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The tardigrade is fat and cute
in an arthropodic way,
waddling about in a baggy suit
in a fashionable shade of gray.

Most tardigrades are smooth and slow.
A few are somewhat spiny.
From time to time, they moult and grow
a tiny bit less tiny.

Eight chubby legs with tiny claws
supply their locomotion.
On mountaintops, in slimy moss,
or deep in the airless ocean,

these simple, easy-going souls
survive the fiercest places,
and suck up sustenance through holes
that pucker up their faces.

The tardigrade appears to thrive;
among its chief distinctions,
the species managed to survive
five planet-wide extinctions.

You won’t espy a tardigrade
without a microscope.
But I believe these mites were made
to prove Life’s final hope.

Tardigrade (grey) upright