Tag Archives: demographics

Thinning the Herd.

The little brown deermouse scuttled the kitchen floor all last evening, in full on light. He evoked his typical, habitual shriek from me, and the annoying reminder that I had yet to set the two, new $39 catch and release traps marked for him and his whole family. That funny little face had caught me, all over again.

Maddening cuteness. The trait that moves entire demographics. The lengths to which a civilized society will go to save what is adorable.

Whitetail have the same effect; hence, the term “doe-eyed”.  Couldn’t shoot a buck, either, to save my own life.

No matter that deer grossly overpopulate state parks and forestry. No matter that two mice can become three dozen in the walls and wiring of an entire human dwelling in a matter of days. Hooked, on some misplaced compassion for the living, is my problem.

But, nature would have us hold dominion over the creatures. Our intelligence permits us some understanding of ecological balance, and our duty is to maintain that equilibrium which, ultimately, serves our own survival.

Too bad about the bloodshed.

It’s part of our planet’s history, after all: Holy War, against the predator.

Actually, I’ve become a bit preoccupied by that concept. Take a look at the history of our human tribe. How many religious wars have changed the course of society, driven entire populations across the planet, and up-ended whole nations? And, why are such conflicts, based in competition for creed, the bloodiest?

Could it be because their most passionate advocates have other worldly goals, to begin with? Is the martyr complex what compels them all – a reward, in the afterlife?

I’m wondering if such cyclic, Holy Wars are nature’s way of stabilizing the population. Let’s face it. The fight is not over the tangible, but the ephemeral: notion, belief. But humans are never more stubborn, yea resolute, than when they are defending these. The Emperor may be naked as a jaybird, but so are his constituents, and the scene is galling.

Catch and release traps, as it turns out, are easy enough to set. One just needs to understand the engineering. But, commitment to the idea of restructuring the rodent society instead of eliminating it may be the most lost of causes; apparently mice, unless transported as many as ten miles from their established location, will find their way back.

Perhaps, like the poor, the throngs of the various and devoutly believing will always be with us – waiting for the next crisis to defend themselves. According to Fundamentalist Christians, the Rapture is coming. Perhaps this will be the Creator’s ultimate way of thinning the herd.

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© Ruth Ann Scanzillo

9/25/15   All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Sharing by ReBlogging, exclusively.  Thank you.

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