Not even the cold rain that lashed The Park yesterday morning could dampen the enthusiasm of Malinda L. Hamster.
It’s always been a small Animal. Like chooses like…but they should be very proud of themselves today for taking such a big step beyond that.—Beatrice Zilonis, Professor of History at the University of West Terrier
The president of the Small Animal Hibernating Community (SAHC) could barely contain her joy as she stood amongst her peers and fellow citizens and surrendered the symbolic nut to Ekeoma L. Girraaf, elected 2016 Keeper of the Nut on November 11.
“On this solemn occasion, I entrust this nut to you and entreat you to guard it and to keep it safe until such time as the hibernating community requests its return,” the Hamster said as she offered the nut to Girraaf.
Clutching the nut, Girraaf quietly spoke the traditional oath of its Keeper:
“I swear to keep this nut from harm and to preserve it intact until such time as the hibernating community requests its return. And I do so with respect for all Park citizens.”
With that, The Park’s hibernating community made history, having officially broken with its long tradition of electing small Animals to fulfill the all-important rôle of Keeper of the Nut.
“It’s always been a small Animal,” said Beatrice Zilonis, Professor of History at the University of West Terrier, in a radio interview this morning.
“Like chooses like. We’ve never had a problem with that, but they should be very proud of themselves today for taking such a big step beyond that,” she said.
Park Historical Society president Clark Cascanueces agrees.
“For many reasons, it was a special day,” he says. “The fact that we could look beyond ourselves to an Animal who has very little in common with us and trust him…that says a lot and it bodes well for progress here in The Park. Jor [The Park’s first leader and the founder of modern zoocracy] would be very proud.”
As for Girraaf, he says he’s almost ready to relax, after spending a few tense days wondering whether he would be accepted in his new rôle.
“It’s been a tough year and I wouldn’t have been surprised by a backlash. But I’ve received a warm welcome and lots of good wishes. It makes me proud to be a citizen of The Park and Keeper of the Nut,” he says.