Saturday, April 11, 2009

A short Easter feel-good story

The place where I work is adjacent to several large, disturbed woodlands that house a homeless camp and myriad birds. We have woodpeckers that have bored their nests right into the overhangs, have seen various cardinals, have had ibises walk right up to our door, and hear pheasants caw-awing in the near-distance every day. Our building's windows have a mild tint and are completely reflective, so much so that the woodpeckers perch on the structure and peck at their reflection. When you combine the reflective windows with the woodlands' proximity, it stands to reason that it would only be a matter of time until a bird slammed right into the windows, and this finally happened a couple of days ago. The bird in question was a tiny indigo bunting, and it was really shaken up by the collision -- when I first went out there to check on it, it was trembling uncontrollably and couldn't even pretend to move away. I continued to check on it periodically, and was enough of an insensitive jerk to take advantage of the bunting's inability to fly away to snap a picture:

Now, when it comes to animals, I've always been a firm believer in the Humans Should Not Interfere doctrine. We have a really idiotic perspective that the cute and fuzzies are worth protecting and nurturing, while the not-so-cute and fuzzies are not. Even worse, we've gotten into the habit of looking at the animal kingdom as a surreal, archetypal western novella: the cute and fuzzies are Good, and the not-so-cute and fuzzies are Evil. I, on the other hand, don't subscribe to this garbage. It may be a byproduct of being a pretty unattractive guy, but with the notable exception of the opposite sex, appearances mean nothing to me. As a result, I do not assign more or less worth to an adorably cute indigo bunting than I would to the nefarious-looking turkey vulture or the creepy colony of ants that would scavenge the adorable bunting's carcass. So, against the pleas of co-workers and customers, I saw to it that the bunting was left alone to live or die. At some point in the day, when one of the co-workers went to check on the bunting, it had recovered enough to hop/fly into the bushes.

The moral of this rambling story: leave the beasties alone, whether the end-result is desirable by our idiotic standards (the bunting recovered and flew away to live happily ever after) or whether the end-result conforms to the savage reality of life (the bunting did not recover, died in the bushes, and was supped on by The Conqueror Worm). So long as we don't interfere, the animal kingdom will benefit.

Happy Easter!

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