Polished up the Farm Side this morning and sent it along to the editor. This week's topic is the nasty Norway Rat. Like most farms (and cities) we enjoy the company of this ever-so-successful other mammal.
Or maybe enjoy is the wrong word. I personally abhor them, as do most folks. When one showed up on the bird feeder right in front of the kitchen window recently, I went on the warpath. Alan bought me a Crossman pellet pistol, which I love btw, but it doesn't have the greatest sights in the world. That did not stop me.
However, better shots than I am missed and missed and missed, as did I, for two solid weeks.
Finally it got so used to us trying to shoot it that it sat there yesterday while I dispatched it from about six feet away. I wonder why the pistol has such lousy sights anyhow....instead of the usual round beads, or things that line up sensibly it has two squares....if you line them up right, you can barely see your target.
The furor over the baby bison out in Yellowstone made me wonder what reaction I might get to admitting, in public, both here and in my column, that I used a "firearm" to kill a verminous rodent (I didn't actually see it die, as it scurried off, but it hasn't been back, so I'll betcha.)
I have read some seriously ill-informed discussion of the above event, wherein foolish and pointless human interference caused the death of a protected animal. I found the interference to be simply outrageous and incredibly arrogant. Some folks thought the people who picked up the poor creature should be given a pass, since their actions were caused by an excess of ill-directed compassion.
I call bullsh**. There are signs regarding the proper treatment of wild animals. I've been to the park. I've seen them. There is no excuse for what the fools did and not much of an excuse for the people who have subsequently attacked the rangers, the park, and any person with actual livestock or wildlife experience who dared offer a sensible comment in a public forum.
I am beginning to think that some kind of practical animal husbandry needs to be taught in schools or something. The simplest of country kids knows better than to touch a baby animal, even a domestic kitten. Folks see fawns stashed by their mamas all the time. The best thing is to walk right past and pretend not to see. Simple. Obvious. Except when it's not.
We need to somehow counteract the Disnification of our interactions with the natural world before no one is allowed those interactions because of the foolishness of a few. Even if, as some sources claim, the mother bison was deceased, how hard would it have been to contact authorities about the calf, rather than intervene, risking lives, and ultimately causing the death of the animal?