Kern's Holler Journal Biology
Under the Microscope, by Ivan Stang

Sally Cyclops Survived

... and she is pregnant!

Last night I peeped in on my little friends in The Petri Dish of Horror. Much to my surprise, Ned and Nessy Nematode and all their little worm babies had vanished. I was about to chalk it up to Spontaneous  Degeneration but then I noticed that the place was hoppin' with Cyclopses.

Now, in case you didn't know, this type of Cyclops that I'm talking about is a kind of copepod, which is like a miniature shrimp, just barely big enough to see with your naked eye plus your reading glasses. It isn't the giant one-eyed ogre type of Cyclops, although I would love to have a breeding pair of those if I thought I could afford to feed them. And these little Cyclopses aren't even really one- eyed, they just have two bright orange eyespots so close together it looks like one eyeball made of copper.

So anyway, my nematodes are all gone, every single one, but there are Cyclopses flitting about like crazy. At least three of them are pregnant females. It's easy to tell, because they have egg sacs hanging off their hips, big old clusters of glassy looking balls that make the she-Cyclops look twice as big as normal.  (My daughter is on her way to being in the same condition.) I reckon I will soon have hundreds of toddler Cyclopses in the Petri Dish of Horror, terrorizing all the smaller creatures.

Last night Princess Wei called me to the dinner table right after I had been watching the pregnant shrimp-like Cyclopses, and lo and behold, the dinner was breaded shrimp. They looked so much like my little pets it was almost hard to eat them. But they tasted too good
for me not to.

I have ascertained that the copepods are coming from the Jar of Life. Sometimes the Petri Dish of Horror has a plague or else maybe just
gluttony sweep through it, and suddenly all the rotifers or all the nematodes will be gone. But there'll be so damn many of those piggy little Colepses that you're seeing everything through a MIST of Colepses.

That's when I know it's time for some old fashioned LIFE SWAPPING.

I mix ecologies to get things jump-started again. I'll take a dropper full of Petri Dish water and put it in the Jar of Life, and vice versa. Sometimes it helps -- for instance, I am seeing a different type of copepod, a skinnier kind -- but other times it causes a Zombie Apocalypse.

Today it was almost warm and I decided this might be my one last chance to get samples from the nearby Pond of Stink before it freezes over. It's in a park not far from the Slackermansion and a year ago I got some choice stinkwater from there. So today I got me a jar and went to the same place and, by Gobbs, it is still stinky this year. The stinkier the water is, the more monsters you're likely to find in it, so I am anxious to investigate this new sample later tonight after my chores are done.

It was starting to rain when I left my car to collect the samples. ONE SECOND after I got back into the car with my new stash, it started HAILING like 15 and a half motherfuckers. But by the time I got home the sun was out. This is some crazy weather.