On the fourth day of the invasion, the defenders opened the gates of the zoo. Let those bastards contend with lions stalking them, rhinos charging at the sound of gunfire. Make them fight in a storybook, where hawks might dive down on them, and elephants would trumpet victory for the city.

That was the idea certainly. But these were zoo animals, most born in the zoo far from any jungle, and the rest had not stalked since they were young and foolish. They yawned in the heat of the day and wondered when the man with the feed would come. They stalked their now open cages, wondering if the door that rattled in the wind was another trick, another spectacle that they were expected to go along with.

But a week later, when there was no food, and no men, and everything else had fallen into shambles, the animals met in congress at the great carousel at the center of the zoo. The monkeys chittered before the giraffes shushed them. An old camel was the first to speak, hacking his old lungs apart and spitting before he could begin.

Obviously all semblance of order was gone, there was no man to separate those that ate meat from those that ate plant. What was to stop a tiger from leaping upon a lemur and ripping him apart with claws that were still sharp, even if his senses were dulled? Certainly, a new order must be declared.

There was some argument, especially from those whose strength or instincts made them most dangerous. But they were ultimately cowed by all the rest, those who knew that there was strength together, knew that a society was what was needed.

The first congress of animals drew together documents, and a new nation was founded, right there in the zoo. Hunting and gathering parties were organized, and if a few men on either side of the fighting disappeared in the night, if rations were gone under darkness, it was merely chalked up to the vagaries of war. That was how it was.

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X-Himy (joined almost 10 years ago)

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