Sunday, February 12, 2012

Beware of Bambi

Lions and tigers and deer, oh my!

Danger lurks in our forests and other wild places. Grizzly bears and alligators and mountain lions have been mauling humans for ages, and fear of their claws and jaws bites deep into our consciousness. Somewhere inside, we all remember cave bears.

But while most of us retain a healthy respect for wolves and cougar, the urbanization of humankind has diminished our awareness of vicious raccoons, angry squirrels and the mostly deadly critter of them all -- deer.

More people perish in the U.S. from close encounters with deer each year than with bears and sharks and snakes combined (bees are the next most deadly creature). Many of these deaths are the result of collisions on roadways, but deer are also killing people with their hooves and antlers.

Continued at... Beware of Bambi

by Michael Hofferber
Rural Delivery
Bambi: Iron-On Embroidery Patch

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rural Delivery: Small Souls

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1999. All rights reserved.

More than 90 years ago the author Anatole France wrote a novel titled 'Penguin Island' in which a blind monk baptizes a flock of penguins, mistaking them for a group of small people.

The monk's error creates a crisis in heaven, as God and his advisors debate whether birds should be given souls. They struggle with the pros and cons of the idea before finally accepting Saint Catherine's recommendation that birds be given souls, but only small ones.

Personally, I've never thought much about the souls of birds or fish or reptiles. Like most folks, I suppose, I've accepted the idea that these are "lower life forms" incapable of the kinds of thoughts and feelings we have in common with mammals. We humans stand at the top of the pile, according to our philosophies, with dominion over all the other creatures.

Dominion, however, implies responsibility. We can have our way with animals, but are we really free to do with them as we like?

Continued at... Small Souls

Rural Delivery
The Nature Pages
Artwork: Nature's Harmony