On a hill just above the marshes of the Potomac River, a unique group of animals congregate. The group, genus Senatorus Swampus, rarely gather in public, choosing instead to convene in secret with a closely related group, genus K-Streeticus Lobbarum.
But on rare occasions—occasions that happen as infrequently as every 21 years—the group assembles for long periods. When they do, officials provide opportunities to observe this ritual gathering. This week, I received a ticket to witness this ritual gathering from an area safely above the pen housing the creatures:
Hopefully, the copious notes I took during the process will allow future generations to benefit from these important scientific insights.
The ritual began with the group of animals milling about, conversing with each other. Many wore drab garments, but some wore more colorful vestments, perhaps in anticipation of spring rituals to come:
One of their group commanded them to attention, instructing them that the chieftain would soon arrive. The chieftain then strode in, wearing attire exhibiting his exalted station, and took his place at the head of the tribe:
Immediately thereafter, the chieftain commanded one of his minions, who silenced the rest of the noisy brood with an ancient chant:
Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! All persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment, while the Senate of the United States is sitting for the trial of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives against Donald John Trump, president of the United States.
There then followed several hours of largely unintelligible conversation, as people took turns lecturing to the group. It appeared that two clans had brought a dispute before the group and the chieftain for them to decide. A member of one of the clans arguing the dispute frequently came up during the conversation:
As the two clans argued for a seemingly endless duration before them, the group members’ attention waned. The creature who had seemed so resplendent in attire at the start of the ceremony suddenly slumped in his chair, head pointed downward, yearning for peaceful repose:
Some creatures repeatedly searched their miniature lairs, perhaps seeking sustenance in the form of previously captured prey:
Other creatures prowled about the pen, seeking ways to escape their confinement. One of them, after enjoying his peaceful slumber, milled about and chatted with his colleagues at the rear of the pen. Another creature—he of great learning, going by the name “Booker”—rose and stood at attention for a long period behind his lair:
A creature next to him, who goes by “Blumenthal,” tried standing at attention, but soon resumed his recumbent posture. Doubtless a war injury, perhaps incurred in the jungles of Vietnam, inhibited the latter’s ability to prowl about the pen.
Shortly thereafter, the clans stopped their argument—at least temporarily. The chieftain dismissed the creatures, who scurried out of the pen as soon as they could.
While few of the animals on display appeared to enjoy their confinement, this ritual gathering has provided a rare and historic opportunity for scientists to observe Senatorus Swampus in its native habitat. I encourage all those who want to watch this unique group of creatures to do so before the gathering concludes—because after that point, we do not know when Senatorus Swampus will appear in public again.