Thursday, March 15, 2007

Story: Zoltan

After a subway wreck young baby crawled from the ruins and went deep into the tunnels and was soon enough adopted by a society of rats. He grew big and strong. The rats named him Zoltan. He loved his little rat comrades, who taught him everything he needed to know about life in the big city.

Eventually Zoltan went above ground and into municipal politics. In the mayoral election, he appealed to human voters with his ecological attitude—but he never forgot that his real constituency was the rats. He was elected by a large majority.

After he became Mayor, he proceeded to do everything possible to make life better for his rat friends. All of the skyscrapers were torn down in favour of small wooden houses. The people liked it, even though the project denuded the surrounding area of forests (no plan is perfect). Cement sidewalks and asphalt streets were removed to reveal the earth below, dogs and cats were allowed to run wild, and garbage was dumped in large open pits. Flowers grew. So did disease.

The rats flourished in the wooden houses and dirt streets, enjoying life and being rats. Many people died in the inevitable plagues. Zoltan felt that was reasonable natural selection. Despite everything, while the surviving citizens regretted having elected Zoltan, in the next election they voted him in again, figuring that at least with him they knew what they had.

No comments: