Last week’s Day Book which gave an exclusive story on the founding of an anti-Semitic unit in the Bronx Zoological Park, I am able to report today, created a furor that for a time threatened to plunge the entire Empire of Zoo into a bloody war.
Bloodshed was averted, I learned from an unusually reliable source in the monkey house, only when the older and wiser heads among the Empire’s rulers acceded to the vociferous demands of the non-Aryan members of Zooland that a zoolessional investigation be immediately launched into the subversive activities being carried on by Oscar Ostrich, Emanuel Monk, Sammy (Cobra) Snake, Charley Crocodile and Slim Skunk, Hitler’s emissary to Zooland who, I revealed last week, was commissioned to organize an anti-Semitic drive there.
The zoolessional committee was appointed and, while the membership has not yet been officially released by Emporer Leo the Lion, it was being rumored that Freddie Fox, the shrewd lawyer who several years ago crushed the prairie dog’s underground revolt, would be named chairman of the body. His first assistant, I have learned, will be Peter Penguin, noted among Zoodom’s denizens as a zealous, indefatigable protagonist of justice. For a time, the name of Oliver Owl was being seriously considered as chairman of a subcommittee of the zoolessional committee. But Oliver was discarded as a possibility when he began to hoot a tune with the refrain “I wholly disapprove of Oscar’s opinions but will defend to the death his right to express them.”
This hooting, the Emporer Leo ruled, automatically excluded him from serving on the committee.
“Oliver,” the Emperor is said to have grumbled, “has been staying out too long in the sunshine. He should confine his forays to the night when he can see things in their true perspective.”
The first session of the committee, as it is finally constituted, will be secret and will start as soon as the snakes start shedding their skins.
In the meantime, Oscar Ostrich and his nefarious companions, undaunted by the flood of recriminations that suddenly descend on their heads, and heedless of the impending investigation of their activities, launched their anti-Semitic campaign with a loud fanfare.
One of the first victims of the drive was Ben Bear. Ben awoke the other morning and found himself staring into a huge placard posted on his cage. The placard, in letters a foot high, carried the following warning:
“Foreigners are not wanted in Zooland. Scram back to Alaska where you came from. If you are not gone in twenty-four hours, you will be turned into a rug and sent back by parcel post.”
The warning was signed by “The Aryan Avengers.”
The warning did not seem to make much of an impression on Bear. Asked whether he would take it seriously, Ben answered effectively with a mighty swipe of his paw that completely ruined the placard’s artistic appearance.
A more serious manifestation of the budding anti-Semitism in Leo’s empire occurred in the sheep province where several of the flock were found with their wool prematurely and savagely shorn from their backs.
This outrage, however, did not meet with much protest from the other, more belligerant of the non-Aryans.
The reason for this strange silence becomes clear when it is realized that the largest portion of the sheep group are known as naumanites. The naumanites have earned for themselves the scorn of Zoodom’s non-Aryan and Aryan residents alike by their traitorous, craven stand in the crisis that is threatening Zoodom’s Jewry. They have issued a bulletin, addressed to Oscar Ostrich, in which they indicated they were different from the other non-Aryans and that they approved of Oscar’s policies and would support him in his drive for power.
While these things were going on, and other dark deeds were being plotted under cover of darkness, the campaign got under way on another front.
Followers of the Ostrich unit, clad in brown uniforms that failed to disguise the fact that they were none other than weasels, suddenly began to parade up and down in front of the cages of Gerald Giraffe, Mortimer Mongoose and other well-known drygoods houses and banking establishments. The weasels carried placards which warned the public not to patronize their cages.
This part of the campaign, however, seemed to be a dud. Instead of deterring the public from patronizing those leading citizens of the Zoo, the placards seemed to have had quite the opposite reaction. The weasels, indeed, had all they could do to escape the rush of visitors to the shops of Gerry and Mortimer.