So, it looks like the visa applications of two Greater Asiatic One-horned Rhinoceri for permanent residentship in the People’s Republic has been approved and the animules in questions will be flying off soon, once they get their exit permits from the Department of Foreign Employment after paying the requisite fees and bribes.

Nepal is gifting two rhinos to China. Is that such a good idea? Shouldn’t we at least saw off their horns first? While we applaud this new episode of Sino-Nepal diplomacy involving the endangered Odd-toed Ungulates of the Order Perissodactyla, we wonder where it will end if we make it a habit to gift our wildlife to friendly and not-so-friendly members of the international community.

However, a case can be made that there is great untapped potential to ship out all of Nepal’s feral street dogs to a canine-loving country like the United Kingdom or North Korea. Kathmandu’s cats could go to Italy. And the crows from the friendly neighbourhood garbage pile at Chakupat could be gifted to Australia, which has a shortage of these feathered friends. And as long as we are at it, why not send us donkeys to New Zealand?

While reporting on all this international trade in animals, diplomatic correspondents have to be careful about using speciest language. These are sensitive times and we cannot continue to say things like ‘Nepal is going to the dogs’.

That is an insult to our own office mascot, as well as doghood in general. And alluding to our current rulers as ‘human hyenas’ is a slur against all carnivores. Pigs could also take umbrage when we describe the current corruption contagion by referring to some bureaucrats as ‘greedy pigs’.

Similarly, it would be inaccurate to keep on referring to a neighbouring country to the south whose name beings with the letter ‘I’ as ‘the elephant in the room’. Much more appropriate in this day and age to say ‘the cow in the room’. However, in light of recent zoological diplomacy, it would be politically correct and acceptable to refer to our northern neighbour as ‘the rhinoceros in the room’.

And we have to be careful not to hurt the feelings of all the slugs out there when we say that Nepal’s earthquake recovery is moving ‘at a snail’s pace’. As far as snails are concerned, they are perfectly happy with the velocity they are locomoting in, and all Nepalis should be too.

You may want to call me one stubborn mule, and since there is still freedom of expression in this country, you can. But I’d prefer it if you said ‘cute as an Ass’.

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