Saturday, August 20, 2005

Some Parables for a Troubling World


In Kansas, a young woman decided to pose for photos at a tiger preserve. She was scheduled to graduate from high school ,and wanted “something different” for a graduation picture.

She climbed on the back of the tiger – which promptly seized her by the throat – as tigers will – and killed her.


In Yellowstone , tourists are killed every year when they try to pose for pictures with the resident grizzly bears. There seems no way to get it through their heads wild animals are capable of being …wild.



In Los Angeles , authorities became rather alarmed when a seven foot alligator suddenly appeared in a park lake.

One of the causes for alarm was the fact people were feeding the animal ,and applauding happily when it scooped up their discarded sandwich ends and other goodies.

In short , they were teaching the alligator to associate humans with food – something alligators really don’t need to be taught.

Even now – as professional trappers struggle to remove the animal – there are people rooting for a creature that could scarf down one of their children in the blink of an eye. (One woman is even doing a brisk business in “pro-alligator” tee shirts !)


No matter how many times they are warned , there are people who persist in the belief that a wild animal you have fed is now your friend ; and that you have, in some way , negotiated a “truce”.


An online survey I saw last week asked : “ Should we negotiate with the terrorists ?

14 % of those who responded answered : “Yes”.


I can’t help but wonder if humanity has a built-in death wish !

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