Nepali Times
Under My Hat
Animal Kingdom


The arrest last week of Gajendra, the Zoo elephant, for a serious traffic violation at the Singha Durbar intersection is a signal that it is never too late to get the animals that use the capital's streets to abide by the rules. Gajendra passed the breath analyser test (just bad breath, no alcohol) but was booked for doing do-do below the statue of King Prithvi Narayan Shah the Great, an intersection frequented by the Prime Minister and other members of his Cabinet. Elephant poo is a serious traffic hazard, and it was an alert member of Kathmandu's finest that spotted the Great Balls of Fibre and traced them to their pachyderm perpetrator who was promptly apprehended.

This miscreant was nabbed, but what the elephant episode showed was an urgent need to regulate the bodily functions of Kathmandu's street fauna. As traffic flow increases, we can no longer have one set of rules for four wheels, and no rules for four legs. But hope is at hand: the Traffic Police is now working on strict rules to regulate the Animal Kingdom:

. Fowls: Chicken crossing the road will henceforth be required to first sign an affidavit in triplicate (with Rs 5 stamps affixed) explaining why they wish to do so. From the next fiscal year, the officer on duty will be allowed to arrest jay-walking roosters on the spot, and eat them, unless they are able to satisfactorily explain why it is they wish to get to the other side.

. Ducks: Speeding ducks are a threat to life and limb, and ducks found to be recklessly going around speed bumps on the Godavari Road will with immediate effect be sent to the Quack-Quack noodle factory. The ground-speed limit for ducks and geese is now set at 55 mph.

. Goats: Parking on the grass is now strictly prohibited, and guilty ungulates will be violently removed from the scene of the crime and sacrificed by the Municipality. And that means ewe.

. Cows: The new regulations be queath Kathmandu's streets to its rightful original owners and give them the right of way. Always pass a sitting bull on the left, unless it is moving, in which case all approaching traffic has to stop until El Toro decides what to do next. Which could be until the cows come home.

. Dogs: Chasing cars while barking wildly is a dangerous activity and has been banned with immediate effect. Dogs will be allowed to baptise tyres only in the privacy of their own homes. During their annual mating season, dogs must give traffic at all major thoroughfares the right of way from nine to five on weekdays and ten to two on weekends. At other times, dogs can continue to do whatever it is they do to enlarge their genetic pool.

. Elephants: Only elephants with green stickers showing that they have passed emission tests and with valid Continence Certificates will be allowed to cross the Singha Durbar intersection.

. Zebras: To get across, zebras must only use pajama crosswalks after looking in
both directions to check for speeding ducks.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)