By Larry Dablemont
There is no good or bad in nature. That is a hard thing for many to accept. When my daughters were little girls, I tried to explain nature to them, and yet, protect them from the harshness of it. We’d be on a trip somewhere, and one of my girls would notice a dead rabbit in the road.
They’d ask their mother if it was a baby rabbit, or a mama rabbit and she’d tell them “no, it was just a ‘bad old daddy rabbit.’” That seemed to help. If it was a “bad old daddy” as it soon became every time, they saw an animal dead on the highway, it wasn’t quite as sad as if it were a mama or a baby.
I even learned to help. I would point out that the dead raccoon on the highway had probably just staggered out of the pool hall, half drunk and had been chasing a little helpless bullfrog across the highway when a semi nailed him. That way it sounded like he had it coming and the girls wouldn’t be so sad. In time, when they grew old enough, I took it upon myself to explain to them how the fox would only have two or three young ones in a year, while a mother rabbit might have as many as 100 and couldn’t even name all of them! The Great Creator had made it so both would survive as a species and the one doing the eating was no worse than the one getting eaten.
Christy, the second of three daughters, and the one who would become a teacher and park naturalist, could accept it much easier. In time she would become a hunter and spend time with me after deer and turkey and ducks when she was just a young girl. But Lori, the oldest daughter, who would one day become a doctor, accepted the way it was, but always thought it should be different, and never lost her tender-hearted ways. She was tender-hearted to a fault, always wanting to take in every stray cat she saw. Lori went on only one hunt with me, shot at one rabbit with a pellet gun, and wouldn’t ever go again.
In her work, Lori sees human suffering and difficulty on a scale that her father could not deal with, and I hope the understanding I tried to pass on to her that God is in charge, even far from the woods, where foxes eat rabbits, and hawks eat chipmunks. I hope that makes it easier for her to accept His will and do her best to ease that suffering when and where she can and Now here, we are trying to deal with one virus, knowing down inside that as men become overpopulated too, there are worse ones to come, someday.
It is beyond understanding, even when you have seen as much, and learned as much as I have in my life of studying and experiencing the outdoors. I cannot fully comprehend it all, really, even after all these years. I lived most all my life as a paid, trained, studying, professional Naturalist. I am not one of those MDC one week taught “master naturalists.” I have never lived in a town, and yet, I do not have a complete handle on the complexities and grandeur of the natural world. I still hate to see a fawn drug down by a bobcat, and hear him bleating a plea for survival, knowing his fate is to feed her and a litter of wild kittens somewhere beneath the root wad of a fallen tree. I wish to heavens that the old cat would just feed them mice and rats. But shucks, a mother rat does not look at her young as being any less wonderful than a fawn. Only us humans do that. But I can live with what I have seen, knowing there are all those surviving fawns which will become little more than grown fender-benders someday, or subjects of a photo for some grinning antler-hunter who comes to the woods once a year with a high-powered rifle.
Many times in the woods, I have felt God behind me while I watched His work go on before me. It all works to such perfection, even with all the waste nature is famous for, unless man has interfered. In nature, there is no change that is good…armadillos, and carp have taught us that. So I marvel that men so often clamor for change. We are about to become a people so hell-bent on technology and profit that we are going to destroy our own chance for survival. We are about to “change” ourselves right off the edge of the bluff.
“Change” has made us a nation where people cannot question or denounce that which is wrong, because a few have managed to convince us so many that there is no right or wrong, that we should embrace the diversity that will destroy us.
In the woods which remains unaltered by man, there will be no change, and diversity does not exist. Perfection can survive where men don’t go. There will be a coming chaos in crowded cities, in time, when a million becomes ten million and multiculturalism becomes work. I figure that if God really exists as the same one, we learned about in the Bible, then He knows it wouldn’t do any good to send a prophet or an angel to warn us that there are worse fires, worse hurricanes, worse tornadoes, worse floods and even worse viruses to come. Maybe He will, someday. But the truth of the matter is, who would He send that folks in Massachusetts and Chicago and New York and California would listen to? In China or Venezuela or Russia, such a man would be thrown in jail.
No matter what happens where mankind lives in herds, there will always be a few far-away where wilderness survives, and a few men will treasure and protect and be a part of those places. I have been there; I have seen many of them and there my heart soars. “Social distancing,” you might call it.
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