Once there was a zoo. People like zoos. They like to watch the animals and reptiles and fish and birds and get to know about the animals that inhabit our world.
This particular zoo, however, was special. It had only two animals: a grey old pachyderm and a jackass.
It was a novelty. People came to see these two unlikely sharers of the same compound. They would watch as the zookeepers fed the elephant and the donkey and clean up after them. Piles and piles of food went in; piles and piles…went out. The noise could be deafening. The donkey hee-hawed night and day. The elephant’s bugling could be heard for miles. It was a cacophony; an odiferous din.
The elephant and the donkey usually just stood there and consumed everything they were given, and then passed it along to their handlers when they were finished with it. Those watching seemed only to watch. After observing several years of this give and take in the paddock, however, they got tired of the same old…excrement and effluvia. The crowds dwindled.
Actually, those onlookers had decided they were not merely tired of watching and waiting for something to happen; they gathered together and decided that unless the jackass and pachyderm could make themselves useful—or at least entertaining—at various sites, on one special day, new beasts should be procured to replace them. The populace wanted more than waste and trumpeting and braying.
In the meantime, the zookeepers were put on notice. They needed to become more useful and efficient and ethical, or they would be fired and then prosecuted for their corrupt behavior. It was no secret that they had been feeding the elephant and donkey food of poor quality, lacking in proper nutrients and healthful supplements. They had convinced the two creatures of their own importance, and that it was not necessary that they perform any service to the populace. In fact, they had trained the jackass and the pachyderm that their offal was not only expected but appreciated.
Nothing changed. The day came. At polls across the country the people came in the thousands. The counting began. The next day the trumpeting and the braying were louder than ever. The difference was that both sounds seemed sorrowful, and as the day wore on, the noise faded. Eventually those harsh, discordant notes were replaced by the new animals the people had chosen.
The cooing of doves is quite soothing.