Stork's Snafu

A summons from Chief Heron was always bad news. Stork knew immediately that he was in trouble. Importantly puffing out his chest, Heron leaned back in the chair. "A new species has emerged," he began. "One the Nature Matriarch was NOT anticipating. Rumor has it you're responsible."

Stork shuffled from one spindly leg to the other, spectacles slipping down his long nose. "Well?" queried Heron.

"The Department is under enormous pressure, sir," explained Stork. "Evolution is...well...evolving at an alarming rate. There was bound to be a mix-up eventually."

"The point, Stork?" asked Heron impatiently.

"I was overloaded," replied the disconsolate Stork. "Water fowl babies AND some fuzzy-coated young'uns. I stretched my jaws for no more than a second and..."

"You dropped them!" accused Heron. Stork nodded miserably.

"I tried reconstruction," he protested, flapping his wings, "but it was an unidentifiable jumble!" Stork's tone lowered. "I panicked, sir."

"They've multiplied," announced Heron sternly. "Hatched eggs...eggs for crying out loud! They defy classification!" Stork stared at the ceiling with great interest. "We've confined them to one continent," continued Heron, "but there's been numerous births. We have to give them a name!"

Heron pointed to a nervous Ibis clutching a clipboard. "SHE is at a loss. No allowances were made!" He prodded Stork's abdomen. "Suggestions?"

"Well," pondered Stork. "I gave them a beak, tail and fur. They were near a reef, so I left the webbed feet intact..."

"Get on with it," bellowed Heron. Stork jumped.

"Duck-billed something-or-other?" he offered with a hopeful smile.

The Duck-Billed Platypus

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