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The King of Beasts

by Philip Jose Farmer

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The biologist was showing the famous visitor through the zoo and laboratory. “Our budget,” he said, “is too limited to re-create all known extinct species. So we bring to life only the higher animals, the beautiful ones that were wantonly exterminated. I’m trying, as it were, to make up for brutality and stupidity. You might say that man struck life in the face every time he wiped out a branch of the animal kingdom.”

He paused, and they looked across the moats and the force fields. The quagga wheeled and galloped. Delight and sun flashed off his flanks. The sea otter poked his humorous whiskers from the water. The gorilla peered from behind bamboo. Passenger pigeons strutted. A rhinoceros trotted like a dainty battleship. With gentle eyes, a giraffe looked at them, then resumed eating leaves.

“There’s the dodo. Not beautiful but very droll. And very helpless. Come. I’ll show you the re-creation itself.”

In the great building, they passed between rows of tall and wide tanks.

They could see clearly through the windows and the jelly within.

“Those will be African Elephants,” said the biologist. “We plan to grow a large herd and then release them on the new government preserve.”

“You positively glow,” said the distinguished visitor. “You really love the animals, don’t you?”

“I love all life.”

“Tell me,” said the visitor, “where do you get the data for recreation?”

“Mostly, skeletons and skins from the ancient museums. Excavated books and films that we succeeded in restoring and then translating. Ah, see those huge eggs? The chicks of the giant moa are growing within them. There, almost ready to be taken from the tank, are tiger cubs. They’ll be dangerous when grown but will be kept in the preserve.”

The visitor stopped before the last of the tanks.

“Just one?” he said. “What is it?”

“Poor little thing,” said the biologist, now sad. “It will be so alone. But I shall give it all the love I have.”

“Is it so dangerous?” said the visitor. “Worse than elephants, tigers, and bears?”

“I had to get special permission to grow this one,” said the biologist. His voice quavered.

The visitor stepped sharply back from the tank. He said, “Then it must be… But you wouldn’t dare!”

The biologist nodded. “Yes. It’s a man.”

Q1

Review “The King of Beasts” from Lesson 1. Considering each characteristic presented above, evaluate how closely this piece of fiction adheres to the short story form. Your answer should be in full paragraph form and be approximately 200 words in length. Make specific reference to the story as you apply each characteristic to it.

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red candle 170Review “The King of Beasts” from Lesson 1. Considering each characteristic presented above, evaluate how closely this piece of fiction adheres to the short story form. Your answer should be in full paragraph form and be approximately 200 words in length. Make specific reference to the story as you apply each characteristic to it.

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