TARZAN, THE HERBIVORE

John "Bridge" Martin

I think I wrote a story somewhat like this in an old issue of ERBapa which is buried in the stack somewhere. Since it would be too hard to find it right now, I'll attempt a new version, in keeping with recent ERBlist discussions of meat-eating and vegetarianism.

Tarzan of the Apes slipped silently through the lower terraces, his nostrils twitching as he savored the familiar scent of his prey.

Then, he stopped, standing on a lower tree branch, as motionless as Gimla the Crocodile, sunning himself on the riverbank.

No noise betrayed his intentions as he deftly removed his grass rope from his side and positioned the lasso above the oblivious victim below.

He dropped the noose with perfect aim, born of hundreds of such similar efforts, until it dropped fully around the unsuspecting creature that was about to become his noonday meal.

He jerked on the lasso, the need for quietness gone, and heard the sickening snap as the lariat tightened around the life-giving artery and the prize was separated from its one source of nourishment.

Tarzan hauled up his booty, a two-pound Beefsteak tomato, and, with the hunting knife of his long-dead sire, quickly cut away the remainder of the green stem. Then, he put the tomato on the large branch on which he was standing and, placing a foot upon his kill, lifted his head to the heavens, filled his mighty lungs with air, and gave voice to the victory cry of the bull ape.

Then, the ape-man realized that he had applied too much pressure to the fruit of the vine and grimaced as he saw the red pulp oozing up between his toes from the now-crushed and somewhat contaminated spheroid.

Unleashing a string of jungle Billingsgate at his own carelessness, Tarzan wiped off his toes on some grass and then wiped his hands on his thighs and went in search of the ruined meal's brothers and sisters.