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Fighting words

Every conversation around wildlife1 around here has a very predictable pattern. It starts with someone getting fed up with Critter X getting into something and causing more work for someone. They then complain about Critter X in a public forum. This turns into a rallying point for the people who believe the only good Critter X is a dead Critter X, resulting in days of death threats and suggestions for eradication.

After this dies down, the comparison shoppers come out. These comments are along the lines of “be thankful we don’t have Critter Y!” Multiple varieties of Critter Y are examined, each with more horrific qualities than the last. My favorites for their horror and shock value are water moccasins and the black-widow-in-the-garage-waiting-to-keeeeel-you.

When the comparisons start dying down is the moment the chants of “if you don’t like it go back where you came from” start. This is always entertaining because some of the local wildlife is here because it was introduced at one time or another. There’s just nothing natural about having Rocky Mountain elk in the northwest.

I have to admit, I’m a comparison shopper and I love watching these discussions. Different people come out with such different positions based on the animal of the moment that it’s fascinating to watch the discussion. I’m also happy to say that so far I’ve managed to keep my mouth shut2 and avoid putting my foot in my mouth. Here’s hoping that stays true.

  1. Wildlife is inclusive of elk, bear, cougar, deer, coyote, raccoon and rabbits. But somehow not rodents. []
  2. Well, until now. []

Originally published at my blog. You can comment here or there.


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