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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 8 May 5, 1938

Shell y Ever Find Out?

Shell y Ever Find Out?

Many million years ago, in the latter half of what is known geologically as the Mostobscene age the world was inhabited by reptiles. At Salamanca there lived a community of lizards who were in the main surprisingly intelligent, but whose lives were made unhappy by serious problems.

The first problem was that of religion. The Salamanders [unclear: did not] agree about their god. Some thought he was a tyrannosaurus or a dinotherium, others thought him a Salamander like themselves, while a large number doubted his very existence. The other problem was that old sex. With lizards it is very difficult to distinguish at a glance between male and female, and the sex problem or the Salamanders was how to tell which was which.

Terrible confusion ensued, and sex became the subject of both sentimentality and bawdy Jokes, and got mixed up with religion and politics. The young Salamanders sought to lessen the confusion by holding public discussions where each could give his opinion and learn from the views of others, but the elders of the tribe, staggered by the frankness of the new generation, banned discussions of sex and religion.

But the young members or the tribe found it impossible to talk about anything of importance without infringing the ban. An argument about politics, for example, naturally led to questions or morals, and one's views on morals depend on one's religious creed and opinions on sex. So they held a debate, the [unclear: motion] being: That the elder Salamanders' ban on discussions or sex and religion should be lifted. Two of them took the negative side not from conviction but because you can't have a debate without two sides. The result was an overwhelming victory for the affirmative.

Another saurian, not a Salamander, had kindly agreed to judge the speeches. He was a crested reptile called Conchosaurus very old and very wise: he said so himself.

"Of course, I know nothing about these subjects." said Conchosaurns. "I have only studied them for 400 years." (His species lived to a great age. The remark was a sneer youth, though he said it with a benign smile, stroking his crest with his paw. He went on to say that his audience was not competent to talk about sex religion, or politics being too young.

True, all of the speakers were young, but most of them were un-questionably adults. They could not help thinking that his argument against discussion or sex and religion was an argument against holding any belief, and absurd because they were sexual and spiritual Salamanders seeking the truth about these things; and as their lives would be affected by politics, surely they had a right to discuss government. As their elders had not solved tin problems of life, that duly devolved upon the young. They decided that the Judge was a saurian of low crania capacity; —so their Spokesman said:

"It is clear that Conchosaurus is a survival of an older stratum whose members. In the interests or reptilian welfare, cannot be fossilized fast enough.

The Salamanders then seized Conchosaurus and stuck him fast in a layer of Early Conchiferous mud, where he would be happy, and left him to fossilize.