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Just swatting away as Nature intended

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Wildlife – July 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine


“All God’s critters got a place in the choir,

some sing lower and some sing higher,

some sing out loud on the telephone wire

and others just clap their hands….”

So goes a song by Idaho writer Bill Staines, but nevertheless I have to wonder about the place of the prairie dogs who riddled the fields adjoining my place in short order, like some sort of virulent skin rash, and whose song ain’t what I call pleasing. I think your writer’s story on rodent-saving on page 2 (June) may be a good example of the sort of self-indulgent half-truth which has given environmentalism a black eye in recent years. What’s the point of justifying animal expansionism by comparing it to humans?

Trusting species diversity to the wisdom of the human species is about like trusting your chickens to the foxes. Human achievement seems to have peaked a couple of hundred years ago, and we look just a bit ridiculous at this point in history, trying to cover our tracks and make amends for the excesses which helped send us on this current downswing.

Birds have plumage to get the attention of other birds, but people — who once had some interesting stuff — now have billboards and freeways and Metal bands and MP-3s and DVDs and Hum-Vs. So let’s not pretend we’re the chosen ones to save creation, which is by nature apparently, a thing of violence and usurpation in which concepts such as native or indigenous are myopic at best.

Of course, if that lovely lady who is in the business of prairie dog relocation would like to scarf up all the critters of Saguache County and find homes for them in some nice suburban yards, I might even buy her a tank of gas. Please make free with the mice while you’re at it, and, oh yes, the houseflies. I feel like such a murderer every time I reach for the fly-swatter, buy by golly maybe I am just doing what nature intended: fighting for my turf, my nest. Kill! Kill!

Dr. Strangelove and Slim Wolfe,

Villa Grove