I blame Disney and that “Bambi” movie for convincing an entire generation of folks that animals are born knowing how to sing and dance and are okay with wearing Santa hats.
They aren’t and they’re not.
I mean has anybody watched the Discovery channel lately?
Lions eat lions. Lions eat hyenas. Killer whales eat more politically correct whale babies, or bits of them. Hyenas eat lions, and if hyenas could swim they’d eat whales. And then they’d eat the Santa hats.
Daddy lions do not hold baby lions up to the sky while all the savannah animals sing, worshipfully. Savannah wildebeests kick baby lions in the head when the mommy lions are trying to disembowel the wildebeests.
I also blame air conditioning. It’s separated human types from actual air and the real animals that live out in the actual air of the savannah.
Recently a visitor to our farm, no doubt raised on Disney and weaned on Captain Planet, was taking pictures of the throbbing world of nature that surrounds us out here—trying to eat us. My husband, Sherwood, always helpful with the suggestion making, suggested the photographer come back on a day when the American bald eagles were in town doing their raptor thing.
“You should be here and take pictures when the eagles carry off our neighbor’s ducks.” He pointed. “They swoop out of those pine trees over there and snatch the ducks right off the top of the pond. It’s wild kingdom. Now those would be some action shots.”
The photographer’s face registered horror and shock.
Plowing ahead like a bald eagle looking for duck soup, he continued, “Around here, when somebody yells, ‘Bald eagles! Incoming!’ we all run out to the porch to watch. It’s better than TV, no commercials.”
The photographer turned to my husband like he was holding an axe and wearing a black hood with eye slits and said, “But isn’t that cannibalism?”
Nope! It’s life and death and Animal Planet. It’s only cannibalism if the ducks are wearing Santa hats.
I blame Disney and air conditioning.
The invitation is open. Come on out to the country sometime, and we’ll watch the bald eagles fist fight the vultures in my front yard over raccoon corpses, and then I’ll show you where the bobcats and coyotes rumble over territory and baby goat nuggets. Then we’ll have lunch at The Catfish Place where we can eat alligator and soft-shelled turtle.
Ignore my daughter when she sees turtle on the menu and moans, “But turtles are so slow.”
Linda (Eat or Be Eaten) Zern