Nepali Times
Under My Hat
Dogs celebrate World Animal Day


Unbeknownst to some of us in Nepal who have reached the pinnacle of evolution, World Animal Day came and went this week without much fanfare because no one remembered to place an ad in national broadsheets congratulating all animals in our kingdom on the auspicious occasion. Big mistake.

They are going to remember this lapse, our furry and feathered friends. They will not take it lying down, they will plot revenge and perch overhead waiting for the opportune moment and, taking careful aim, squirt salad dressing into your Caesar's. Even worse, Alfa Males will lie waiting in selected five-star loos in the city to pounce on unsuspecting journalists so they can pulverise their faces.

As we all know, Nepal would not be the same without its diverse flora and fauna. I don't want to name names here, but there are quite a few skunks and hyenas loose on the streets who give this country its unique character and aroma. Then there is one particular gnu who seems to be separated from his herd and has a swarm of gnats buzzing around him at all times. Underground, there are the burrower rodents who are busy digging tunnels under our vital statistics.

Moving on to the Class Aves, we notice that there is now a severe shortage of doves in the city. So many of them have been symbolically released in peace rallies in recent months that activists have been forced to switch to releasing chickens which have symbolically refused to fly off and have therefore been later barbecued.

The one species that celebrated World Animal Day with its usual gusto were Kathmandu Valley's dogs whose Annual Mating Season coincided with the event this year. Dogs and bitches from all walks of life were seen staging public interaction programs at major intersections, oblivious of the monstrous traffic jams that they were creating because entertainment-starved commuters stood around to provide moral support and to cheer them on.

Speaking on the occasion, a Sitting Member of the Standing Committee of the Raj Sabha said: "What our amorous canine comrades are doing today sets a fine example for the rest of us in our landlocked Animal Kingdom, after all, what else can we do in the current situation except stand back-to-back, hope for the best and wait for a speedy disengagement?"

What all this shagging means, of course, is that in the next three months the torch will be passed on to another generation of puppies whose responsibility it will be to provide us security in these uncertain times by howling all night and keeping militarily strategic parts of the capital awake. The puppies will one day grow up to be fierce guardians of the territorial integrity of the Garbage Heap they call home, so no outsider can ever covet sovereignty over the succulent water buffalo entrails it contains.

No commemoration of World Animal Day will be complete without a passing reference to the city's cattle population. Cows and bulls have been providing a yeoman's service to the Valley Traffic Police as four-legged traffic islands, often putting their life and/or limb in harm's way as they chew on their cuds and swat traffic violators with their tails.

In conclusion, I would like to once more thank the livestock, poultry and canine sectors for their contribution to national development and the process of natural selection. With this dedication, I have no doubt that in the very near future you will also reach the pinnacle of evolution like us.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)