New Literary Podcasts: “Consider The Lemur” By Katherine Rundell (LRB)

Consider The Lemur - Katherine Rundell

It is​ probably best not to take advice direct and unfiltered from the animal kingdom – but lemurs are, I think, an exception. They live in matriarchal troops, with an alpha female at their head. 

LRB PodcastThe first lemur I ever met was a female, and she tried to bite me, which was fair, because I was trying to touch her, and humans have done nothing to recommend themselves to lemurs. She was an indri lemur, living in a wildlife sanctuary outside Antananarivo; she had an infant, which was riding not on her front, like a baby monkey, but on her back, like a miniature Lester Piggott. She had wide yellow eyes. William Burroughs, in his lemur-centric eco-surrealist novella Ghost of Chance, described the eyes of a lemur as ‘changing colour with shifts of the light: obsidian, emerald, ruby, opal, amethyst, diamond’. The stare of this indri resembled that of a young man at a nightclub who urgently wishes to tell you about his belief system, but her fur was the softest thing I have ever touched. I was a child, and the indri, which is the largest extant species of lemur, came up to my ribs when standing on her hind legs. She looked, as lemurs do, like a cross between a monkey, a cat, a rat and a human.

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