The little zebra was coming back to his ward of the savanna after doing some important errands, when an odd scene caught his eye.

His local polling place was packed. The lines were very long, and overwhelmingly composed of tired, confused-looking antelopes.

At that moment, Mr. Giraffe whistled for the zebra to come over.

“Hey, Zebra,” hissed Mr. Giraffe. “We need your help here! We’re overwhelmed.”

“Are you getting out the vote?” asked the zebra innocently.

“Are you kidding? No, we’ve got to win this thing, Zebra. B.A.M.N. That’s right, an acronym. ‘By Any Means Necessary.’ For the good of this savanna. Listen, put on one of these T-shirts.”

“Why?” said the zebra, as he was handed a T-shirt with the phrase “Anti-Fraud Enforcement” written across the chest. He noticed that Mr. Giraffe and several menacing-looking hyenas were wearing them, too.

“Check out these antelopes, little Zebra,” said the giraffe under his breath. “All looking for a free handout. And that music they listen to. Well, we’re not gonna let them, or their NAAAP thugs, steal this from us. Here’s what I want you to do. See that old antelope over there? Tell her she’s at the wrong polling place. Then, if she acts confused, tell her she needs to show you six forms of ID.”

“But what about free elections?”

“That’s cute,” said Mr. Giraffe. He turned quickly around to see a couple of young, idealistic-looking antelopes getting in line. “Hey, guys, you know if you’ve got any outstanding parking tickets we’re going to have to arrest you if you check in to vote. It’s all right there in the fine print. And if you have any parking misdemeanors on your record? You’re going away for a long, long time.”

The antelopes scattered away.

“This is illegal!” protested the zebra.

“You’re illegal, Zebra. You’re illegal. Shut the fuck up. I mean, do you want ‘Hanoi’ Hippo to win this thing? If he gets in, the vampire bats win.”

“I feel bad about this …,” whined the zebra.

“You do what we tell you, or we’ll take the tax exemptions away from your synagogue! And another thing: If you see any born-again rhinos come to this precinct, or any fat lions wearing “Who Farted?” T-shirts, send them to the front of the line. And give them 11 ballots. I can’t wait to read wild African jackass Bill Kristol’s column tomorrow!"

“Well,” shrugged the young zebra. “At least I’ll go to my grave knowing that no cheetah couples ever gained hospital-visitation rights or filed joint tax returns on my watch! Phew!”