By Jungle Toad

Once upon a time, war broke out in the jungle. It was very devastating. Extreme polarisation hit the entire animal population and insects. It was the kind of polarisation that did not follow any specific rules or patterns. The jungle mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects weren’t divided on species lines. The divisions were based on objectives, whether genuine or fake and on opportunistic reasons. For example, the Hyenas split into different groups. Some Hyenas called themselves as revolutionaries pretending to seek radical change to the status quo in the jungle. They were seeking dominance at the expense of the rest of the animals and insects. Another group of Hyenas presented themselves as reformists fooling naïve animals that they are the only hope for a brighter future for the jungle.

As the dust settled in the aftermath of the big fight, the Gorillas aided by beasts from a neighbouring jungle, managed to gain full control of the centre of the native jungle. The denominator between the other groups and the Hyenas is that they were all pushed to the jungle’s fringes. The Lions, which were the jungle’s natural kings, could not believe their eyes and had to flee to save their dear lives. Perhaps it was that moment in time where numbers matter the most. It defeated the braves. Swarming the jungle with new Gorilla recruits proved to be problematic for the Lions. In the end, they resorted to a tactical withdrawal to regroup and fight another day.  

Those under the Gorillas’ leadership included the Baboons, Monkeys, Warthogs, Lizards, Crocodiles, a clan of Hyenas, Rats, Rabbits, Pigeons, Vultures, and Insects. The Gorillas are so dominant in the group to the extent that the rest of the animals and insects thought they were originally Gorillas but have undergone Darwinian evolution by natural selection that led to their present diverse physical appearances. One group (the Baboons) was so adamant claiming to be a clan within the Gorilla community. Even the Locusts thought they are Gorillas’ descendants as they share the character of consuming and destroying whatever in their way without producing anything useful.

There was one exception to the relationship between the Gorillas and their subordinates. A group of old Crocodiles (the youngest is 100-year-old) formed a notorious body under the pretence of caring for their community. The truth is that they were looking for means for survival as they have lost their teeth due to old age and thus unable to catch fish or hunt to feed themselves. They are surviving on handouts by the Gorilla leadership. But somehow, they managed to gain significant influence on the decisions taken by the Gorilla King. In essence, they are the real rulers of the jungle.

As stated above, many groups emerged following the mayhem in the jungle. Few are real revolutionaries but lacked the adequate tools to wage a blistering war against the Gorillas. Part of the failure is that some of these groups reel from moles’ infiltrations on the gorillas’ payroll. The situation is so bad that even some leaders have become dubious characters involved in double-dealings.

The Chameleon leads one such group. It declared itself as Commander-in-Chief with thousands of different animals and insects under its command. The group’s objective is to uproot the Gorilla regime and install a new system to run the jungle. It also promised equality, prosperity, and justice for all the animals and insects of the jungle. One Hawk found itself in the group of the Chameleon. From the outset, the Hawk was very sceptical about the Chameleon being the Commander-in-Chief. The Hawk truly believed that the Chameleon is not up to the job. It cannot withstand pressure and tends to give in easily. It’s closer to cowardice than bravery. 

Pondering about a Chameleon leadership, the Hawk noted that the Chameleon was never straightforward even with its closet circle. Furthermore, its political acumen is very questionable. Some naive members think they know all the colours the Chameleon could turn itself into, but little did they know that it’s capable of changing into colours beyond the light spectrum. The Hawk, however, dreaded one character possessed by the Chameleon, which is the unbelievable slowness. With the Chameleon, everything seems to be in a slow-motion or low gear. The Hawk believes that such a character is counter-revolution. Many in the group are unaware of the Chameleon’s dark past. Corruption and being an agent of the Gorillas in the past are among the hidden secrets. But an old Tortoise came to the defence of the Chameleon saying things like “slow but sure is better than rushing and not reaching the target”. And that, “it’s better to be late than not arriving at all”. However, the Hawk retorted saying the Tortoise would never get anywhere if it stumbled and got overturned in its slow pace. 

Surprisingly, the Lions supported giving the Chameleon the benefit of the doubt and allow it to lead the group. To that, the Hawk interjected that Alexander the Great once said: “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion”. As the debate went on, it became clear that the majority was with the view of giving the Chameleon the chance to be at the top spot. The Leopards stated clearly that they had given their consent while holding their noses. The Hawk had to go along with the group decision and accepted Chameleon’s leadership.

The Chameleon emerged victorious from the leadership challenge. Rather than making significant changes to the way it conducts business given the considerable dissent to its leadership, instead, it went back to business as usual. It now believes in what it regards as an ingenious policy that would facilitate capturing power in the jungle. Political rhetoric is the basis of the new policy. The Chameleon had put its faith on the leaders of the jungles of the world. It believed they would ensure its ascendance to the helm in the jungle. 

Notwithstanding, the Chameleon and its clique will continue to propagate the notion of combating the Gorillas. It’s mere sloganeering nothing more and nothing less. But the Chameleon lacked the understanding of how vital things occur in the real world. Two fundamental things appear to have been overlooked in the Chameleon’s policy. Firstly- the Gorillas do not believe in any way to solve even the most straightforward problem other than through combat. The word diplomacy does not exist in the Gorilla’s dictionary. Even the most romantic things like mating are done through violence in Gorilla’s world. They don’t even care if some of their own die from famine due to a protracted war. Secondly – Empty rhetoric would not work on the leaders of the jungles of the world. They will only recognise strong leaders who do not hesitate to go to war for a just cause. As the Chameleon continues to live in the fantasy of being one day inaugurated as Commander-in-Chief of the jungle, its followers remain in limbo, frustrated and disillusioned.

A white-faced Fox appeared in the jungle from nowhere. It swiftly established itself as a mediator in the conflict between the Gorillas and their opponents. However, it transpired that the white-faced Fox was working closely with the Jackals of the neighbouring jungles. Further revelations confirmed that the Supreme Leader of the Owls that resides in the Holy Forest; did bless the whole mission. As the negotiations got underway, the Gorillas could hardly conceal their glee. They saw the process as an excellent opportunity to neutralise their adversaries for good. The Chameleon and cohorts seem to have fallen knowingly into a trap. They are being pushed around by the white-faced Fox and the Jackals, belittled by the world’s jungle leaders and ridiculed by their supporters. The revolutionary slogans appear to have become a big joke.

But the demise of the Gorilla kingdom could come from within rather than from without. One striking feature that meets the visitors to the Gorilla kingdom’s capital is the number of vultures. A sight of one vulture is bad news let alone seeing them in their thousands. They include domestic and alien vultures scavenging on whatever they could access in the Gorilla Kingdom. The Gorillas are insane food-lovers. They cannot endure hunger even for a few hours. They can kill for food, including slaughtering members of their families. As the resources continue to dwindle in the Gorilla Kingdom, the combination of a large number of vultures and the Gorilla love for food would most likely bring down their evil regime.

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