The Animal and Insect Act

Finally in order to ensure
absolute national security
they passed the Animal and Insect
Emergency Control and Discipline Act.

Under this new Act, buffaloes
cows and goats were
prohibited from grazing in herds of more
than three. Neither could birds
flock, nor bees swarm...
This constituted unlawful assembly.

As they had not obtained prior
planning permission, mud-wasps
and swallows were issued with
summary Notices to Quit. Their
homes were declared subversive
extensions to private property.

Monkeys and mynahs were warned
to stop relaying their noisy
morning songs until an official
Broadcasting Licence was issued
by the appropriate Ministry.
Unmonitored publications and broadcasts
posed the gravest threats
in times of National Emergency.

Similarly woodpeckers had
to stop tapping their morse code
messages from coconut
tree-top to chempaka tree

Java sparrows were arrested in
droves for rumor-mongering
Cats (suspected of conspiracy)
had to be indoors by nine o'clock
Cicadas and crickets received
notifications to turn their amplifiers
own. Ducks could not quack nor
turkeys gobble during restricted
hours. Need I say all
dogs - alsatians, dachshunds
terriers, pointers and even
little chihuahuas - were muzzled.

In the interest of security,
penguins and zebras were
ordered to discard their
non-regulation uniforms.
The deer had to surrender
their dangerous antlers
Tigers and carnivores
with retracted claws were
sent directly to prison
for concealing lethal weapons.

And by virtue of Article
four, paragraph 2 (b)
sub-section 16

under no circumstances
were elephants allowed
to break wind between
the hours of six and six.
Their farts could easily
be interpreted as gunshots
might spark off a riot...

A month after the Act
was properly gazetted
the birds and insects started migrating South
the animals went North
and an eerie silence
handcuffed the forests,
There was now Total Security.

Poem by Malaysian poet Cecil Rajendra

© SNi 12/28/04