Morgan was rather pleased with himself. He'd sold the lions and all the other important animals a pile of dead vulture meat. He reckoned he deserved a well-earned rest. So he headed for the Med., where the rich vultures flocked and found himself a perch near St Jean. There he spotted a guy rolling stones into the sea. He wondered what he was up to, so he flew down and perched nearby.
"What you doing?" he asked.
"What d'ya think? Rolling stones."
"Trying to get the vampire squid. The fucker's in there somewhere."
Morgan flew a little closer. "Hi, sorry, should've said, name's Morgan."
"Hi, I'm Matt."
"What's a vampire squid?" asked Morgan naively.
"Come on, man. He's the greedy fuck that sucks the pond life dry. Can you believe this dude's called Goldie? Like, hello? Where's the gold, man? But I'll tell you what: I'm Goldie's nemesis."
"Or perhaps Goldie's yours." said Morgan innocently.
Matt didn't respond so Morgan asked, "What's the problem with this squid?"
"What's the problem? I'll tell you what the problem is. This dude soaks up everything for miles around... sucks it up until the entire system is out of kilter. He wraps his tentacles around the faces of all the animals in that eco-system and takes way more than any single squid could possibly need. Then he departs and leaves behind a wasteland in which every remaining beast finds it a real struggle to survive."
Morgan knew he had to be cautious. Matt had just described something that could sum up his own approach to life. So he played safe: "Maybe that's all he knows, this squid... Like a lot of animals. He knows nothing else."
"All he knows. So fucking what?" said Matt.
"So maybe it's not his fault. He just does what comes naturally."
"Well, maybe it's the fault of all the dudes who say they represent the interests of all the other beasts, the pond life you mentioned. I see this kind of thing where I live all the time. The lions and the tigers and all the other "kings of the beasts", who know it's to their advantage, they buy every friggin' piece of friggin' shit I sell them. Then they justify it to their prides, their tribes, their whatever you want to call them."
"Okay, tribes. But, I'm saying that this Goldie is just doing what any squid would do. And the real problem is not Goldie, it's these so-called lions and tigers, or these sea-lions... and these pond-tigers or whatever, who say they represent the interests of all the animals, but who are actually making a tidy sum out of dealing with guys like Goldie and me."
"Yeah, but so what? If my rolling stones hit Goldie, then that's problem over, surely? Problem solved?"
"Nope. All that'll happen is, another vampire squid'll come along and take Goldie's place. So what'll that achieve? You'll be back to square one."
Matt thought about this, then said. "Yeah, suppose you've got a point, dude." He straightened up "You know, you're quite smart for a vulture."
"All vultures are smart, Matt. It's just, some are smarter than others."
Matt liked Morgan and thought he might like to hang out with him. "Hey, Morgan why don't you come over here and grab a line." He held out his flask. "And a shot?"
But Morgan declined. "Three years it's been, Matt." he said earnestly. "And I found out a while ago that they even have meetings down here in St Jean. So I'll say no, if you don't mind."
Matt shrugged but appeared to understand. And with that, Morgan flew off to hang out with all the other rich vultures that flocked to St Jean at this time of year. He wasn't really off the sauce - or the dope. He simply preferred to grab the kind of lines that vultures grab when they're on vacation... or at home... or wherever on earth they happen to be.
(to be continued...)