A Leopard that Eats Too Many Books

A leopard that eats too many books becomes bulky and literary.

Such leopards are of great value in the wild where there are not many literary things.

For example if the leopard eats a lot of Don Quixote it becomes a valuable source of inspiration regarding breaking free of prevailing cultural ideals and replacing them with romanticized ideas from an earlier time.

“Raar,” such a leopard typically says, thumping down to the ground next to a gazelle.

Suddenly the gazelle realizes the value of impossible dreams.

Further the gazelle understands that modern life on the veldt is not right for it. Instead it harkens back to primevalism and the ways of its ancient ancestors.

“Raar!” the leopard says and claws at the gazelle.

The gazelle doesn’t run away. Instead the gazelle splits in half!

It’s asexual reproduction to the rescue!

The gazelle bounds in two different directions. This confuses the leopard. It paws uncertainly at one of the gazelle halves’ semi-permeable membrane.

The gazelle quixotically attempts to absorb protein from the leopard.

“Raar!” says the leopard, quite confused now, and hobbles away.

Alternately the leopard might favor the reality-bending works of Philip Dick. Thus when it leaps out of the grass towards a zebra the zebra’s mind will be totally blown.

“How can I know,” the zebra says, “that I am really here, right now?”


“How can I know,” the zebra says, “that I am even a zebra?”

The leopard kills the zebra. However the zebra simply wakes up on a different veldt. Also now it has four arms but none of the other zebras admit that anything has changed.

“Is reality, reality?” wonders the zebra.

But enough about zebras. They don’t eat books.

Sometimes a leopard eats a crate of What’s Happening to My Body?

Many people don’t think this is an appropriate book for leopards, particularly in quantity. It talks about sex and God doesn’t want leopards to know about that. Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be if every time you had sex with somebody the leopards understood?

But no amount of moralizing will stop a hungry leopard in a library. If it can’t eat good and moral books, it’ll eat the banned ones!

So sometimes they eat What’s Happening to My Body?

And sometimes one leaps out at a tribe of ibexes!

“Raar,” says the leopard.

It’s kind of hungry now because all it’s been able to eat in months was a lot of books, including What’s Happening to my Body?, and a zebra. The zebra turned out to be illusory so the leopard’s hungrier than you might expect.


One spotted ibex startles at the roar.

“Agh! Leopard!” it says. Then, looking at the leopard, it suddenly realizes, “Masturbation is a healthy and natural reflex!”

“Oh thank God,” says one of the other ibex in the tribe.

“It’s all explained by the literary value of this leopard,” the first ibex says.

That helped the tribe of ibexes a lot. It improved their self-esteem, making them healthier and more productive citizens of the veldt. But do you really want to turn to a leopard for help understanding the changes in your body as you blossom into adulthood? It might give good advice, or it might eat you!

6 thoughts on “A Leopard that Eats Too Many Books

  1. But do you really want to turn to a leopard for help understanding the changes in your body as you blossom into adulthood? It might give good advice, or it might eat you!

    That’s pretty much how it goes with anything you turn to for advice on the puberty thing. Although with things other than leopards, the getting eaten is largely metaphorical. Unless we’re talking about oral sex, but that strays from the realm of advice and gets more into the area of practical experience. Which, when you’re in the throes of puberty, could be good for you, or you could get metaphorically eaten. So, in effect, you’d be getting eaten in two different metaphorical ways at the same time. Unless you were getting both eaten and eaten by a leopard, but that’s just too fucking weird, so I’m going to stop talking.

    By the way, good episode; I really enjoyed it.

  2. If a leopard ate a book on (choose one) {painting, fashion, transvestisim, molting, some self-help subject} could it change its spots? Or is it always a tool other critters use to change their own spots?


  3. If a leopard ate a copy of Primal Chaos and then ate a semi-pre-pubesent child of unspecified gender, would the child understand how to use the horrific experience of being eaten to induce growth of character? However, as the child has already been eaten I guess this would just lead to a leopard that is fuller than you might think; counteracting the illusionary zebra.

    Great episode, somehow I never though leapords were that cool till I started reading Hitherby. Thank you for correcting me on this, as well as many other, points.

  4. Awesomely good on so many levels.

    I feel compelled to ask what would happen if a leopard ate a copy of The Leopard, but I’m not sure I want an answer.

  5. In answer to #3 about a leopard changing its spots (and completely ignoring the lovely joke therein), it does seem like a leopard (that has eaten too many books) is always a vehicle that carries comprehension to others. It’s a Searle’s Chinese Room, or a search engine: it embodies knowledge without knowing.

    It remains to be seen whether one leopard can grant knowledge to another.

    This makes me want to go back and read all the HDs involving leopards, since anything that has a fundamental relationship with knowledge has a special sort of relevance here.

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