Trouble in the Academy

by Kathleen Bryson

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Yesterday I opened a brochure for

the Museum of Unnatural History and

immediately saw the annotated illustration 

of a bearded precognitive Opabinia chimera

depicted as having left the sea for a bit to

go hug up on a tree and put ear to bark to listen

perhaps fruitlessly for oracle advice as per the

future of the planet as concerns supernovae.

This creature was not our ancestor.


There is a lie in the museum and I can prove it.

I’m not just talking about human-Opabinia

facial-haired chimeras with ESP. At the time

Opabinia regalis lived, ca. 509-497 million years ago,

sentient predictive trees had not yet developed on land.

Secondly, despite being very connected to nature and

new-agey and-all, this animal’s psychic skills need fine-tuning,

because the Earth’s fate is not to perish in a supernova.

Our sun is too small for that. Nope, in 7.6 billion years,

our planet likely will be simply swallowed up


by the expanding red giant that is our displacer sun,

and eventually our star will fade to a white dwarf,

as it is not sufficiently massive to go supernova.

I hope you feel better now.

The paltering curators got one thing right in that

Opabinia is dead as a dodo,

the dodo being a crowd-favourite exhibition at evil rival

the Museum of Natural History as an anti-matter of fact.

Enjoy your best life while you can (a tacit half-truth

implication of evolutionarily competing multiverses

with divergent laws of physics and ecology);

I’m sure the now-extinct psychically hirsute entirely real Opabinia regalis did.


end of story

© 2024, Kathleen Bryson “The Crow War” by Kathleen Bryson