London, UK. Sport in Pakistan is in turmoil. A noted Pakistani sports star has followed wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider’s lead and fled to the United Kingdom. After months of demands to fix races and increasing pressure from the gambling underworld, Can’t Catch Me, a five year old race horse from Rawalpindi, arrived in London yesterday morning. The final straw for the thorough-bred came last week when a masked groom whispered a threat into its ear, “fall at the last fence or you will find your trainer’s head on your favorite hay bale.”
The chestnut filly traveled on a British Airways flight from Lahore to Heathrow, getting a free upgrade on the way. “People normally go crazy on the free champagne,” said Sally, a BA stewardess, “but I thought the horse would be comparatively well behaved. And it was. It didn’t eat the food. I don’t blame it really. It did chew a few seat covers, though.”
“There appeared to be a horse in the first class compartment,” said a traveling businessman, “I didn’t like to say anything. One doesn’t like to make a fuss.”
Security experts have asked how a half tonne horse could evade passport and security checks at two international airports. A Customs and Immigration spokesman at Heathrow explained that, “the horse just walked in with such confidence and authority that we didn’t suspect anything. We thought it was probably just coming back from a race in the Gulf, one of those things those Sheikhs like to have.”
Customs and Immigration have since used CCTV footage to pin point the moment when the horse arrived at the customs desks: “We think this is it,” said the official pointing at the screen, “brown, four legs, tail, long face. It’s either the horse or maybe a cleverly disguised dog. It’s amazing what international terrorists can do with a dog, cardboard and two rolls of sellotape.”
The Home Office has not yet received an asylum application from the horse, which is making a living by giving rides to tourists outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Similar to many migrants, Can’t Catch Me is technically “highly skilled” and over-qualified for the kind of menial work available.
Faking News asked Can Catch Me if it felt good to be away from the threats from gangsters, yet slightly worrying to face such an uncertain future in a strange country without proper documents and no way of contacting friends and loved ones back home. The horse seemed to agree.
“What I don’t understand,” said Dave Jones, a policeman guarding the horse on Parliament Square, “is how they can threaten it, I mean, Wikipedia says they speak Urdu in Pakistan. Now how can a horse understand Urdu? My dog knows about five words in English, but no foreign languages. Bloody clever horse, this one, I just don’t know what it’s thinking,” he added, gesturing to Can’t Catch Me, chewing a daisy.
“What? It’s a foreign horse?” said immigration official, Andrew Langford, “From Pakistan? Right! Tether it! Send it to a detention center. It’s a menace to the public. It’s a security threat… look at the siege of Troy.”
Faking News pointed out that it would be a challenge for an army of terrorists to hide inside a fully functioning horse and that the UK government had no policy on horse immigration, to which we were told, “If it’s a foreign horse, then we’ll find a way to send it back. Wait… does it do fox hunting? Could it learn? Hmm, maybe this horse qualifies as a ‘highly skilled migrant’ after all.”
Animal migration across international borders is common, although it is mostly due to food shortages and seasonal weather patterns, rather than organized crime. In 2005 US authorities refused entry to King Sayeed as his surname matched that of a man wanted by the CIA, despite the fact that King Sayeed was a three year old greyhound. Similarly, in 2004 Japan expelled 4,000 poodles which turned out to be cleverly modified sheep. They were returned to New Zealand.
Last year, British officials denied entry to two Pakistani horses when it was discovered that they were cleverly disguised Pakistani cricketers.