Dave, I can see that this one is going to generate a lot of thought-provoking comment. And I can see too that I’m going to have to limit my time at the laptop this morning because your list of links is a bestiary as fantastic as any dreamed up by a medieval illuminator and could keep me seriously preoccupied for days! (I have always, ALWAYS wanted to illustrate a bestiary.)

It’s not only the natural world in all its rich diversity that we have the capacity to stomp into oblivion. A friend whose short stories I would dearly love to see gathered into a single edition, has just told me there’s no chance of that because publishers maintain there’s no call for short stories. (!!!!!) I’m sitting here agog in disbelief. It seems that whenever evolution/human endeavour refines something to a pitch of perfection, whether it’s a glass frog or the art of short-story writing, some accountant is eventually going to be sitting in judgement saying, “How much exactly is anyone going to be willing to pay for this?” And if the answer is “Well, you just can’t judge it in those terms.”, the accountant smirks unpleasantly, raises a would-be-ironic eyebrow and declares pointedly “Well then I rest my case.” Heaven help us, we’ve turned what survives and what gets swept aside into a game show, and it shames us all.

That’s me done. Must rush to the studio, But your ‘bestiary’ is going to be my reading this evening, and I’m very excited about it too. A vegetarian spider sounds like just my kind of arachnid!!!