The Human Archive, in its early days, was just a bunker in the Congo, a concrete building that had been hermetically sealed at one point but was now starting to leak. The bonobos had patched it up and rigged up the dehumidifier to protect the films (and later, books) they kept there, but they mostly continued to live outdoors, preferring nests in the trees to the drafty dry air of the archives.
Bonobos who worked closely with the archive lived in the trees near the bunker at first, but as more and more people (some other apes, too) became interested in study, the area became overpopulated. New schools sprang up in different areas. The study of philosophy was far from the archive building, since it relied mostly on arguing, which for bonobos, meant discussion, followed by dispute, followed by loud sex. The school of philosophy was one of the largest and fastest-growing.
When word spread that a tiger was interested in joining the school of philosophy, the current students and faculty gathered for a discussion.
“I think that tigers are dangerous predators and we should deny admission on grounds of safety,” said Professor Hibiscus Leaf. “Being killed and eaten certainly has its place in life but would be a distraction in the classroom.”
“I believe that the tiger is sincere and could be persuaded not to eat people during discussions,” said Professor Fallen Tree. “Our policy has been that all creatures deserve an opportunity to debate life’s questions with us. If history has taught us anything, it is that exclusion is oppression. The denial of knowledge to a student is against the tenets of this scholarly body.”
In the following orgy, Professor Fallen Tree’s proposal was voted in 60 to 35, with five abstaining. Professor HIbiscus Leaf proposed the backup plan of holding classes in trees should the tiger prove impulsive, and Professor Fallen Tree, combing Hibiscus’s hair with her fingers, agreed that this seemed fair. The tiger Nnnn (“Hunger”) would be allowed to attend on a trial basis.