Sunday, September 26, 2004

Journey to 北の国 Chapter Three: A Visit to the Zoo


In Tokachi, hairy gaijin visit zoos at their own risk. Like most small-time animal prisons, the Obihiro Zoo has trouble providing even remotely acceptable habitats for its internees. The saddest spectacle there was the beavers. As their fellow Canadian perhaps I am biased, but the he-beaver and she-beaver were penned in separate enclosures: light blue concrete, water, and absolutely nothing else. The he-beaver never ceased from gnawing on the steel door, and the she-beaver was pressed up against the wire mesh with a crazed look in her eyes. I think that next 1st of July I will put on my ninja outfit and return to liberate them as a Canada Day gesture. Which brings me to another point. Which would you prefer to have as your national animal:

this rodent (keep in mind that I had to navigate around naughty web-sites in order to obtain this innocent photo) . . . ?

. . . or this hardened killer of men? People of Canada, it’s time to make a choice. Are we to forever identify ourselves with this “thing” that Europe used to slaughter and put on its head? Or are we finally ready to reinvent our national character into something majestic and awe-inspiring as opposed to furtive, bucktoothed, and laughable? Come on already!!