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The Porcupine's Quill:  A Satire Column
by Arshad M. Khan
Please scroll down for
the satire column
Porcupine's Quill
December 15, 2013


News Item:  Leaders of the U.S., France, Britain, some past and present, and of
about fifty other countries attended the memorial service held in Johannesburg to
honor Nelson Mandela.

It was a grand occasion.  The whole animal kingdom was represented and mortal
enemies sat peaceably together:  the big cats, the hyenas, the jackals, the zebras,
the antelopes, the wolves, the sheep, the bears, the birds ...  they were all there
including the parrots.

They recounted how his life had influenced theirs and how much they admired him,
his grace and forbearance, his forgiveness, even as they had flouted his clear wishes
and killed a friend who had helped him in his greatest need.

Or his other friend who looked after his family for twenty years while they labeled him
a terrorist, and how they had sat by as their friend poisoned him with the vilest of
manufactured poisons that their friend concocted.

Yes, they sat laughing and joking and having their photos taken.  Not enough, they
took selfies and joked at the results.  They might well have been enjoying a football

It was all what they called a photo-op ... one to beat all photo-ops, and they took full

The king he had left behind was booed by the crowd to mend his ways.  His greed
had won out over his conscience as happens with many leaders.

Many leaders from many lands ... most with a common thread in their weave:  they
come as paupers to serve the public and become multimillionaires.  And then they set
out to do good deeds ... in photo-ops.  Yes, there may be an exception ... here and
there ... usually ostracized for not playing the game with the powers that be ... and
seldom seen on regular TV.

Such are the ways of the political world ...