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Inter-Species Peace: An Elephant’s Perspective

 

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You may recall that at last year’s staff meeting, I said that I was following a group of sub-Saharan animals who were trying to model a peace plan. A year later, it doesn’t seem that they have made much progress.

Things got off to a rocky start. A lioness offered to host the first session. She served zebra pate as one of the appetizers. Zebra pate is highly prized by the lions. Not so much by the zebras and other herbivores. The session ended before it began. The hyenas scarfed the pate before they left.

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The lions sent off an apology of sorts: “We are sorry if the vegetarians on our task force were offended by our food. We did not understand that they would be offended if we ate our foods in our homes. We thought it would be sufficient to not eat our guests.”

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A little terrified by these comments, the herbivores refused to meet with the carnivores. Finally a chimpanzee came up with a compromise. First, there would be no food served and no talk of killing. Second, the herbivores would be taken to and from the meetings in a vehicle provided by the humans (with no humans present). Third, the lions would send a male representative since they were the less predatory gender. Fourth, no animal would be allowed to attend meetings without signing the agreement.

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After some discussion, the animals agreed to sign. The chimpanzee thought that the group was on its way to showing the humans how to cooperate. Particularly when they discovered that the male lion was content to sleep in the sun through most of the meetings.

So they moved onto water rights.

Hippo: I don’t think it’s right that the elephants get to drink so much water.

Elephant: At least we don’t lie in it all day and release “organic matter” into it.

Wildebeest: The water does taste like hippo sometimes.

Hippo: How do you know? Have you ever eaten a hippo?

Leopard: Not to create another crisis, but it does taste of hippo.

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Hippo (offended): Fine. At least, I don’t wallow in mud like the warthog over there.

Warthog: What does that have to do with anything? You’re just being a bully.

Chimp: OK everyone, let’s get back on topic. How do we share the water?

Antelope: How about if the meat-eaters would let us get a drink in peace?

Cheetah: You’ve obviously never had to fight for food. We have to take it when we can find it.

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Gnu: I knew this wasn’t going to work. It’s always back to food for the predators.

Cheetah: It’s not our fault that we have to eat meat to survive.

Hyena: Or that some of you are so tasty.

(Everyone glares at him. He slinks away.)

Elephant: See? That’s what I mean.

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Lion (yawning): Will you all just be quiet? I just ate two gazelles and you’re ruining my digestion.

 

  “Ace” Sopp reporting from Nairobi

(pictures courtesy of Google Images)

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One Last Look at the Animal Olympics

(Words in italics are translated at the bottom.)

The sloth 10-meter race was amazingly quick this year, coming in at less than five days for the first time in Olympic history. The winner, Maria Perezoso of Costa Rico, said that she credited her intensive training regime with moving vines for her victory. She also said that the climate in Rio was similar to that at home which helped her breathing.

One of the best ideas this year was to separate the gorilla gymnastics from the rest of the competition due to the weight differences. After the tragic accident in London where John Gorilla misjudged his landing and fell on the monkey team practicing on the next apparatus, there was no question that something had to be done. This year’s competition was thankfully accident-free.

The biggest upset of the year was the victory of Lin-Lin Panda in the 20-meter tree climb, beating heavily favored A. M. Biri. Mr. Biri is challenging the results. The Olympic Committee is awaiting drug-testing results before making a decision.

Once again, Russian bears won all of the wrestling medals: Igor Obez’yana – gold; Sergei Obez’yana – silver; and Petya Obez’yana – bronze. The Canadian Alan Brown Bear ended in fourth place, the best result for a non-Russian bear in the last eight years. Russian cubs are taken into training when they are four months old, which probably accounts for their dominance. Unfortunately, there is some impact on social development and these bears rarely mate.

As expected, Samuel Duma dominated the short running events. His only real competition was I.A. Duma, his training partner. Hando Paa came in third, undoubted aided by the cheetah who was close behind. Mr. Paa said that instinct took over and propelled him to his bronze medal.

The long-distance running events took an unexpected turn when Dubai entered several camels in the races. On the hot track, Abraham Jamal easily outpaced his competition. Ishmael Jamal took the silver. Alexander Kudu from the African savannah was the third-place finisher. The camels will be definite contenders going forward. The other competitors found them rather rude and almost mean.

Unfortunately most of the swimming events had to be cancelled. When the water was tested prior to the first race, the officials found a significant amount of chlorine. Suspicion immediately focused on the Russians whose Siberian tigers had been disqualified due to failed drug testing. The tigers had been heavy favorites to win several events. The other theory is that the maintenance crew had been given the human requirements by mistake.

The other animals laughed at the idea of the hippos entering a team in the water polo competition. No one is doubting now that they have won the silver medal. Their style is definitely unorthodox, using their snouts to propel the ball. Their coach, Jonas Kiboko, credited the team’s desire to prove the critics wrong for the strong showing. Unfortunately, the elephant team ended the hippos’ run. Their long trunks provided superior accuracy, and the team went on to win their fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal.

Overall, the games were a huge success. Now the animals can relax until their human counterparts are finished and provide them with a ride home. Unfortunately, the animals lost their petition to attend the human games. Apparently the cheetah eating the capybara early in the games has led some humans to fear for their own lives. For their part, the animals are hoping that there are no hunters on the human side.

 

Spanish – sloth, Hausa – gorilla, Hausa – monkey, Russian (transliterated) – bear, Swahili – cheetah, gazelle, Arabic (transliterated) – camel, Swahili – kudu, Swahili – hippo (Translations provided by Google. The African translations are limited by the number of languages available.)