Kingdom Animalia

Your thoughts will account for nothing if you don’t make tactical assessments.

The wise old owl peeped into the ul­timate depths of the clear blue sky and took a deep sigh. The entire kingdom animalia was present. All eyes were on the wise old owl. Every­one was waiting for some words of wisdom on the recent gener­al elections and the ensuing un­ending anxiety. Serious ques­tions were being raised on the reported unprecedented rigging. Except for the fox who got seats more than she expected, all were ei­ther unhappy or stunned by the outcome of an election that might have ended the last hopes of even the most optimistic of all. The hoax victory speech delivered by the lion had already been forgotten. The bats had not slept for weeks but some­how none of them looked tired. They closely watched the movement of bal­lot boxes and kept a tab on the surrepti­tious designs to manipulate the results. The caged leopard was continually issu­ing instructions to his supporters. ‘Burn down the jungle if we don’t get the gov­ernment’, was the essence of his mes­sage. On the other hand, his continued incarceration was becoming a source of anxiety for all and sundry.

The wise old owl cleared his throat. Except for the major winners like the elephant and the rhinoceros, the en­tire kingdom animalia was all ears. In a deep husky voice, the wise old owl started his speech...!!

For centuries, the fight between the good and the bad is being waged. Ideally, the good should prevail but history tells us that mostly the bad wins. Why? Per­haps, because the bad keeps changing its form and dimensions while the good tends to remain as such. If you want to succeed, adapting to emerging require­ments is the key. Secondly, the bad pos­sesses an enticing charisma. It tempts. It lures. Some say that the good is clean as a whistle while the bad is magnetic. With all its evils, hell remains intrigu­ingly interesting as compared to a bland heaven. A hero does good things, but it is the villain that helps the former look good. Imagine if the movie had all good characters, busy in doing good things – no villain, no twists – would you even care watching it?

Hyena: Come to the point, old guy. We are not here to attend philosophy classes.

Deer: Let him continue. He is making sense.

Zebra: Ask the bear to announce the re­sults. Why this inordinate delay in form­ing the government?

Raccoon: Who cares who is the winner. They are all the same. Hopeless.

Chameleon: No worries. Just like in the past, things will keep changing – just to remain the same.

Bull: Enough is enough. We are not go­ing to spare them this time. They thrive on our taxes. We will not let them rule just like that. They will be held account­able. Trust me. Not this time...!!

The wise old owl did not look amused at all. However, reluctantly, he continued:

Apparently, the king and his cabinet rules. On the other hand, we all know that it is Tarzan who runs the affairs of the kingdom from behind the scenes. Don’t ask me who let a human enter a peaceful jungle. It is the big five that should have been careful in letting him in. They should have sorted the matters out themselves. Greed for power harms and absolute greed harms absolutely. Look at our plight. Tarzan didn’t even bother to attend this important meeting. He knows things will never go against him no matter which way the coin falls.

Cobra: How boring. Why are you stat­ing the obvious? Waste of time, I tell you. The owl has become senile.

Antelope: If you don’t learn lessons, your future will always resemble your past.

Squirrel: Logic and politics are two different things altogether. Justice and fair play are jargons to be used by pol­iticians as and when required. Politics favors the powerful and not the genius. Politicians make history. The genius is happy writing it down.

Cat: Please finish your speech. I need to go back home and feed my kittens. Hard­ly anything left to eat.

The wise old owl shook his head and started again:

This time around, the fight was not be­tween the good and the bad. We were forced to choose between the bad and the worse. If electing the lesser evil was the best possible scenario – what was there to be hopeful about? This time around, the kingdom found itself be­tween the devil and the deep blue sea. The third option was to request Tarzan to come and take direct charge. He says he is not interested in taking the reins in his own hands - I mean - directly. How­ever, under the circumstances, the possi­bility of him controlling matters directly cannot be ruled out. If a thing can hap­pen, it will happen. Sooner or later, his­tory will repeat itself unless better sense prevails among the elephants and rhi­noceroses and of course, the leopard.

Camel: No reprieve for us. Whoever comes to power, we know nothing will change for us.

Jackal: Never mind. We will get our share alright, no matter who comes to power.

Hedgehog: True.

Panda: Would there ever be peace and justice in the kingdom? Please …!!!

Elephant: For sure. We are the ones who developed the roads and infra­structure. Unfortunately, our tenure was shortened by evil forces. We are ready to serve all of you - again - with utmost honesty and dedication.

Rhinoceros: Wrong. It is us who care about the commoners and their welfare. We will provide food and shelter to all. We Promise.

Rabbit: Yeah, yeah. Right. You will pro­vide food and shelter to us all. We have been waiting for this promise to materi­alize for decades.

The wise old owl suddenly opened his eyes and continued with a wry smile on his face:

I don’t know if there is a legal way to bring any politician to justice if they didn’t follow their election manifestos in letter and spirit. Naivety is one of your biggest weaknesses. Every time they promise prosperity, win elections, rule us, and get away with all sorts of crimes.

Bear: So, what do we do, wise guy? All bad news. No good news. Shame.

The wise old owl:

The only protection that you have is what they can leverage. Your thoughts will account for nothing if you don’t make tactical assessments. You are both brave and foolhardy. However, all is not lost. An amazing thing happened this time. The unbelievable number of votes cast this time – has served as a strong knock at the big door. Clearly, it has made Tarzan think. If only the elephants and rhinocer­oses could avail this golden opportunity.

Najm us Saqib
The writer is a former Ambassador of Pakistanw and author of eight books in three languages. He can be reached at najmussaqib

The writer is a former Ambassador of Pakistan and author of eight books in three languages. He can be reached at

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