Thursday, June 15, 2006

animal hospital

I went to visit the most famous animal hospital. And no stranger sight did I behold! I was enticed to come and observe the healing it boasted of. “All diseases treated for free!” I had never heard of such generosity and success. Yet through the door I did walk to visit with the recovering patients. They were tired but happy—happy their surgery was a success. I spoke with the goat, whose beard and horns had been removed. He eyed himself in the mirror, pleased at his transformation. The camel too was on the mend. His back held an elegant curve. “Hump removal surgery,” he said, “It’s quite the thing.” The llama was next. I’ve been much too arrogant he said, “They shortened my neck to just the right size. And enlarged my head to fit my body size.” The cow was next and she was a sight to behold. They took her udder and erased her spots, narrowed her nose and shortened her tongue. “They’ve freed me from my bondage to humans,” she said. “No more will I be milked for what I’m worth.”

The surgery rooms were labeled by types: cosmetic surgery, structural surgery, and heart surgery. The waiting lists were long at the first. Few dared the second. And the third had no waiting at all. Our areas of specialization are very particular, I was told. The bookkeeping department was overworked and understaffed. Documents, patient records, analysis notes and x-rays lay in large stacks everywhere, waiting to be filed. Yet these administrative and periferal issues were negligible in comparison to the successful surgeries.

The surgeries were the success story. The public relations department was the best of its kind. What more could one ask for in a hospital?

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