Federal government shutdown bears down

aaron_croppedAs the federal government shutdown wore on this past week the effects were felt everywhere. Nowhere was this more true than in our national parks, where the shutdown turned away visitors and left the animals therein to fend for themselves.

This is their story.

FOX ANNOUNCER: Thank you for watching ACTUAL FOX News continuing coverage of the session of Animal Congress in Yosemite National Park. We rejoin coverage now.

(gavel raps)

SEN. BEAR (Bear-The Woods): The fact that this outrage continues is beyond me. I don’t know what to tell all the other bears out there looking for food. There’s no popcorn. There’s no meat hanging in trees next to a tent full of salty two-legs. We are left with no choice but to eat the opposition. (murmurs of assent from other Senators who are also Bears)

SEN. DEER (Deer-The Grassy Fields Next To The Woods): Mr. President!

PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE WOODCHUCK: The chair recognizes Sen. Deer.

Image / Chase Voorhees

Image / Chase Voorhees

SEN. DEER: Mr. President, this is a dark day in our democracy. We spent years working out a practical solution to our problems. My deer friends do a lot for this forest. We walk slowly along paths, sniffing tentatively, pausing to review our surroundings, before gently nibbling bark. We bolt across fields at the slightest hint of sound. And we do all this willingly for the good of our forest!

We agree to give up the slowest, weakest members of our herd to wolves and the salty two-legs with bang-bang sticks, but no more! If the bears start to hunt near our fields we’ll have no choice but to eat the birds, as you wouldn’t know it but we deer are situational carnivores who will resort to eating birds from time to time. I yield the balance of my time to pause at the side of roads, deciding whether to run out in front of cars. Thank you, Mr. President.

SEN. BIRD (Bird-Tree): Mr. President!

WOODCHUCK: The chair recognizes Sen. Bird.

SEN. BIRD: Thank you, Mr. President. The words of my colleagues Bear and Deer are troubling, for they reflect a situation that we cannot abide in our modern democracy. The natural order must be maintained. My own wife was consumed by a large crow. Did I complain? I was actually fine with that. It’s the way things go, and I have a new wife now who better appreciates the various sticks I bring her to build our nest. But the mere thought of watching my new wife, or additional future wives, their supple avian bodies, slide down the throat of a hoofed imbecile such as Sen. Deer or his idiotic kind, well, let’s just say, it ruffles my feathers.

Birds are the only woodland creature that owes a direct lineage to the greatest animals of all time, the dinosaurs. That is, of course, except for salamanders. And we all agree it’s OK to eat as many salamanders as you want. They’re delicious.

SEN. SALAMANDER (Salamander-The River’s Edge): Mr. President!

WOODCHUCK: The chair recognizes Sen. Salamander.

SEN. SALAMANDER: Mr. President, I am appalled at the use of this language here in our hallowed woodland halls. Need I remind my colleagues that we are animals, not men! Of course we eat each other! But we don’t need to govern by threats. We need to live our lives to the best of our abilities, each doing our part to make this natural world operate in the harmony that has sung through the ages. I, for one, now remove this suit and tie.

(Removes clothing, crumpling it on floor).

I will return to my place at the river with my family and friends. We will build homes and procreate, deriving our body heat from our surroundings as we were created to do! (Slinks toward door).

(SEN. BIRD eats SEN. SALAMANDER. SEN. DEER eats SEN. BIRD. SEN. BEAR mauls and gradually eats SEN. DEER, leaving behind bone and indigestible sinews).

SEN. BEAR: (Looks around empty halls). Now what?

Aaron J. Brown is an author and community college instructor from the Mesabi Iron Range of northern Minnesota. He writes the blog MinnesotaBrown.com and hosts the Great Northern Radio Show on Northern Community Radio. The next show will be broadcast live from Crosby-Ironton High School in Crosby, Minn., at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19. Tickets to the live show are free and first-come, first-served at the theater.  This piece was first published in the Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 edition of the Hibbing Daily Tribune.


  1. Oh, deer. I blame the shutdown on all those salamandered districts. If it were up to me, I woodchuck them out.

  2. Elanne Palcich says

    Makes a lot more sense than Washington…

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