April 15, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Posted in Da Ritzenator | 3 Comments

zooA Zoo is another name for Animal Prison. Unbeknownst to most people, the animal kingdom has its own set of rules and laws, lightly touched upon in the novel “Animal Farm.” When infractions against other animals are made and the tried animal is found guilty, a call is put into a zoo to imprison the wretched beast. Such crimes are “marking” territory belonging to another individual or family, infidelity of a lady animal against the head of a clan, eating ones own children when other nourishment is abundant, and trying to join the “cool” crowd when said creature is just not that “cool.” Before zoos existed, living things would take barbaric actions into their own paws, hoofs, pincers, or fins, wherein, the plaintiff was typically beaten, tortured and killed alive by the defendant without trial. But as the animals got more blood thirsty, they saw more and more of their fellow species dwindle into near extinction. They knew something had to be done.  


So a historic summit was planned on the anniversary of Noah’s Ark’s boat trip, where the leaders of all species got together and planned what to do. When everybody was in (extra time given for the turtles and slugs), the impatient Jaguars were the first to speak up. As they paced around the hollowed-out tree, they said “Scrrrraowww-wow-wow (jaguar sound effect).” They added, “Instead of beating each other to death, why don’t we offer the guilty parties as food to other species?”  This was considered for a while since cannibalism was frowned upon by most species. After the murmuring quieted down, the Elephants retorted in their deep, long drawn out voices “But that will not prevent us from extinction. We should know, our cousin the Mammoth, killed itself out of existence.” Agreements rumbled and squeaked around the tree trunk conference room. Everyone had fond memories of the metaphoric grandfather of animals: the Mammoth.


Other ideas were tossed around, such as community service (suggested by the Carp) and temporary exile (offered by the Penguins). But it was the German Shepherds who pointed out: “You can’t teach a bad animal how to rightly behave.”  (From their historical speech, we get the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”). The notably silly idea to punish a convict with the embarrassing act of wearing a walnut rather than a normal shell came from the Hermit Crabs. Everyone (even the Snails to maintain popularity) had a good laugh. The humiliated Hermit Crabs withdrew into their shells, sulking “We were only brainstorming. And it would be highly embarrassing to go around with only a walnut shell.”


As all the ideas were gathered and written down, (except the silly walnut idea…imagine a Giraffe trying to wear a walnut shell!), it was the Forest Thursh that put everything together and came up with the Zoo idea. The bird had seen human jails, and formulated the idea to give the offending animal over to humans as “specimens” for them to ogle. This way, the criminal would be prosecuted, but not killed. It would have all its free rights and liberties taken away by being placed in a very small, uncomfortable environment and looked after by humans. In a secret ballot, the Pigeon was unanimously chosen to act as the go-between, notifying humans that a convicted animal was ready to be sentenced to a zoo. That is why, to this day, you can see hundreds of pigeons everywhere on zoo grounds.


So the next time you go to a zoo and feel guilty that the caged animals look bewildered, angry, or uncomfortable, just realize that they are criminals back in their natural habitat. It is their lives of crime that got them placed into animal jails. Laugh at them, point fingers, and make them feel guilty; because that is what they deserve. But read the warnings: do not feed them or get too close. They are still evil criminals, and could snap at any time. Even at little girls and boys just like you.  – Da Ritzenator


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