The ecosystem of language is relatively stable, with few of its creatures ever facing the threat of extinction. One exception, of course, is the Interrobang, an obviously detrimental mutation that should serve as an example of the horrors of punctuational incest.
However, when a purer character begins to fade, it is all the more important for conservationists to step in and ensure not only its survival, but the precious balance of keyboard habitats everywhere. A more recent story of conservational success revolves around the Long-tailed a.
The Long-tailed a looks much like its more plentiful cousin, the Giant a, but are instantly differentiated by their backside protrusions. Whereas the Giant a possesses a stubby, rather useless tail, the Long-tailed a’s is almost comically lengthy and capable of wrapping fully around the creature’s body. Informally, this characteristic has earned the mark the nickname “The Marsupilami of Punctuation.”
In its early history, the Long-tailed a was kept as a beloved pet of merchants, who trained the creature to connect quantities and prices. As time marched on, the Long-tailed a had a rough adaptation as the world shifted from trading vessels and outdoor markets to office buildings and mail-order catalogs.
By the 1970s, the Long-tailed a had become an endangered species, clinging for survival in a near-parasitic relationship with the 2. Conservationists struggled to find a viable new habitat for the creature until one such savior, name unfortunately lost to time or people simply too lazy to look up his or her name, brilliantly trained captive Long-tailed a’s to connect names with domains in a newly-created realm called Electronic Mail.
With a reawakening of the instincts taught them by merchants so long ago, the Long-tailed a population quickly thrived. Taken off the endangered species list in the 1990s, its numbers continue to grow today. Some, though, have begun to wonder if it is not, in fact, becoming an invasive species, as it quickly adapted to the habitat of Text Messaging and has acquired a ravenous taste for Tweets.