Friday, February 17, 2012

Ricki-tiki-tavi, a Retelling

With apologies to Kipling, and to the rest of the world. 

Now, Nag and Nagina, two quite formidable snakes, thought they were in control of the Party. And they plotted to hold ransom the People of the Party, to better enable their Snakelings to run all the other Parties out of the Garden. They were aided in their plot by enlisting another, smaller Snake, Karait, in their Crusade to control the Party. They would rail loudly about how the Other Party was Poisoning the well of Ideals, and how the other Party was plotting to force all the Snakes to get rid of their Fangs. But the Snakes argued that to give up their Fangs would be to give up their very Freedom to bite, which everyone knew was a King Snake-given right!

Now, Nag and Nagina had one weakness - they couldn't stop nagging each other, and they never had anything positive to offer to the Other Parties in the Garden. And this nagging and negativism led many in their own Party to have Grave Misgivings about the ability of either Nag or Nagina to lead the Party and force the other Party to bow down or leave the Garden. And thus, the Party was loathe to extend their Vote to either Nag and Nagina. And as for Karait, well, he was such small potatoes that the Party laughed behind his back. But the Party was worried, because they had an Agenda, and they felt none of the Snake candidates had what it took to faithfully carry out the Crusade with the proper zeal and Purity of Purpose. And so they sulked, not happy with any kind of "Plan B" approach to the problem.

One day, during the campaign, when many were sorely vexed by this dilemma, a sudden blur of fur and Purity of Purpose appeared in the middle of the Garden. There before the assembled Party stood in all his ten-inch glory, a young-ish mongoose, who went by the name of Ricki-Ticki-Tavi. The Party went crazy for this young-ish Holy Terror, his fur glistening with Righteousness and Zeal by the bucket-load. Here, surely, was the Right Leader to lead the Party, vanquish the other Parties, and chase the Snakes from the Garden. They also really loved his furry vestments.

Everyone was so delighted by this turn of events that they failed to notice the Snakes come up behind Ricki-Tiki-Tavi, and pooling their quite formidable resources of money and fangs, leaped as one onto poor Ricki's back, and strangled him in front of the assembled Party. The Snakes then turned their terrible gaze upon the rest of the Party, and demanded they make a choice right now, or they would drag the battle into overtime. The Party, unable to decide, found it's entire premise of the Crusade being called into question, and come election day, the Party found itself constricted in it's choices, and many just stayed home and watched The Voice.

The morale of the story is simple: Hoping for a Snake to lead you will just leave you once bitten, and thrice shy. Or, as Bullwinkle might say it, Three Snakes in the grass are barely worth even one Bush.

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