wottim: (wo'-dum) n. a small noncelluar organism that is generated in fire and migrates to Arizona to feed and die. from the Slrnian wot, to fly, and tim, in a firey manner.
Overview. A wottim is a small, noncelluar organism belonging to its own distinct kingdom. Wottims are spontaneously generated in fire, where they are temporarily protected by their tough outer shell. Generally, a wottim will fly from the fire when the shell becomes red-hot, and will shed the shell, leaving behind the ashy remains. Now invisible to the naked eye, the wottim will instinctively head to northeast Arizona, the only place where mayonaise is grows on trees, their natural food. Sadly, most wottims never make it, with the exception of those generated in Arizona and some areas of Utah and New Mexico. Compounding this problem is the fact that wottims do not eat mayonaise substitutes such as Miracle Whip, a pickiness that prevents most from being saved by well-meaning forest rangers.
History of the Wottim. The wottim was first properly discovered in 2001 in a small town north of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Prior to this, wottims had been incorrectly identified as 'sparks' or 'hot ashes', and it was not believed they were living organisms. After extensive research on the remaining ashes, it was noted that they contained only carbon and could not sustain itself in air. This lead to the conclusion that the carbon ash remains had to be propelled by an inside source, which is the wottim. Soon after, the first wottim was captured and soon died in captivity, due to a lack of mayonaise. Nonetheless, this confirmed that the wottim did indeed exist.
Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the wottim is both noncelluar and an organism. This apparent contradiction meant that wottims must make up their own distinct kingdom, labeled the 'Caepa Kingdom'. Closely resembling a virus, the wottim can only survive if it makes it to Arizona to feed off the mayonaise trees. However, wottims also show some animal instincts, such as reacting to stimuli (fire) or simply displaying the lemming-like tendency to cause their own deaths by exhaustion.
Wottims and Humans. Unlike most organisms, the wottim is dependant on humans to exist. Fortunately, this means that if the wottim ever becomes extinct, humans can just generate more at their own leisure. This makes the wottim one of the more industry-friendly creatures.
Wottim-human relations do occasionally hit some hard times, especially when an unsuspecting human is bit by a wottim while sitting around a campfire. Wottims also tend to infect the mayonaise before it can be harvested, however they are high in protein and makes the mayonaise more healthy. On the other side, humans have been cutting down the mayonaise forests of northeastern Arizona at an alarming rate. Some fear this will lead to an eventual destruction of the tree. Some scientists speculate that if this happens, wottims will no longer bother to flee the fires they are spontaneously generated in, questioning what point their is in life without pure mayo. This predicted mass suicide of wottims would be tragic, so the mayonaise forests must be preserved.
Adopting a Wottim. If, by chance, you come across a dying wottim, there are several things you can do to help. First, go to the store and buy a box of mayonaise (it must be a box, for wottims do not like mayonaise in jars.) Then, go cut a fresh maple branch from a tree and soak it in the mayo for three hours. Place the mayo-laden branch in a 17 by 17 inch glass box (seventeen is the wottim's favorite number), and the wottim as well. If you want the wottim to survive, place this box on a brown burro with one gray ear, and walk it to Arizona. Then, let the wottim go.
Similar tactics can be used to lure a wottim out of the campfire, however, the strong magnetic pull of Arizona with the edition of maynaise nearby has caused several wottims to get highly confused and cause stress-induced deaths.