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Chapter 71
To those who should ever find themselves in a predicamentsuch as I was in, I would recommend the following program:
1. Choose a day when the waves are small but regular. Youwant a sea that will put on a good show when your lifeboat isbroadside to it, though without capsizing your boat.
2. Stream your sea anchor full out to make your lifeboat asstable and comfortable as possible. Prepare your safe havenfrom the lifeboat in case you should need it (you most likelywill). If you can, devise some means of bodily protection.
Almost anything can make a shield. Wrapping clothes orblankets around your limbs will make for a minimal form ofarmour.
3. Now comes the difficult part: you must provoke theanimal that is afflicting you. Tiger, rhinoceros, ostrich, wild boar,brown bear – no matter the beast, you must get its goat. Thebest way to do this will most likely be to go to the edge ofyour territory and noisily intrude into the neutral zone. I didjust that: I went to the edge of the tarpaulin and stampedupon the middle bench as I mildly blew into the whistle. It isimportant that you make a consistent, recognizable noise tosignal your aggression. But you must be careful. You want toprovoke your animal, but only so much. You don't want it toattack you outright. If it does, God be with you. You will betorn to pieces, trampled flat, disembowelled, very likely eaten.
You don't want that. You want an animal that is piqued,peeved, vexed, bothered, irked, annoyed – but not homicidal.
Under no circumstances should you step into your animal'sterritory. Contain your aggression to staring into its eyes andhurling toots and taunts.
4. When your animal has been roused, work in all bad faithto provoke a border intrusion. A good way of bringing thisabout in my experience is to back off slowly as you aremaking your noises. BE SURE NOT TO BREAK EYECONTACT! As soon as the animal has laid a paw in yourterritory, or even made a determined advance into the neutralterritory, you have achieved your goal. Don't be picky orlegalistic as to where its paw actually landed. Be quick to beaffronted. Don't wait to construe – misconstrue as fast as youcan. The point here is to make your animal understand that itsupstairs neighbour is exceptionally persnickety about territory.
5. Once your animal has trespassed upon your territory, beunflagging in your outrage. Whether you have fled to your safehaven off the lifeboat or retreated to the back of your territoryon the lifeboat, START BLOWING YOUR WHISTLE AT FULLBLAST and IMMEDIATELY TRIP THE SEA ANCHOR. Thesetwo actions are of pivotal importance. You must not delayputting them into effect. I............
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