Over the past year, I have been amongst a community of beasts in the jungles of the Oxford political scene. These animals roam the streets and halls of Oxford, visible for all to see – dangerous if treated wrongly, but greatly enriching if approached carefully. I speak, of course, of the noble Hack: creatures belonging to the scientific genus Hackius.
One of the greatest changes in this community of noble beasts is the emergence of a fascinating new species – Hackius Memelo. While before the hacks of Oxford largely bore the traits of either the Hackius Unionus (a distinctive plumage alternating between puffa jackets and black tie, accompanied by sharp predator senses), or the Hackius Politicolum (strong reproductive instincts, with either hedonistic or altruistic behaviour), this new species has emerged.
Hackius Memelo have recently been spotted on the ancient hunting grounds of their cousins the Unionus, but having been ruthlessly pursued out of that area they are now forced to co-exist with the Politicolum. To attract attention these creatures are known to use distinctive plumage – some can be seen in kebab-based stash – and to make large amounts of incomprehensible cries to protect themselves from predators. Using a complex series of tripwires and microphones, we managed to record a cry of “comrade, comrade!” from one of these new beasts. Truly astonishing behaviour.
However, the continuing existence of this fledgling species is at threat. The Hackius Memelo has very poor survival instincts, often being out-competed for sustenance by leaner beasts, and with a distinct lack of mating, numbers are dwindling fast. The recent creation of the ‘Meme Candidate Protection Fund’ by the Proctor’s Office gives hope that this new and rare species may be able to survive in captivity, but it will be a struggle to ensure a viable population is maintained: one day, specimens may only be found in the Pitt Rivers Museum – simply a curiosity amongst others, never again to be seen on ballot papers. A shame, but a natural result of natural selection.
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