Regrettable Traffic Incident

Jun 2013
With a servant standing behind him, an old man sat down on a bench in front of a large cage in his garden. The old man was the owner of a large garden and a chicken farm. Some years ago, scores of monkeys from the nearby forests descended on his farm, killing and wounding many chickens after setting a barn on fire. Two monkeys even crashed into the farm with stolen bicycles and ran over many chickens in their path. The old man managed to capture many of the monkeys with the help of his servants. The captives included several monkeys from his neighbour's forest.

The old man told the three monkeys in the cage: "You are the last of your species to be released by me. Don't worry, I won't send you back to my hated neighbour even though he keeps repeating his demand for you and all other troublemakers of your species. You are free to go and stay anywhere you like, except here. Don't thank me, as I expect you and your friends to know what to do next and where to go eventually."

With that, the old man asked his servant to open the cage and release the monkeys which scampered away at once to a nearby forest. A female monkey on a nearby tree jumped with glee after watching the three monkeys released from the cage. She was the leader of a troop of monkeys that sought refuge in the old man's garden after causing much trouble in his neighbour's forest. The old man welcomed them with open arms as they often threw stones and monkey poo across the fence into his neighbour's forest.

Not long after, several monkeys in his neighbour's forest suddenly ran amok, hurling rocks at the deer and killing and wounding dozens of them. On hearing the news of the deadly attack, the old man hung a large placard on the fence, condemning the “terrible and senseless act of violence in the neighbouring forest” and expressing condolences to those animals affected in what he said was a tragedy. The deer, however, were not satisfied with the old man's condemnation of the violence. They accused the old man of double standards for classifying the deadly attack on his chicken farm as terrorism but refraining from calling the bloody attack against his neighbour's deer a terrorist incident.

One deer said angrily in protest: "If you say that the bloody attack against the deer is a ‘terrible and senseless act of violence’, then the attack on the chicken farm can be called a ‘regrettable traffic incident." Another deer lamented: “Merely ‘terrible and senseless’? Only ‘violence’? Would the chickens say the same thing about similar attacks on their own territory?” In typical mocking response, another deer said: “I express my condolences for the setting off of fireworks and burning incident at the chicken farm.”

Meanwhile, on hearing the news of the bloody attack, the female monkey leader shouted across the fence at the top of her voice: "At this time of heightened tensions, it is important the forest owner deals with the incident rationally and not set about demonising us, the monkeys, as enemies of his forest."

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