David Rabbitborough's A to Z of Australian Species

 

THE ACCOUNTANT

The Accountant is a small grey, rodentlike creature that lives in a tidy burrow called an office. Although it consumes a reasonable number of commodities, it produces none at all so to survive in the manner to which it would like to become accustomed it must attach itself to someone that does. Thus, like the tick bird that lives on the back of the rhinoceros, the Accountant attaches itself to a host and proceeds to count the host's money, a service for which it charges a fee.

For the most part the Accountant simply sorts the money into two piles - what comes in and what goes out. These piles must match down to the last cent and if they don't the accountant starts to make small noises of distress and will race around its burrow, hunting for the discrepancy amongst reams of paper.

Sometimes the Accountant will start to act as if the money were its own and will growl ferociously if anyone tries to spend it - even the Host. When this occurs, employees and creditors will have quite a battle extracting payments from the tenacious grip of this creature. As part of their defence system Accountants often employ a device called a Requisition Form, the effect of which is to make all transactions so tedious that the inquirer eventually gives up.

For all their hoarding and territorial behaviour, the accountant's life is essentially one of repetition. To counteract this, governments around the world have created special schemes to keep accountants interested. They are called Tax Departments. Since most of an Accountant's life is spent negotiating the maze of Tax Regulations, the Tax Departments change the rules every two or three weeks just to keep these delightful creatures busy. All in all they are inoffensive little creatures that are tolerated by other species despite the fact that they don't seem to have any particular use.

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