A while ago, I wanted to see if I could write a poem that offended both the ultra-liberals and the ultra-conservatives, but still contained enough truth that could open a discussion about what I felt was a serious problem.
I've written it down here (after the squiggle) and would welcome comments about it.
The beasts of the jungle were hardy and bold; they had big, brawny muscles to flex,
But the bravest by far, so the tourists were told, was a Nubian lion named Rex.
He weighed 900 pounds if he weighed half an ounce- his jaws when he roared were a sight.
He could chew up a gnu with the teeth on his left while spitting out bones from the right.
But this king of the jungle was also quite wise and he read everything that he found.
He was known far and wide for his passion for law – he was quite constitutionally sound.
Now living quite near was a sweet little lamb who was also quite learned and well-read.
She heard about Rex and his passion for law, so one day she approached him and said,
“Oh, master of animals, noble and wise, I’ve a favor to ask, mighty Rex.
Could you please pass a law making creatures the same without bias by species or sex?
All beasts are like brothers, four-footed or two, whether reptile or mammal or bird.
Put an end to oppression, let love reign supreme and Equality then be the word.”
“By Jove,” Rex replied, “that’s a dandy idea and a notion appealingly deep.
There’s no reason at all why we can’t all be friends and we lions lie down with the sheep.”
So the order went out and Equality reigned, but the plan soon developed some flaws.
For it seemed that to make creatures equal, it takes something more than a new set of laws.
The circuses all closed their tents in a week, for who in the world gives a damn
About seeing a man with a whip and a chair in a cage with a man-eating lamb?
And the people who made rugs and clothing as well closed their doors when they saw no one’s buyin’
Any merchandise tagged with a label that read, “Made of hundred percent virgin lion”.
But it wasn’t just this that made wise Rex recant and turn his opinions about:
One day he came home to his lair for a nap and some guinea pigs ordered him out.
“That does it,” said Rex as he went down the road, “Democracy's bad for this bunch.
The mighty must triumph, the weak must defer”. Then he ate up the lamb for his lunch.
So the jungle went back as it had been before Equality’s banner unfurled:
The bigger got bigger, the smaller stayed small and the lions took over the world.
Now philosophers wise could well argue for years: were the strong or the weak more to blame?
But don’t place your bets on the team of the weak when the strong write the rules of the game.