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living with the wild

Yesterday, as I made the first post-Homecoming


school lunch, I cast my bleary eyes out the back window.

A hawk.


Perched on our wood fence.

Now, we live in an urban neighborhood.  I have seen a hawk attack the pigeons that roost in our eaves once before, but it’s not an everyday occurrence.  As I watched, peanut butter-laden knife in mid-air, the hawk swooped down onto our rock wall and plucked a mouse from one of the crevices.  He then flew up to our neighbor’s chimney and proceeded to–um–dine.



Last week I drove down a busy boulevard that I drive every day, at least twice a day.  There was a hairy dead carcass on the side of the road.  Gosh.  Someone’s pet.  What a shame–only it wasn’t dog or cat…

It was a badger!


I had to circle around and drive by again to make sure.  Yep, a badger.  I’d recognize that death snarl anywhere.

Freckles McYoungest regularly sees a fox at a certain golf course she plays.  Every once in a while, a deer will crash around the midtown shopping district, having followed the creek into town.  Big Bopper claims he saw a coyote trot down our street about ten years ago.  We tease him about it, but he’s a hunter, knows what a coyote looks like.


I am forced to believe him.

I love when The Wild bleeds into my life.  I want to remember that not everything is ordered, codified, regulated.  Hawks and coyotes live on instinct, adapt to circumstance and opportunity.  I want to live like The Wild.

We are warned that we can’t.  That unless we are tamed, we will be amoral.

When I was in junior high I read Lord of the Flies over and over again.  A tremendously well-written book.  But now that I’m an adult, I think it is, philosophically, baloney.  Golding’s view is that without the threat of authority, humans become vicious and demented.  Even Ralph, who tries to keep a semblance of society on the island, does it for the approval of the adults who will eventually find them.

What a lousy view of children, teens, and the whole human race.  Of course, now that we know the truth about Mr. Golding and his teen years, we understand where his ideas come from.

To be Wild is to be creative, adaptive, free.  That doesn’t mean without morals.

I feel like eating a mouse.

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