So we enter the last day of the A-Z challenge with a whimper rather than a bang. It was good to meet some great new people who I hope will follow Brits for the rest of time. Thanks so much. You have been better at hopping than me. No pressure.
So how does one feel at the end of the challenge?
"Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge."
Maybe Wilfred Owen was a bit overdramatic for the circumstances, particularly as it describes a poison gas attack. Right now I feel deflated and underwhelmed. Will I do it next year? Probably not. I said that last year, though. Today I am having a hard time making up my mind on whether I am indecisive.
For Z I could have gone for something zany as opposed to the animal that every kid can think of. Oh sod it - it's the stripy horse.
Zebras look pretty damn cool but the rule of thumb here is don't try to ride them. There are three species of zebras: the plains zebra, the Grévy's zebra and the mountain zebra. The Grévy's zebra looks more like a stripy ass while the other two are horses; think nasty stretch pants at Wal-Mart.
So here's the burning question when it comes to zebras. Are they white with black stripes or black with white stripes?
It was previously thought zebras were white animals with black stripes, because some zebras have white underbellies. Embryological evidence, however, shows that the animal's background color is black and the white stripes and bellies are additions. So there.
Mountain zebras and plains zebras, which are live in groups, known as 'harems', consisting of one stallion with up to six mares and their foals. Giddy up partner...
Most attempts to ride zebras have failed because the zebra is more prone to panic under stress. However, zebras are more resistant to African diseases than traditional horses. In England, the zoological collector Walter Rothschild frequently used zebras to draw a carriage. And in 1907, Rosendo Ribeiro, the first doctor in Nairobi, Kenya, used a riding zebra for house calls.
Useless Fact About the Zebra
A zebra's stripes may be useful for warding off predators. When they mass together the patterns can confuse attackers. Experiments by researchers suggest the stripes are effective in attracting fewer flies, including blood-sucking tsetse flies and tabanid horseflies.
What Not to Say to a Zebra
It'll be all white on the night