Swine Flu Hits the Monkey Temple
(after a Fable by Lafontaine and with memories of Bakhtin
and his upside-down worlds of Carnival and the Antipodes)
Swine flu has struck the temple.
Unter– monkeys sniffle and grovel,
blaming each other for their snuffles.
They request a platypus duck to oversee a kangaroo court
with chief scapegoat monkey absent of course.
The unter-monkeys sit in a circle,
where all are equal but some are more equal than others.
They pass a lyre bird feather round and round,
weeping crocodile tears and lying through
the tight monkey grins of their alligator teeth.
A black-capped chickadee lends his cap to the platypus duck
who then pronounces sentence,
“There is no defence: guilty, in absentia, guilty as charged.”
“Fumer l’herbe d’autrui? Quel crime abominable!”* **
*”Smoking someone else’s grass, what an abominable crime.”
** “Manger l’herbe d’autrui? Qel crime abominable!”
LaFontaine: Les animaux malades de la peste.