Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Nationals

THE NATIONALS

In the world of Tenzingtown Safari Park, the population distribution is simple; a population of Brown Bears and Giant Pandas are separated by three different populations of Tigers. In the distance, a flock of Bald Eagles watch over all of them. There are other creatures too, but they aren’t very important. The silly men in the short brown pants and t-shirts play God every chance they get, but even within them there are factions. If the Gods themselves are at war, why should the minions be any different?
A few hundred tigers aren’t a match for a few thousand Pandas or Brown Bears. But why make them enemies when they can be perfectly valuable friends, right? Plus, with the Bald Eagle being such tight friends with the tigers, as it is, the giant felines can easily be told of the Pandas and Bears weaknesses in formation before they can correct. Thus, it’s just best to make friends and avoid conflict of any sort. But friendship is just another word. It’s all about actually living up to the old adage; keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
But even in avoiding conflict, our bear friends aren’t stupid. While they help feed the tigers, they know that a threatened big cat is dangerous, so they also reassure the tigers by providing them with enough defense mechanism against other tigers. For many years, the Giant Panda provided for all three tigers; the biggest tiger of them all, the militant tiger and the smallest tiger of them all. However, the Big One began to tread its own path, while the militant tigers edged towards the Bald Eagle faction, ever so slowly. Tenzingtown Safari Park always reeked of mutiny. Today was no different. Segmentation was a steady process, encroaching every crevice. The tribes themselves began to steadily divide into smaller teams. The Bald Eagle, though far from the battlefields, always pulled the strings. He was the one who wanted to run Tenzingtown and he wanted to have full reign. But even with all his airpower and intelligence, he would be overrun. Unless, of course, the divisions existed.
The Small Tiger was a case in point of the Eagle’s chess manoeuvers. A new tigress took over the pride, picking up the reigns snatched from her father and then snatched from her again until she finally snatched it back. And this tigress hadn’t forgotten old wounds, thanks to the generous dosages of salt the Eagle provided so readily. She also apparently hadn’t thought much, too. She has also never forgiven the Giant Panda for once aligning with her arch nemesis, the Wild Goats. The Brown Bear was more helpful then and so she must reward them, mustn’t she?
The Giant Panda sees it all as a ploy by the Eagles, but what can he do? He remains surrounded by possible instability while the feathered-friends remain too far to be bothered. The Pandas are still aligned to the Wild Goats and the unstable Militant Tiger, but those two have ample problems. One is losing to a fight they started against the Camel and a fight he didn’t start against the Bald Eagle and the other is victim to the Smallest Tiger wreaking havoc for the Militant Tiger. The food chain supplies are running dry in this corner of the park. The other corner still has bountiful supplies, used to bribe everyone else, but to go there would mean to plunge everyone at war. Who can see the bigger picture? The Eagle could of course, given their vantage point.
Thus, it’s only best for the Brown Bear, the Biggest Tiger and the Smallest Tiger to join forces, isn’t it? There’s the element of the common nemesis, the watchful eyes of the Bald Eagle and of course the proximity to each other. But the Bear-Tiger-Panda bloc is slowly breaking and the Bald Eagle happily pecks away at the loosening corners. It is only a matter of time and strategy really. The Bald Eagle tugs at the strings, yet he does so carefully; he knows what happens when you fly too close to the sun.