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   Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations.  1989.
 
 
NUMBER:440
AUTHOR:Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874–1965)
QUOTATION:Once upon a time all the animals in the zoo decided that they would disarm, and they arranged to have a conference to arrange the matter. So the Rhinoceros said when he opened the proceedings that the use of teeth was barbarous and horrible and ought to be strictly prohibited by general consent. Horns, which were mainly defensive weapons, would, of course, have to be allowed. The Buffalo, the Stag, the Porcupine, and even the little Hedgehog all said they would vote with the Rhino, but the Lion and the Tiger took a different view. They defended teeth and even claws, which they described as honourable weapons of immemorial antiquity. The Panther, the Leopard, the Puma, and the whole tribe of small cats all supported the Lion and the Tiger. Then the Bear spoke. He proposed that both teeth and horns should be banned and never used again for fighting by any animal. It would be quite enough if animals were allowed to give each other a good hug when they quarreled. No one could object to that. It was so fraternal, and that would be a great step towards peace. However, all the other animals were very offended with the Bear, and the Turkey fell into a perfect panic.

  The discussion got so hot and angry, and all those animals began thinking so much about horns and teeth and hugging when they argued about the peaceful intentions that had brought them together that they began to look at one another in a very nasty way. Luckily the keepers were able to calm them down and persuade them to go back quietly to their cages, and they began to feel quite friendly with one another again.
ATTRIBUTION:WINSTON CHURCHILL, chancellor of the exchequer, speech, Aldersbrook, England, October 24, 1928.—Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963, ed. Robert Rhodes James, vol. 5, p. 4521 (1974). This is “a disarmament fable.”
SUBJECTS:Disarmament
 
 
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