This morning, as I was leaving for work, I saw a bird fighting a squirrel y’all. No joke. A bird (has wings, will fly) and a squirrel (loves nuts probably carries plague) FIGHTING EACH OTHER. It was like animal kingdom mortal combat. The bird kept dive bombing the squirrel and pecking it with its beak, and the squirrel kept swiping at it and trying to pin it to the ground. I think in the end it was a tie because the bird flew away and the squirrel kind of hid in the bushes. I was like 99% sure I had just witnessed something unprecedented and amazing in nature so I googled “bird and squirrel fighting” and it’s like a thing that happens all the time y’all! There are videos, and posts, and images, and all sorts of documentation of birds and squirrels fighting. Apparently, birds and squirrels just can’t work it out through mediation and diplomacy. Which is sad.
So, my Friday morning thought is this: What can we, as human beings, do to help squirrels and birds find a lasting peace?
Follow-up thought: How unfair is it that I wasn’t the first to discover this secret nature war? When will I ever get to discover something???
Once upon a time, I thought of myself as a nature lover. Then, last week I was walking to dinner with Captain Thoughtful and I saw something that has forever changed me and convinced me that I should stay inside at all times. I saw a crow pecking a tiny sparrow to death. True story.
It was just pecking and pecking and the little sparrow kept trying to fly away but it was hurt and the crow was relentless in the pecking and OH MY WORD DID YOU KNOW CROWS EAT SPARROWS????? I didn’t know that. I wish I still didn’t know that. And I also wish that Wikipedia didn’t exist to tell me that crows also eat nestlings which are baby birds that haven’t left the nest and crows are BABY KILLERS. And I also learned that in a group crows are actually pretty intelligent and they are ALWAYS IN A GROUP! Beware the crows y’all!!!
And now I’m remembering that when I was in college a crow actually flew into my car (my windows were down) and scratched my arm when I was trying to shoo it back out the window. And I realize now that I’ve been marked. The crows are clearly coming for me. That poor innocent sparrow was a warning. The crows are coming…..
Here in Tejas, we have fire ants. And those fire ants will occasionally bite you. And that literally stings- they aren’t called fire ants for nothing. Of course, my first instinct is to squash the thing that bit me and that’s what I do. I slap the hell out of that fire ant and send it straight to the fire ant afterlife which I imagine is something like this life only giant humans don’t slap the hell out of you. Even though the fire ant totally had it coming because it bit me and left a nasty red bump, I always feel guilty immediately after I kill them. I mean, they are just so small. So what if they bite? It’s not that bad. They’re so tiny they need a big bite in order to stand up for themselves. They’re just tiny little bugs trying to make a place for themselves in this crazy thing we call life. And, also, they’re so strong and such hard workers and I really admire hard work. Every time I kill a fire ant, I feel genuinely bad. I mean, compared to them I’m literally a giant. It’s not really fair for me to squash them when life has given me such an advantage over them. I just feel so guilty about killing those hard working little guys.
At least, I did feel guilty until I started writing this post and actually tried to learn something about fire ants. The truth is- those little buggers deserve to get squashed. They aren’t helpless at all- they attack small animals. Like baby bunnies. They swarm them and eat them like a bunch of tiny unstoppable monsters. Also, they kill grasshoppers, which has led me to believe that fire ants are responsible for everything bad that has happened in the human world. Why? Umm, because they are killing people’s Jiminy Crickets. How are people supposed to act responsibly when their consciences are being murdered by fire ants? Oh, and did you know that all the workers are sterile females? Yeah, they have to do everything in the colony. All the male fire ants just get to have sex with the Queen fire ant all day long and then get pampered by the female worker ants later. This is some bull.
In conclusion, don’t feel bad about killing fire ants. They kill bunnies and our consciences. They must be stopped.
So, I’ve been watching a lot of Discovery Channel (uh, last week was Shark Week- duh.) and Animal Planet. I’ve come to the conclusion that nature is really cruel and sometimes super gross. I mean, I definitely still love nature and I really love being out in it I just don’t want to see it that close anymore. This is one of those “ignorance is bliss” moments.
Take the female Praying Mantis. She takes a lover- then afterward decapitates him. She chews (or chops or something) his head off! And it’s like, sheesh, he can’t have been that bad. Also, I can’t figure out if he knows it’s coming or not. Like does he know that after the sex he is going to DIE? Because if he knows, well then fair play. But if he doesn’t…something about it just seems wrong. Because, why does he have to die? Can’t she just hit it and quit it? Why death? Nature is confusing and brutal.
She is EATING her lover!! I bet they didn't mention that on her eHarmony profile.
I also saw this episode where a small lion-like creature ( I wasn’t really paying attention to the name) attacked this really pretty seemingly defenseless bird. And it’s like- hey you big jerk lion pick on someone your own size and leave the pretty bird alone. But then right after that they showed that pretty bird murdering a snake or something and so I guess it wasn’t that defenseless.
Is anyone else really worried about the circle of violence in nature? No one? No? Just me? Fair enough. And I know it’s nature and we aren’t supposed to really mess with it and just let it be but maybe there could be like etiquette classes for animals where they learn that is isn’t nice to brutally murder each other. And also you could teach them how to serve tea because that would be a pretty amazing trick.
So- I think I’m sort of done with watching these shows because they just make me feel really sad about the state of the world. It just seems like if praying mantis couples, who seem like they have everything going for them, can’t make it then no one can. Alas.