Did you see it? Yesterday, the Bronx Zoo Cobra came out of his long Twitter hibernation to comment on what was--to him--the most important news story of the day. Barnum and Bailey Animal Crackers announced that from now on, the animals on their boxes would be free to roam rather than being kept in cages. Freedom at last! BZ Cobra sighed a long--very long--sigh and commented, "Well, good for them, I guess." How sad he sounded. How lonely.
BZ always tried to be a good snake. True, he escaped once and scared half of NYC into believing that poisonous cobras were about to take over the world. But BZ had no such plans. H simply wanted to live the life he was born to live. He took delight in the natural world he discovered outside his cage. He threatened no one. He took only what he needed for his own survival. He took pride in being who he was, tried his best to love all other creatures, and danced to music only he could hear.
But the people with power and zoo credentials captured him anyway and thrust him back into captivity. It broke his little heart. They silenced his pithy little observations about the foibles he saw in those around him. They condemned him for being a snake, and they placed him on display so other creatures could mock him and call him names.
One of the saddest things about the Bronx Zoo cobra is that he probably does not know how many people live lives similar to his--caged, not behind bars, but by bureaucracy, poverty, prejudice, and other spirit-breaking events of the day. I'm hoping we hear more from him in the coming days. Surely our world could benefit from the wisdom of this little guy. He has suffered a long captivity, but he can still rejoice in the success of others.
Stick with us, little fellow. Maybe someday we can declare you our "National Snake."