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By Neke Carson

 Now it can be revealed that an Evangelical Christian militia has recently activated a sleeper cell within the compound housing the world famous, hand signing, conversation making, Koko, the gorilla.  And, unknown to Koko’s keepers, started a strict regimen of late night bible classes with Koko in sign language.  Confused at first, Koko was intrigued with the concept of “forbidden” fruit.

 She wanted to try it.  So in just two months Koko asked to be baptized and became the first “born again” gorilla in captivity. At first no one at the facility noticed any difference in Koko’s behavior.  But when Koko started demanding snakes “to handle”, strychnine to drink and began signing in thumbs (the hand signer’s version of speaking in tongues) officials were very alarmed.

 Now, instead of playing in her inner tube swing, Koko preferred to follow the Stations of the Cross, spent time kneeling and laying prostate for long periods.  Eventually Koko let it be known that she wished to be set free in order to perform missionary work in Africa.
“The Young Lions with Lambs” a radical Christian sect claimed responsibility for Koko’s conversion in yet another tiresome ploy to hasten the Second Coming.

 This group takes the quote from somewhere about the lion shall lay down with the lamb literally.  And when that happens there will be a new beginning and the Second Coming.  To make this happen they planned to send Koko back to Africa to convert the animals to Christianity and spread the true meaning Christian of non-violence to all of God's creatures. To that end, one evening, in dark of night, Koko was kidnapped, taken out of the compound and put on a private jet on her way to Africa at last.  A few hours later, Koko and a couple of signifying monkeys with PR skills touch down on an unmarked runway deep within the African continent.  That was five years ago.

    The main reason you have not heard about Koko’s disappearance until now is simple.  Koko is big business.  No Koko, no business.  That is why there are indeed five Kokos, just like there are three Lassies and four Mr. Eds.  Actually, it was Koko number three who was baptized and sent to Africa to spread the word of God to the heathen animals thus hastening Bible Prophesy.

 Today the animal population of Africa is 55% Christian with 3% of that Episcopalian.  Within a matter of months, Africa was declared a “No Kill” zone by the animals.  All was well.  It took a while to get the tigers to eat berries but Koko made a game out of it.  And before you know the Panthers joined in.
    Koko also began classes in proper head positions for the Rapture.  It seems that the angle of the head is very important while being taken up in the sky.  A tilt of the head a little too much to the left and the mighty force exerted on the body could rip your head right off.  Add the fact that some animals have longer necks than humans and you have an effect that could be devastating to the animal kingdom.  You don’t want a host of God fearing headless Christian horses cluttering up the skies on that fateful day.  Needless to say Koko had a lot of nervous giraffes on her hands.

 Koko was a tireless teacher and often heard confessions whenever possible.  One morning a gazelle asked, “Why did we all get kicked out of paradise just because some humans screwed up? Gazelles have no original sin yet, once we were one hoof out of Paradise, we were hunted down like wild animals and ripped apart by giant tan kitty cats left over from some forgotten ice age.”  Koko was at a loss.  Then she signed “All that’s going to change. Now go lay down by that leopard and try to get some rest”.

     At this point everybody was lying with everybody. Lions were lying down with lambs, wild dogs with gophers and pythons and mongooses were snuggling together under the shade of a eucalyptus tree. That’s when the trouble started. By getting rid of the “survival of the fittest” way of life, and supplanting anti-killing philosophy espoused in both the New and Old Testament, animal population exploded.  With migrating birds spreading the word of God to other animals around the world, animal overpopulation became the number one ecological disaster with no end in sight.  The planet was now headed for complete and utter chaos.  Somehow this tide of animal enlightenment had to be stopped.  The Council of Churches was convened.

 It was decided that if religious fanaticism got us into this mess then religious fanaticism was going to have to get us out.  The council decided to send in an army of radical Islamic faith-based gorillas and a smattering of Rosicrucian orangutans (just for spice) into the fray to convert the animals to their various religious creeds.  And then it began…The Great Religious Animal Wars of Latter Day Quadrupeds.  With wars raging everywhere, the animal population finally began to dwindle.  The upshot of this is that the animals got disillusioned by killing each other for religious reasons and went back to eating each other just for food.

 “How do those humans do it?” the polar bear commander tartly signed underneath his frozen breath, “year after year, century after century, and eon after eon.  And They have dominion over Us!  What nitwit set this up?” Thus in one fell swoop, animals worldwide quietly deposited Christian and other religious paradigms into the dustbin of animal history.   The balance of nature was restored.  And Koko, well, Koko was last spotted in a Dumbo suit working the afternoon crowds at Disneyworld.

 [Copyright © Neke Carson 2005