Less is more, of course
That’s why we’ve shown them how
Are better than sprawling, untidy rain forests.
The zoo workers have even crafted a salt lick
Painstakingly patting sodium chloride
Onto the side of a gash in the earth
Which has municipal water flowing through it
And pretends to be a forest stream.
(The real river that loitered around
Splendid, aimless and occasionally wild
Was long ago domesticated to factory use
So that a distant CEO with greasy charm
Could declare dividends to a grateful public).
Rock surfaces were carefully constructed,
Neat little dens built for delicate young cubs
And a deep ravine dug all around. Just so.
The only thing they did, which you probably
Never saw in raw tiger country,
Was to erect a bright red board
Warning Homo sapien visitors to the park
That this was the lair of Panthera tigris,
Ruthless, lone hunter with a predilection, (sometimes)
For human blood.
Whoever did it hadn’t reckoned that two legs
Are better than four;
Two hands cleverer, faster than paws
Furnished with pads and claws;
One well-organized brain superior to
Brute muscle, olfactory sense and night vision.
So there’s no real need to worry
Because in ourselves we’ve proved, haven’t we,
Beyond a niggle of doubt that
Less is more?
Geralyn Pinto, India