Eulogy to the Irish Elk

by Emily Richardson Laurens

“I would like to say a few words about my old friend the Irish Elk (megalaceros giganteus).

You may think it strange that I give this eulogy as I have been implicated in his death. But there were other factors at play.

The climate was changing, the endless plains becoming islands and then, later, ice, grinding it’s way down from the north, pulverising rock.

It was tough for all of us.

My old friend was naïve.

When we came we were expert hunters and he didn’t know that he was the hunted. Why should he? He was the largest deer that ever lived, with palmated antlers spreading 4 meters.

Did we block his ancient migration routes to the south?

Creeping through the cold tundra with our bone tipped spears and arrows?

I don’t know, I can’t remember, it was a long, long time ago, is it relevant now?

Was it the ice and cold?

Was it just his time to go?

I don’t know.

Is it relevant now?

Anyway. Here lies an old, old friend of mine. The Irish Elk. 400, 000 – 7,700 years before present. Lying in the cold blue clay under the peat. I hope you rest in peace.”

Published in: on July 28, 2010 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

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