Punch,  30 (1856), 192.

The Red-Tapir



Essay, Drollery

Relevant illustrations:



Natural History, Zoology, Government

    A description of the physical features and habits of the red tapir, an animal which represents the evils of bureaucracy. The description notes that the animal's 'favourite haunt is Downing Street' and that it is difficult to remove from the government offices where it ensconces itself. Draws attention to its extremely 'slow and sluggish' movements, its obstinacy and its delight 'in making [progress] still slower by thrusting as many forms as it can in the way'. Adds that the animal's diet consists principally of 'government paper and sealing-wax' and that it 'wastes a great deal more than it consumes'. Thinks the species 'belongs to the class of Bores', is 'pig-headed', donkey-eared, and should be 'exterminated to-morrow'. The illustration shows a tapir dressed as a civil servant.

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