No Tomorrow

The Keeper sadly removed another small glass jar from his row of shelves. He remembered a time when the cabinets were crammed to overflowing and they were obliged store many of the containers on the floor, but that was long ago.

His assistant checked her computer-generated inventory. "Are you sure there hasn't been some mistake? That was slated for conception tomorrow." The Keeper gave her a resigned smile. "Oh, I'm quite sure. This little one has no tomorrow."

The assistant rechecked the listings. "Still shows up here." The Keeper nodded. "Takes a day or two for the update sometimes. You don't have to manually erase it right now, if it makes you feel better."

The assistant gently took the jar the Keeper handed her and carried it to her desk. "It never makes me feel better," she told him with a melancholy smile as they both stared at the tiny creature through the thick glass. "It's such a shame she will never be born," sighed the assistant. "She is so beautiful." She looked up hopefully, "Perhaps there's been some type of error. There's always the chance..."

The Keeper held up his hand. "That line of thinking will eventually destroy you." The assistant knew in her heart that he was right. "What happened this time?" she asked, blinking away the tears.

The Keeper reviewed the transmittal that he'd just received through the facsimile machine. "A rifle bullet." The assistant shuddered. "You're positive the casualty wasn't male?" The Keeper didn't answer. "Might as well take care of it now then," murmured the assistant, scrolling the cursor down the screen.

Carrying the jar, the Keeper open the door to the room bearing the sign "Extinction" as the assistant deleted the last female Snow Leopard from the Endangered Species Database.

Link to the International Snow Leopard Trust

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