The mongoose prosecutor meets the judge of no recourseDocument Transcript
The Mongoose Prosecutor Meets the Judge of No Recourse An argument flared some years ago, between a chicken and an egg. Thechick claimed that he was the first one on thescene,and that the egg had No leg on which to standand boast, since all his counter-claims werebad. “Not so!” said the egg in dudgeon high, atsuch a preposterous proposition.“The claims you so stupidly make, are quite outof the question!”
By night and day, and from day to week, theycontinued to argue and to seek For anacceptable and agreeable solution, until theday, both fed up to ‘here’ they decided to pleadtheir cases without fear to the first one to comealong. Quite impatiently they sat to wait, forsomeone wise to settle the fate Of the lengthyand bitter controversy, when suddenly, out ofnowhere came a long and distinguished-looking snake!
“Good morning, Mr. Snake,” the chicken said,striving to get the first word in.“That’s not fair!” the egg declared, “you’retrying to influence him!” “What manner of eggare you, to make of such a simple greetinga great and loud ‘to do’? I suspect your noise isbut a cover-up, for your arguments are so few,that you have resorted to a ruse, just thelearned judge to confuse,” the chicken retortedin a fit of passion.
Then to the snake slithering slowly forwardhe outlined the reasons For their bitter andheated quarrel.“Things are getting quite out of hand, if twosuch close relativesAs you happen to be, resort to a Judge of theLowest Court of Law.
But justice delayed is justice denied, and I haveno time to waste. In the matter of ‘Who wasfirst’ I shall promptly adjudicate.I shall now use the alphabet to decide whoseplea should first be fairly entertained by me.And I’m sure both my learned friends, willagree that precedence plainly goes to thislearned chicken in his fancy clothes, to whichsome day the other Advocate will clearlyaspire.
‘Nothing’s wrong with that!’I always say, ‘fine feathers make fine birds, andfine birds these days are seldom found! (in anaside “by me!”). Approach the Bench, andspeak loudly, for my sight and hearing are notas sound as my considered opinions andjudgment. Whereupon the chicken embarkedwith poise, and legal hauteur on his lengthydissertation. His choice words and elegantphrases, seemed to make the judge verystimulated, for he coiled and unraveled, andcoiled yet again,
While taking in every legalistic word. Hiseyes were intent and very fixed, his mouthwould split with a smile. His tongue forkedin and out, as though testing, at times, ortasting or responding to some humor.And oft he would say “Speak up! Or comea little closer!”Finally the chicken made his closingremarks, and looked around to take hisseat,So that egg could begin his address.When in a surprise move, the judgeconfessed, that the chicken had won the day.
“Come here my friend, I am so impressed, withyour skilled and persuasive presentation, Ihope you will consider a belated invitation.We will sup with wine and liqueurs so fine,They’ll make your feathers curl.I loved the way you raised the points, that egghimself would have done,and with polished and subtle reasoning, youknocked them down one by one.I have another case to hear, and I’ll be glad foryour advice. Two heads are better than one, isoften said, and in this case I do agree,For you brought out the argument’s meat, witha passion and such heatThat you reminded me of me.”
So proud and pleased at the judge’s remarksthe learned chicken was.He threw caution to the winds. With head heldhigh on neck outstretched, he gave forth withthe victor’s cry. And while chicken was loudlycrowing,The judge like the snake that he was, made bothhis play and his summation,His coils and words revealing his intention.“You wrapped up the case as tightly, as youwill be wrapped up by me.And in my law books, with your looks, you willcome before egg any day.He has no legs and can’t run away, so on himI’ll pass judgment too.
Egg will come a very close second, as soon asI’ve finished with you!”“This is a travesty of justice! I want to appeal toa higher court.”The chicken squawked and fluttered wildly,As he felt the coils closing in, Judge Snake said,“It’s useless, to struggle against the Law. Lookaround, you’ll see its coils, twisting and turningin all directions, pressing in on all your sides.It’s really quite breath-taking.You might just as well give in. “If it’s yourdesire to go any higher,
I’ll climb that tall tree with you. But you will bein me, with egg beside you,if not on your bloodied face!”With the last dying breath that he was able tomuster chicken said “This foolish argument,And my stupid pride have put me in thesefatally strangling coils. Although the judgeruled in my favor and I won the case with mytoil, I regret I was first after all. I would havepreferred to be last, a sentence of hard labor topass and that the Judge should fast, instead ofmy passing away.”The judge was too busy to answer, for thechicken got in his mouth’s way.
“That was a splendid corpus delecti1, and fordessert I will have ovum2 in shell, for I need abalanced diet.Then I will recess, some sleep to get, tranquility,and quiet to consult, all the eminent legalluminaries, make judicial contact by fax and the 1 Meal. 2 Egg.
telephone, read my transcripts thoroughly, andgive due and careful consideration before Itransmit my determined decision, on theoutcome of this all-absorbing case.Once again justice has prevailed, and the Lawand the Order expoundedOf which came first and which came last, to mehave all the merits redounded. I can truthfullysay, and if you insist, that I cease and desist, Iwill. Of this case I have had my fill! Butsomehow I have a nagging doubt that I mayhave acted quite prematurely. For Rules ofNatural Justice clearly state that both sidesmust be fairly heard. Thus I crave my near-latelearned friend’s pardon, for my eyes were onlyon the late learned bird! Now what have you to
say in your defense before you join your friendby sentence? Unfortunately I’m legally obligedto listen but please be brief, for a torpidsomnolence, creeps over me, and before I sleepI must hear and record every word.
“M’Lord, nothing I say will save the day.Darkness has already befallen my friend, thelate great Advocate of Chicken Primacy. Anyfool can see that the same self-same fate is to bemy final destiny.” The egg replied quite calmly,and though his exterior did not quiver, heplainly felt the little chicken inside, his still-whole shell shake and shiver. “You have bothcome to untimely grief, appearing with such asilly brief, I consider it really quite appalling,for had you opened and checked The SupremeBook, Page one, Chapter one, Versus twenty totwenty four in the very first book, the Book ofGenesis, You would have seen no mention ofany egg before, and not a suggestion, in thatbusy week of the Creation, of one that surelycame after!
I promise however, to be gentler, for from anegg too, was I born I’ll take great care inswallowing, that your shell remains untorn.After I have fully digested the salient facts, Iwill invite all other interested parties to comeforward and make further submissions. For notonly is my reputation at stake, but my future,and my very survival! So chicks and eggs comeand state your case Judge Snake will be in hischambers. If you don’t come, I’ll seek you out,and pass judgment, without any spoken words.My Wheels of Justice move slowly, but my coilsgrind extremely fine. Some times it quitebothers me that I treat the parties so differently,the egg’s submissions I can swallow whole, andtake with not a grain of salt, with scarcely a
crack on the shell. But the chicken’s erudition isgreater, and he I cannot swallow very well.Thus he was both the winner and the loser, ofthis case I fear, somewhat by default. I had totake him securely, and look, from every angleto ensure that no facts nor feathers escaped myclose attention. It surely was much more time-consuming but the attendant rewards I shallnot mention.This matter is adjourned, for a date to be fixed,till then it is sub-judice3, and held in abeyance. Itwill please the Court whose opinions are nowthoroughly mixed to have some other legalappearance, in case the plaintiff and the 3 Under consideration.
complainant, are unavoidably detained inanother forum. My judgments though alwaysfatal, are never final, for that will certainly endmy distinguished and for me, lucrativeprofession. And I come from a long line oflawyers that started just after The BlessedCreation.All of my forbears have instructed me, to listen,and to act with great discretion.‘The day you give a final decision, is the day weall shall surely die!”But my forbears were noted liars, so whomshould I trust or believe?It sometimes hurts to eat the evidence, or theones putting forward the case.
But I have my appetite to consider, and thelineage of my famous race.So here’s to chicks, and here’s to eggs! As longas their arguments prevail,I shall use my wits and then my tail, to provideme with needed sustenance.If they can’t find another resolution, on such atrivial matter of precedenceI shall continue to give legal admonition, withmy lethal brand of jurisprudence!I have done my duty well today!The fees I charged were so reasonable that noone asked for time to pay.I dined on chicken delight with feathersfollowed by chicken au clair4 in shell! 4 Not thickened.
No one has left my court dissatisfied; I gaveabsolutely nothing away,For all the words, and every thought, I uttered,were returned to me,To be re-cycled in my next court. My greatestfear is that some day,Everyone will see eye to eye. When that sadoccurrence happens,My kinfolk and I will surely die.The fame of Judge Snake was spread, far andwide, for he carefully ensuredThat what he didn’t want to hide, was alwayssomehow leaked.The Chicken Press, radio and television,commented on some of his trials (Special
Edition!) He became the newest ‘go to’sensation, and his name was a poultry-penword, Used by mother-hens on their chicks,when parental wrath was incurred.He often appeared on ‘Issues Live’5, to discussat length Tissues Dead.His beady eyes and quick reflexes, inspiredrespect, fear and dread.Crowds converged on his chambers, seekingadvice on matters of great import. None,fortunately unfortunate to be invited in, left. So 5 TV program.
absorbed with close rapport, as his headswayed in mesmeric dance, his un-blinkingeyes, and silky tones, held them transfixed indeadly trance, closer drawn were they to hiscapricious folding robes and his stealthilyenveloping coils.He spoke knowingly and at length, Of the Lawof Supply and Demand,The Laws of Survival and of DiminishingReturns,The Laws of No Recourse and No Appeal, andThe Law of Natural Selection.They swallowed the learned discourse, withavid and concentrated attention, carefullylistening without even a pause, until they feltseverely constricted, by the smooth and tightly
wound up, summation, and found themselvesrestricted, to provide His Lordship with a meal.His mealtimes were many and filled with suchbounty he never had to go hunting, either forhis breakfast or his dinner. His exercises werecoil-flexing and squeezing the life from hisvictims to prolong his own. He fed them advicewhich he swallowed again, together with thoseensnared and in pain.“M’Lord! You are getting besides yourself!”Some in belated alarm would say, as coil wasstacked upon coil, their futile struggles hewould foil, sometimes to reply with mortalrelish, “Oh, you’ve finally noticed? Yes, I dothat rather well!
One does very naturally, what one is born todo. I was born to naturally flex, to stealthilycoil, and to squeeze! Inbred talent reinforcedwith diligent practice, has given me great skill ifyou please! I cannot take arguments piece-meal,to dissect, and check for any flaw. I have toswallow the whole long story, and store it inmy capacious maw, then choose what I want tobelieve.It is not such an easy exercise as some wouldmake you want to think.I readily absorb the valid opinions, for theykeep me very much alive.I always excrete the others that stink, for onthem I cannot thrive.
At times the arguments are so pointed, as to bepotentially dangerous when they pass slowlydown. First I have to grind, then to polish awayhidden barbs and taunts that could harm theInner Sanctum’s passageway.On those I spend considerable time, weighingboth the ‘pros’ and the ‘cons’, And when the‘pros’ are fully digested, the ‘cons’ are thenfinally ejected. Judging is never an easy task, fornot only do I have to consider what’s right andwrong. I have to decide what’s right for me,though sometimes I may need, to listen quitelong to the many sides of the story.Some may say I’m a self-seeker, that may havebeen true some time ago,
But I have got so involved with my judgingpractice, that it is no longer really so. I amsought out for consultations, advice onmergers, and divorce.I always prefer the last mentioned, because I gettwo for the price of one.It warms the cockles of this serpentine heart, tobring the parties closely together, and to seethem accept my ruling, that they must see eyeto eye. It’s not just one figurative feather, buttwo, for this legal cap I wear, and I mark them‘his’ and ‘hers,’ until some other case I hear.”Eventually the snake’s depredations werenoticed by the farmer who owned the poultrypen. He decided with the help of his friends tostage a trial of his own. He built his courthouse
bright and breezy, so that all invited could notonly see all of the action, but to bet on theoutcome if they wished.He caught Judge Snake and put him in the cageand the Judge was quite outraged. “I’ll haveyou fined for Contempt of Court or even haveyou thrown in jail! Release me at once, or youwill regret, that you ever tangled with me!”Of course the farmer only heard the hissingsound, and there was no interpreter around, sothe judge’s objections were overruled like thoseof all his former victims. He took his seat andfell silent, wondering what was coming next.
The noise of the crowd grew louder when theprosecutor was introduced; for they liked hisagile behavior and the way he was spruced.Immediately the stakes were raised and the tempers quickly followed suit. The judge was confused and then elated at what he thought was a large rat. He felt the show was being put on because he was fat and they wished to watch him feed. “Let them bloody wellwait! This is below my dignity. I prefer to dineprivately in quiet places, and this noise is
upsetting to me.” He settled down within hiscoils seemingly to drift off to sleep, but hisbeady eyes and his forked tongue shifted everso slightly, when he heard, the prosecutor utterhis first word. “This is no ordinary Rat I hear,his language is strange to me, and if the speechis foreign, it must mean they imported, fromfar-off lands a rare delicacy, just to try andtempt me.Lately I was getting tired of chicken, forbreakfast, dinner, and high tea.A change in my diet quite suits me, especiallywhen it is free.”Now quite interested in the possibility, of awelcome change in meal contentM’Lord raised his fearsome head, and some ofhis coils he unbent.
He opened his beady eyes fully, and flicked outhis dreaded tongue.He began his sinuous ‘danse macabre6’, withhis usual practiced grace,Fully expecting the furred lawyer to freezebefore he applied his squeeze.Remarkably! The lawyer had other thoughts,about losing his case to the Judge.He knew fully well what he had to serve, and itwas surely not a dish.He started to show his fancy legal moves, hisrapid foot work and sharp white teeth.And so they danced the dance of death, life tothe victor the prize supreme, 6 Dance of death.
Perhaps, for just a short while yet. Every timethe Judge was poised to strike the prosecutorchanged his style.Frustrated, then angry at the flouting of hisLaws, His Lordship lost his cool, and flung hishead forward with wide-opening jaws, as hewas wont and wanted to do. Intending to holdthe upstart prosecutor, who dared to challengehis laws of no recourse and no appeal. Butwhere he bit was empty space, and of thecreature he saw no trace, until quite suddenly –he felt him! Razor-sharp teeth held him fast, atthe back near-bottom of his head, Desperatenow, and racked with pain, He flung his tailquite recklessly this way, and that, and back
again. But the mongoose was too fast for him,deftly avoiding his thrashing coils.Soon the Snake Judge was in death throes, and Ithought I heard his dying words: “I could havefared much worse, been an anonymity; ratherthan an example of, The Law of Survival, theLaw of Diminishing Returns, plus the Judge ofno recourse and no appeal. “ And thus athriving practice was foiled. No one had heardany charges read. He was not even called toplead. Nor were any witnesses called. To beinstructed and carefully led, up all the paths theLaw allows. It was just Natural SummaryJustice with a real live show and quickdispatch, and with the vanquished dead or
dying, there was no need for an Appeal. Thesnake’s skin was cured and cut to make a pairof fashionable shoes with belt to match, andpurse to clutch, for the farmer’s wife to sport.But elsewhere the Law continues until someday, everyone will see eye to eye. When thatglad occurrence happens, Adversarial law willsurely die.