The Rhino is offended. He has sent off a rather stiff missile to Aristotle trashing all of H.Gibbon's arguments.

We are not crude! Like that oxpecker bird, we too are educated and cultured — believe it or not, I am an Eat-a-ton graduate. Having said that, I write this with malice toward just one — that annoying loony ape!

What audacity is it to call me “different”! Look who is talking…a black, tail-less primate with white eye-brows on a black ape face. His arms are longer than his short legs; and that makes it difficult for him to walk on two.

What does this silly less-than-three-foot-tall midget do? He walks with both arms raised above his head. Loser! Of course, with those long arms he swings from branch to branch — a pointless exercise if you ask me — eating all the fruits in the tree canopy. He probably was cute when still a baby, milky white and helpless. What a shock for the mothers when the males turn colour and become a brat like him. I kinda feel sorry for the buff-coloured females. Hmm, but enough of this menace in my backyard…I have better things to write about.

My home is and will always be the lush grasslands that lie between the southern bank of the roaring Brahmaputra and the snow-capped hills of the Eastern Himalayas in Assam.

They call it Kaziranga National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. I share my home with other animals, not the other way around as that clever primate suggested.

Of course, it is I, the Greater One-horned rhino, who is the star attraction here. Tourists flock to the park during winters to have a glimpse of me. Maybe for my good looks, maybe because I am pre-historic or just maybe we as a species would become extinct soon. Who knows?

The rhinoceros family is heading toward extinction — all five species — the black and the white of Africa, the Javan and the Sumatran and the Indian of Asia. Ours is endangered while the others are critically endangered. Why would man want to destroy us on one hand and build sanctuaries on the other to protect us? Who knows? If it is for our majestic horns, then I think it is stupid. Why kill a beautiful animal just for his horns? It is like what a thoughtless gibbon would do.

We pay with our lives for our nearly two-foot long horn. A rhino horn fetches a huge sum of money in the black market. To poachers it is a Horn of Plenty, which they say showers fortune on those who possess it.

While the Javan and Indian rhinos are one-horned, the other three are two-horned. The horn gives us our name — rhino means “nose” and “ceros” means horn in Greek. This conical thing is made of a stuff called keratin, which is what human nail and hair is made of too. In traditional medicines, our horn is used to cure pains and fevers in man. Why, I ask you Man, don't you chew on your nails when in pain? Leave us alone please!

And as for that gibbon — if you don't like to see my face, stand behind me.

Reply from Aristotle

It might interest the gibbon that some ten thousand years ago, a mega fauna named woolly rhinoceros became extinct. Two-horned and as large as a house, he roamed the colder regions on the planet and hence, was covered with thick fur. A gilded lily, one might say.