Without anyone planning it, the okapi born in Dublin Zoo has become something of a symbol of everything. He appeared on the front page of newspapers and stared at us, inscrutable as only a newborn okapi can be.
As with the Mona Lisa, you could read whatever you wanted into the okapi’s facial expression. Did he have a message for us? About climate change? Or the general state of affairs? Or was the hint in the name? It included the words “OK” and “happy.” So his message was as simple as, “Don’t worry. Be happy’?
The rose only puts women on a pedestal. It leaves the goats alone
Or was he looking at us in disgust? His message was: “Look me in the eye, people, and think about what you have done to the world. Consider how it is that I, humble okapi, am at risk. So enjoy your heatwaves while you can. You won’t enjoy it as much if it’s permanent.’
Presumably the Arts Council or Science Foundation Ireland will soon fund a seminar: ‘What is the okapi trying to tell us?’ Or maybe there is a public consultation.
But perhaps the okapi’s message is that things could be worse. And things could actually get worse for the okapi.
Yes, he was born in captivity. But he could be his cousin the goat and unlucky enough to be born near Killorglin.
Unlike the okapi, King Puck is born free – but chosen for temporary captivity and reared until the third day.
But as we know, the simple joys of real Gaels and Kerrymen are threatened as never before by PCs gone mad. And this year, in a capitulation to the awakened generation that will anger true Irishmen like the Healy-Raes, the goat was brought down and allowed to rest in the shade.
The beginning of the end for sure.
Remarkably, that other simple Kerry tradition, the Rose of Tralee seems to be surviving the modern world better than Puck Fair. But the rose only puts women on a pedestal. It leaves the goats alone.
The rose is back after two years, another slight return to normalcy, and not many have worked up the heart to criticize it this year. I suppose we now welcome any rare event or topic of conversation that is not a crisis.
Quick, tell the okapi we’re exhausted from misery
The rose turned to modernity by stuffing the competition with scientists and even married women. They’re about to call it the PHDee of Tralee.
In fact, if we wanted to bring together some of the best scientific minds from around the world to figure out what the inscrutable okapi is telling us, we could do worse than ask the Roses to think about it on the bus while they catch the ferry drive around the ring.
Returning to the simple Irish summertime pleasures of newborn zoo animals, arguing about goats on platforms and watching the build-up to Daithi in the Dome, we can almost see how life could be a little bit like it used to be – before it all went wrong.
Things will never be the same again, but maybe we’ll get back to the point where we can halfway enjoy a summer without always thinking about the end of the world.
And thank god for that. Because if there’s one thing our new okapi savior should know about us, it’s that we’re weary from misery. We need a break before we can face another winter of it.
https://www.independent.ie/life/all-hail-our-new-okapi-overlords-normal-summer-service-is-resumed-41910515.html All hail our new okapi overlords. Normal summer operations will resume