c/- The Marina,
I am writing this letter on behalf of the Tasmanian Tiger Protection Society.
I bet you have never heard of the Tasmanian Tiger Protection Society?
That’s because you probably still know it as the Thylacine Protection Society, and we dumped that name years ago.
It is my deep regret to inform you that, despite your best efforts, the Tasmanian Tiger — or Thylacine as it is scientifically known — is now thought to be extinct.
You do remember the Thylacine, don’t you, Noah?
A shy, marsupial dog-like animal about three feet tall and five feet long, with light brown fur and dark stripes across its lower back? Tail like a kangaroo, powerful jaws?
It hunted and ate mainly small marsupials such as bandicoots and small kangaroos.
I expect that habit caused you a few sleepless nights on your ark for those 40 days and 40 nights, eh?
As you might recall, Noah, the Thylacine roamed Tasmania in great numbers before Europeans arrived.
Unfortunately, it was wiped out by a combination of bounty hunting, disease and ill-tasting bandicoots.
The last-known Tiger died in the Hobart zoo in 1934.
Despite numerous reported sightings and a number of well-financed expeditions in recent years, no conclusive evidence of its continued existence has emerged.
As a compassionate man, I am sure this saddens you as much as its saddens us that one of God’s creatures no longer walks this earth.
This brings me to the point of this letter.
I want you to know, Noah, that we do not hold YOU personally responsible for the Tiger’s disappearance.
You did more than nearly all of us to ensure its continued existence.
It’s just, Noah — how can I put this delicately? — our records show that the two Thylacines released into your care before the flood were never returned to us.
This was before my time, Noah, so I cannot be sure of the exact arrangements you made for their return.
All I have to go on are some very yellowed pages in our minutes which say you took delivery of two healthy specimens – one male and one female.
I realise that some time has elapsed and it is unlikely that those two particular animals are still alive.
But the Tasmanian Tiger Protection Society, which has nothing better to do with its time now over here, would appreciate knowing if those breeding animals ever got it together.
If there is the slightest possibility that the descendants of those Tasmanian Tigers are still alive — even on top of a high mountain in Turkey — I think we deserve to be told.
You owe that to us, Noah.
Don’t make us flood you with protest letters.
Puddleduck Hospital for the Criminally Insane
PS: If you were forced to kill and eat the Tasmanian Tigers during your arduous voyage, what did they taste like?
©June 26, 2001 John Martin. All Rights Reserved
THIS IS ONE OF THE FLASH FICTION STORIES IN THIS BOOK. BUY THE EBOOK
Santa says he’s had enough. In this letter (which is the title piece in this funny flash fiction collection), he says Mrs Claus has had enough, too. “Rudolph the red-nose reindeer and all the other reindeers have also had enough (in fact, they’re the most angry. They wanted to do one more Christmas Eve run just so they could poop down everyone’s chimney.)”