Saturday, May 5, 2012

(Recommended Reads) "Talent Show" by Left-Hand-Path

"Very good, Blanco," I said, praising my subject. I held up another card, this one with a picture of a Bengal tiger on it. He leaned closer, and I could hear his eyes focus more precisely on the card. He seemed to be processing it, and then said, "It is an image of a tiger."

"Very good," I repeated. I continued to hold it up. "Can you tell me what kind?"

"I do not understand the question," Blanco replied.

"What specific type of tiger is this?"

Blanco blinked twice, then sat back to think, his eyes cutting from the card to me and then back again. "It would appear to be a Bengal tiger," he said, and then elaborated, probably quoting Wikipedia as he is wont to do, "The Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is a tiger subspecies native to the Indian subcontinent that in 2010 has been classified as endangered by IUCN. The total population is estimated at fewer than twenty-five hundred individuals with a decreasing trend, and none of the Tiger Conservation Landscapes within the Bengal tiger's range is large enough to support an effective population size of 250 adult individuals..."

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