Morocco is many wonderful things, but it didn’t seem very animal friendly to me. I’m not a vegetarian so I didn’t mind that the only meat free food option was overcooked vegetable couscous. I did however mind seeing little monkeys on a leash, horses in front of carriages baking in the sun as well as chameleons and tortoises in cages at the beauty stalls in the souks. I didn’t dare to ask what they were used for, but imagined their ultimate purpose to be horrible concoctions of ground chameleon powder and made by order tortoise combs. I thought it saver to refuse to buy anything at any place with still-alive animals. In case you wonder why I didn’t feel sorry for the snakes and I guess to be PC I should – I don’t like snakes and don’t care for them at all. Sorry.
Then there were all the little donkeys, carrying heavy loads and sometimes us lazy tourists, goats tied into a tree for a picture-taking-money-making-scheme, and the scrawniest little kittens, which I wanted to take home with me. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. The scrawnier and smaller the better as the more I would be able to fit in my luggage. And so everybody back home could get cute little kittens as presents and not rely on my non-shopping abilities at the souks. In the end they were all too cute and I decided to rather take none than leave any kitten behind.
And if all of this wasn’t disturbing enough, we then found these little chicks in Fez:
Since posting this on Facebook they have created a storm amongst my friends and to my astonishment conquered many hearts. The general mood goes from WTF? to How do they do that? and then to I want one!. Well, at least my friend Alex expressed these three stages in one comment. Yesterday Julia and I were simultaneously browsing through my Morocco and skyping.
Julia: Ooooooooh. What is that?
Me: What is what?
Julia: The little coloured things?
Me: Oh, they are chicks.
Julia: Ooooooh, how cute!!! But why are they coloured?
Me: So kids will buy them. For 1 dirham. They are like live Tamagochi. Isn’t that horrible?
Julia: Nooooo, they are sooooooooooooo cute. You should have totally gotten one!
Me: But it’s horrible! I almost called PETA. They even put them in little plastic bags with only tiny holes when you buy one.
Julia: Jaaa, but not for long, only till you get home. You should have gotten a pink one!
Me: And then what? Hide it in my shirt and take it on the plane?
Julia: Yes, totally!
Considering that I wanted to take a gazillion scrawny, little kittens home hidden in my luggage and my cousin once carried her rat in her jacket pocket from Cape Town to Germany this request is actually not as outrageous as it may seem.
Me: Taking a pooping, little chick and put it in my shirt for a 30 hours plane ride? Are you serious?
Julia: Yes. (Pause) Okay. 30 hours might be a bit long, it’s so little.
Me: Yes. So that’s why I didn’t take one. Plus it’s still horrible.
Julia: I wonder what it will be when it grows up.
Me: A chicken?
Julia: Will it still be pink?
And that leaves us with the question if also a chick needs to get its roots done every four weeks.