re a tribe, they’re a tribe.Our tribal name is Winter. Their tribal name is Spring. Because we’re a little older—two weeks older to be exact. Winter before spring, not very creative, but it works for us.Their research names are “121512A,” “121512B,” “121512C” and “121512D.” A and C are the brothers. B and D their sisters.They think of themselves as Forest, Rain, Cliff, and Mist respectively- Rain and Mist being the girls.Once we were born—we had hardly hit the white, soft, sponge and cotton carpet of our bathyscaphe—Mother was removed and retired or simply disposed of, I’m not precisely sure which, they never said. I have my suspicions, though.Never got to say bye. Didn’t even get to say hi. All in the name of science.These days the researchers are trying to make us Winters mate with the Springs. Unbeknownst to them, however—to the researchers, that is—we’re on a mating strike. Both tribes are. No rat babies here. Not even close.It came about like this.