A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Angry Wildlife

There was a serious of attacks on stingrays several months ago following the tragic death of Steve Irwin. People were catching them just to torture the poor animals out of revenge. A little over a month ago the stingray community fought back. One of their numbers jumped into a boat and stung an elderly man. While the incident was written off as an unfortunate accident, I can’t really blame that stingray for wanting to even the score, if that’s what its intention was.

After all, the stingrays had a lot of bad press earlier this year. I doubt if the stingrays of the world united in a jihad against humanity – this was the only suicide attack I heard about – but I fully understand if they were angry with us. I only mention this now because I fear that another wave of angry wildlife may be lurking in my own backyard.

Earlier this week, we had two trees removed from our property. One, a maple, was already dead and rotting; the bark on one side had been replaced by a coating of mushrooms and fungus. The other, an oak that was easily twice as high as our house, was dying. I could easily have lived with this tall, ill, specimen looming dangerously over my home for a few more years, but the tree service offered a multiple tree discount.

The oak was my favorite. It provided me shade in the summer while I rested from the garden chores. The thousands of leaves that grew on it each year would fall to the ground and give me something to do during my otherwise boring, autumn weekends. Okay, I won’t miss the leaves, but I’m sure the tree’s absence will impact the local wildlife.

I understand where I see a tall tree, the local birds see protection from predators - AKA Woobie, the neighbor cat, and our cats, Meredith and Stephen. I realize that what was just a nice source of shade for me would be condos for any number of squirrels. I know that the pain-in-the-butt-in-the-fall leaves to me were a quick source of munchies for our local deer population.

Unfortunately, all of us will have to learn to live without our favorite oak. I’m quite sure that the wildlife will not take this lying down.

I assume some of the animals will try their best to adjust to this disruption to their environment. Perhaps they will get therapy for adjustment disorder, which unfortunately I won’t be able to reimburse them. This will probably tick them off to no end. It’s at this point that I think they will resort to violent protest.

The protest will probably start with the angry chirping from the robins and mourning doves. Then the squirrels will sit on our roof gutter and pelt us unmercifully with their winter stash of walnuts. When we leave the house in the morning, the deer, frustrated that their nice leaf treats are no more, will probably take their anger out on the bird feeder stationed near the tree. This will prompt even angrier chirping, perhaps even obscene cooing, from the local bird population.

I wish I could reassure all of them that we will replace the tree in the spring. That sounds like a long way off, particularly when the harsh winter cold has yet to reach us. In the meantime, I will keep the bird feeder as full as I can, and duck my head when I leave my house. If all else fails, I could always threaten the varmints with a stingray. That should make them think twice.


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