Hey, grizzly cousins and brothers and sisters, that is nearly the end of the incredible story of Hermano the amazing spiny arboreal Amazon rat, though stories never end. Of how he saved New York City, or soaked it at least, and saved the whole World too, or at least a bit of the Amazon rainforest, the lungs of the planet. Of how Hermano got back his heart and belief.

Of how, not six months later, Hermano and Hermione were sitting wrapped in each other’s arms, high, high up above New York city, in their wonderful new penthouse home.   It was one they had been given special dispensation for from the Mayor of New York himself. Because, of course, with all the good things he was doing around the world, Hermano and Hermione had become friends with the human, Mr Sugarbug, and even his son, Randy, who had cleared up all his toys and now liked to read anything he could, voraciously, but who had made friends too, with Toola Iceberg.

Hermano no longer had any fear of heights at all, or of love and connection either, for he knew what the world can be like without it. Terrifying.  It was raining outside, heavily, but they were both safe and warm behind their glass windows, although feeling connected with everything going on below them too.  And as they sat there, a light shone above them, burning brilliantly once more, but saving energy too, and with no built in redundancy at all:  Coolidge’s huge Everlasting LED Lightbulb.

Now they were both remembering the journey they had made together back to the Amazon, on Honeymoon, a journey they would always make, for half the year. Of how Hermione had met Hermano’s Grandmother and Che and Yage too, the Shaman tree frog. How she had seen the wondrous rainforests, and heard all its amazing sounds, sometimes beautiful, sometimes threatening, and admired those ruins, but seen the humans too, convert the Depository into a place that invented solutions for the problems of the planet.

They had taken Jeb Cowpaw with them, who had wanted to see the Wild South of America with his own eyes, on the ground. Who had agreed as they stood there that it was a darn good thing the forest had memory. Who on returning had written a Cowboy poem about it all, and the amazing healing power of animals, that had won the Hermano Melville Memorial Prize for Poetry.  It had been awarded Jeb in the newly reopened bookstore below the water tower, which was now named not Borderlines, but Connections.

But of course Hermano had taken to writing too, writing stories, but Shaman stories to light a fire in animal’s hearts, and he had won the Moby Dick Prize for literature, that was famous right around the world.  Animal Media had lit up with the news and Pepe, who used it all the time now, couldn’t stop going on about it. So much so that Alfonse almost left him, then changed his mind. Lenno was sceptical about the whole lot, and turned his art to depicting the old days.  Walpole had gone back to England and got involved in politics there, though he didn’t like it, and Rumi had settled by the banks of the Hudson, watching the wondrous sunsets. Meanwhile the great statue of a Lobster had been erected at Pier 54, to remember the heroic Max and his sacrifice. Max had become Immortal like Herman Melville. It was the same month that President Silas Trunk Junior had stepped down, since it appeared in the news one day that he had had secret links with Vladimir. Besides, his policies were ruining the planet even more. As Hermano had heard the news he had looked knowingly at the twist in his tail and smiled.

Now though Hermano and Hermione were back in New York again, looking out at the wonderful views themselves and wondering how they could both help in future.  From here they would always look at the human city, but being at times modern too, and sometimes very scientific, in the night they would both look up as well, up into the inky black skies, at the billions of twinkling stars, and wonder and imagine and travel in their dreams out to other worlds. So Hermano decided, thinking of human money too, and all those numbers in Time Square, that the sun going out in five billion years was rather a long time after all. As Hermano looked, looked with his mind too though, remembering those Virtual Reality goggles, he often found his thoughts travelling up and out, like striking upwards, and on and on and he wondered about the Universe. How it could all possibly be, because the Universe means everything there is, doesn’t it?   So even if Space is like a box, like that FedX Box he had been posted inside to New York, what was outside the Box? And if the there was more space, or even a wall, that was still part of everything there is too, part of the Universe, so the Universe had to go on and on and on, forever.  Didn’t humans know that too, and if they did, how could they be so silly and small sometimes?  The mystery was far greater than they knew.

One day Hermano had met the one eyed Medical cat again and asked him about it, who had said something about space-time and space really being curved, like time, but Hermano hadn’t really understood.  Perhaps one day someone will come along who does understand, Hermano thought as he looked up now, and Hermano smiled as he decided to save the Universe too, his thoughts and dreams as free as the wind, up there in their wonderful home. Then Hermano thought something else important too – you’ve always got to think outside the box.

Yet where had the spiny tree rat made his half-year home, for lovely, now far more humble Hermione, and all the little spiny arboreal Gerbil-rats they would bear together too, high above the Hudson River? Why you know, don’t you, brothers and sisters? Of course you do, for a rat so famous and filled with such big ideas too, one now so very happy in his own skin, it was up there, high up in the torch of Lady Liberty herself.



The End

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