Dr. Hubert and the Chupacabra – Part 1
Dr. Hubert and the Chupacabra – Part 1
“But Sir, I must protest. I am a serious biologist. With several published articles and a book on the mating habits of bats,” moaned the slightly balding, and just below average height gentleman as he sat in a red leather covered arm chair.
A older, and even more balding man across the desk from him sighed heavily and then minutely adjusted the position of a stapler on his huge immaculate oak desk. He closed his eyes and folded his hands together before speaking again.
“Dr. Hubert. Roger. Let me explain this to you again. Mr. Dermot left our Zoo several tens of million of dollars to build an exhibit around a colony of Chupacabra and related species. The fact that he most likely meant Capybara, the large South American rodent, instead of the fictional goat eating alien creature makes no difference to the Law firm in charge of dispersing monies as stipulated by his will. Mr. Dermot’s interests and travels throughout South America were well documented, but that does not register to these gentlemen’s single minded goal.”
“But,” Dr. Hubert started again before being interrupted by a raised hand.
“But nothing Dr. Hubert. You know as well as I do that the considerable fortune left to us will allow us to make major repairs and upgrades, bring in new species and generally help our conservation programs across all departments. It will allow us to create new public education programs and become a real world class Zoological experience,” said the manager as he leaned back in his chair.
Dr. Hubert leaned back also, clutching a file folder in his hands, still looking stunned. “But what about my bats? Who’ll take care of them and keep up on my studies?”
The Director glanced at the Doctor, slightly exasperated.
“That assistant of yours, what is his name, Ronald, is trained well enough to do that, I trust. Just leave him a list of directions.”
“But, where do I even start? The Chupacabra isn’t even real. You know that as well as I do!” Roger practically shouted and started waving the folder in his hands around.
“For God’s sake, how do I know? Look on the Internet. Ask a cryptobiologist. Read a couple of newspapers and look for some people who have claimed to see it!” The Director leaned forwards as he started raising his voice. He settled back again and smoothed out his suit. “Use your brain man,” he said more calmly.
“Fine. I can see I’m being put out to pasture here,” Dr. Hubert sneered. “Let’s see,” he said as he flipped open folder, “this should be simple. I’m to find and capture at minimum a breeding pair of as many of the following species as possible. Chupacabra, and Giantopithecus canadenis, more commonly known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch. Along with a least one Pistosauria plesiosauria, or lake creatures of the same type commonly seen in both Loch Ness and Lake Champlain. Pterodactyls, Skunk Apes, and the Jersey Devil are on this list just in case I come across them.
At least the Board was magnanimous in adding the Passenger Pigeon, the Dodo, Giant Salamanders, the Tasmanian Tiger and the American Hynea, along with a list of a dozen other extinct or non-existent creatures. Many these have been extinct for a century or more. Perhaps I’ll be able to find a specimen, forgive me, a MATED pair,” he emphasized, “of one of these creatures with enough time and money.
“I don’t see unicorn on here. Oh my mistake,” he said sarcastically, “there it is between the Wooly Mammoth and an Ennedi tiger. “
“In the meantime, I am to become the laughing stock of the scientific world. “Oh poor old Dr. Hubert, have you seen Bigfoot and his wife? They’re looking quite dashing!” I’ll hear at all the conferences. What shall I say at dinner parties? Not that I’ll be able to attend many soon!” he almost muttered to himself,” I’ll be sweating myself to death in some desert with a goat on a rope trying to capture the lost pets of aliens from outer space. Perhaps in my copious amounts of spare time I’ll manage to discover perpetual motion too?”
Dr. Hubert sighed yet again and tossed the folder on the desk.
“Now Doctor,” soothed the Director, “there is no reason you can not continue your more… traditional research at the same time. I dare say that as long as you make an effort to fulfill Mr. Dermot’s dying wish as the Lawyers see it, that there is no reason you can not.”
The Director leaned forward to tap on the folder with his forefinger. “The amount of money the Board and Lawyers have given to you for your first expedition is quite generous considering.” He smiled patronizingly at Dr. Hubert. “I think they all realize the odds of actually filling even one exhibit is so astronomical that they can afford to be quite generous in your expedition funds.”
“Yes, yes. I have no qualms about the amount of the funds. I shall look forward to spending the late Mr. Dermot’s money as much as the Board looks forward to their portion,” he said resignedly. “I just feel put upon by the…. The sheer madness of this request!”
“I know, I know!” said the Director. “But you really are doing the entire Zoo a favor. Your colleagues are already drinking to your name.”
“And no doubt laughing that poor old Dr. Roger Hubert has been sent on a useless task and shall not be around to bother them with bat mating habits any longer,” Hubert smiled weakly at his feeble joke. He grabbed the folder containing his instructions off the desk in front, and tried to saunter happily out the office door. Instead he forlornly stumbled into the door frame and pawed at the door handle several times until he was able to find it.
Once the door was shut firmly behind him, he vaulted for the Men’s room with the sickness in his stomach.