Size / / /

Though his intentions were different,

Dr. Moreau, with his uplifted

beasts, might be considered

the father of this line of research.

Today's equivalents, however,

use recombinant tech

instead of scalpels of chrome

to craft their new hybrids,

inserting into the genome of

various ruminants nucleo-

tide sequences that will

produce insulin, or megostrol,

or sertraline, each easily retrieved

from the milk of these fabulous

chimerae, like roses floating

in cream, and then retailed

to a scarred public.

But given how the real

cash-cow has always been

folk medicine, once the jinn's

out of the helix so-to-speak,

it seems all too probable

that eventually, in a raid on

some third world black zoo,

government agents will find

more extreme examples of

Moreau's legacy: a boy with

rhino's-horn for ears or a girl

with plumage; perhaps a striped

infant with the pizzle of a tiger—

travesties, in other words,

that would make even the ghost

of H. G. Wells blanch.

At least compared

to their harvested brethren

out back (smoke signatures

of fur, blood, and baby

teeth), they'll live to coo, bark,

or dream of unaltered tomorrows,

even if they are neither strictly

man nor beast, and walk on

either two legs or four.

Robert Borski works for a consortium of elves repairing shoes in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. You can read more of his work in our archives.
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