The Polar Bear Addresses The Zoo Crowd

As the day wore on, the crowd at the zoo swelled. It was a holiday and hundreds of children had come with their parents to have fun, watching all those strange animals. With one hand clutching a balloon and other holding the mother, each child radiated joy and excitement as he passed from one cage to another.

The zoo possessed a pair of recently acquired polar bears which were a major attraction. They were lodged in a commodious cage with a cave and rocks and a pool containing walruses and fish on which they fed themselves. On this day, the female bear had retired into the cave to escape the noise and stares of the crowd. Her consort, however, chose to remain outside and meet the challenge.

He stood quietly outside the mouth of the cave. There was a thoughtful look tinged with hostility in his eyes. “Ah!” he said, studying the eager, staring human faces, “My dear fellow animals you are pleased to make me the object of your disgusting curiosity. You call yourselves the image of God on this earth. My heavens! What brazen faced conceit! I would even hesitate to call you the most developed species in the evolutionary scale. For one thing, you have not acquired the fundamental quality of good manners; you do not care to realize that it is positively impolite to stare at others. But as you consider yourselves to be superior animals, you must be having a philosophy to justify your superiority complex.

My dear boy, if you continue to ogle like that, your eyes may drop out of their sockets. Now little girl why are you throwing orange peels at me? How dare you provoke me in that wanton manner and take advantage of my helpless position? It would be better for me to take my thoughts back to my old abode the white snow stretching for miles and miles, the ice bergs sparkling in the pale subdued sunlight, the long months of darkness and sleep. But it is impossible to indulge in these sweet reminiscences in this place of public exhibition!

“Look here Madam – yes, you in the red clothes – I do not like that horrible look in your eyes, It smacks of greed. Your covetous eyes are devouring my white fur coat. You would like it to be around your shoulders. You are so young and delicate but you would not mind stripping me mercilessly, if you could.
“Thank God that lady is moving away! Her concentrated gaze seemed to be boring holes in my sides, a terribly exhausting experience indeed. I wonder what this constant stream of human beings really means? These little children whom you have brought with you – are your true images with the same streaks of cruelty and purposelessness that you so richly possess. I have seen them teasing and tormenting the poor deer in the opposite cage and laugh with uproarious delight when they have hurt it. Is this the moral training you have given to these worthless brats?

“I am getting tired of answering your stares. The contest is not fair. I am one against many. This is the first lesson in curiosity that you are imparting to the youngsters. Yes, children, it will stay in your minds; you will carry this habit of staring at the lame, the deformed and the miserable, anything out of the common run with unabashed curiosity and without the least trace of sympathy and compassion.”

“I am retiring to my cave. I admit my defeat in this battle of looks. I am completely exhausted by the strain on my nerves. No one can compete with man in tyranny and selfishness.”