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cougar would have ended up as a coat for Jacqueline Onassis, so why don't you bleeding hearts give over?"

There is probably some justice on both sides of this argument. I met a cat who was all excited when she heard about auditions for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, only when she got to the theatre she found they didn't want a real cat at all, they wanted a woman in black underwear. And I met a

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lion who was furious about the musical The Wiz, because its cowardly lion was 1) a human, and 2) a chicken. "I wish we could get back to the Roman ways," this King of the beasts said feelingly. "I mean in the Coliseum, animals were really treated right. And they had decent parts, something you could sink your teeth in--" 
And only yesterday, I talked with a mouse who'd been offered a job in Of Mice and Men, but who'd turned it down when he discovered that James Earl Jones was going to wring the neck of anybody who took the part. "I went to the ASPCA," the mouse says now, "but the lady screamed when she saw me, and she held out a cross in front of her, and I got no satisfaction."

Perhaps it was foolish to hope for any. I have spoken to animals who insist that an animal can play the classics if he's given decent training, but the powers that be on Broadway evince little sign of interest in this kind of program. And now the new Edward Albee play has come to town, and it features a couple of two-legged lizards.

Need I say that their scales are not the scales of justice?

I think not.


Mrs. Chase is the author of a new book, HOW TO BE A MOVIE STAR, OR A TERRIBLE BEAUTY IS BORN (Harper & Row, Publishers).

8

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