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In short, it can be a hard life.

Byline: Denis Kilcommons ,

Did you read about the discovery of the remains of a 3ft tall Hobbit on a remote Indonesian island?

The creatures apparently lived 18,000 years ago on the island of Flores and scientists have not ruled out finding descendants, or other unknown human species, still hiding in the impenetrable forests and cave systems of south-east Asia.

And who could blame them for hiding?

"Shall we leave the jungle and declare ourselves to humanity?"

"Not until they improve EastEnders."

"We could be hidden for another 18,000 years."

Mythical tales have been told in the region for generations of a race of little people that "murmured" to one another and repeated back words spoken to them, parrot-fashion.

Is this so unusual? Or do members of the same tribe go for a drink in Huddersfield on a Saturday night?

"What did you think of Town?"

"What did I think of Town?"

"Aye, what did you think of Town?"

"Eeh, give us another pint, while I think on."

"Give you another pint, while you think on?"

"Aye, give us another pint, while I think on."

This new species has been named Homo Floresiensis and lived cut-off from the mainland on an island like the Lost World of Arthur Conan Doyle with elephants the size of ponies, rats as big as dogs and lizards as big as dragons.

Which would have been interesting. I wonder if they held gymkhanas and rode elephants in dressage events? Mind, the show jumping could have caused trouble.

"Never mind a clear round, our Karen, you've knocked all the ornaments off the mantelpiece again and your father out of his chair. And he's only just got back from the sheep-rat trials."

Actually, I don't know why the discovery has caused such a fuss. There have been tribes of small people around for centuries; I come from one myself.

And Homo Floresiensis should take note that this world looks down on short people.

In fact, friends and acquaintances have already mentioned that on a dark night there is a passing resemblance between me and my Indonesian cousin.

To combat the prejudice when I was younger, I told girls I was a leprechaun and said they could have a wish for a kiss. Not a bad rate of exchange and I never actually said their wishes would come true. Mind you, mine did.

In the last few years, I've claimed to be a real Hobbit from Middle Earth, not that everybody believes me. Down at the pub, most people think I'm small and funny and call me a Short Farce. At least, I think that's what they say.

So if there are still any members of Homo Floresiensis still alive, they would be well advised to remain in their jungle caves in peace and quiet. Or at least until they improve EastEnders.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 29, 2004
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