the fabulous bloar of margaret atwood

year of flood
Toby stares at them, fascinated: she’s never seen a liobam in the flesh, only pictures. Am I imagining things? she wonders. No, the liobams are actual. They must be zoo animals freed by one of the more fanatical sects in those last desperate days.

They don’t look dangerous, although they are. The lion-sheep splice was commissioned by the Lion Isaiahists in order to force the advent of the Peaceable Kingdom. They’d reasoned that the only way to fulfil the lion/lamb friendship prophecy without the first eating the second would be to meld the two of them together. But the result hadn’t been strictly vegetarian.

Still, the liobams seem gentle enough, with their curly golden hair and twirling tails. They’re nibbling flower heads, they don’t look up; yet she has the sense that they’re perfectly aware of her. Then the male opens its mouth, displaying its long, sharp canines, and calls. It’s an odd combination of baa and roar: a bloar, thinks Toby.

— from Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood (Doubleday, 2009)

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