Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 61: Come play with me

I saw a small reddish squirrel run with tail low through the kitchen of the original CNSC building.

To a Squierrel at Kyle-na-gno
by William Butler Yeats in The Wild Swans at Coole (1919).

COME play with me;
Why should you run
Through the shaking tree
As though I'd a gun
To strike you dead?
When all I would do
Is to scratch your head
And let you go.

Why are we so drawn to the small wild creatures? Do not be afraid little ones, I just want to pet you and let you go on your way. The squirrels, the baby hares, the chicks - plover and dunlin and yellow warbler and godwit, the baby fox, the polar bear cubs... Why are they so very cute with upturned eyes, but quick feet and fear?

From Winnipeg Free Press article
The slight irony of the poem I chose to share is that I habitually do carry a gun, but not to hunt, only to protect myself. Though that brings me back to another story of a polar bear incident in town. A third bear was killed in Churchill this year. I don't know why so many this year. Winnipeg Free Press and CBC covered the story of a woman and her two children's encounter with a polar bear near the health centre. No humans were hurt, and the woman ended up fighting off the bear with her handbags while screaming until it ran and the natural resource officers showed up. The bear was shot and killed due to aggression. And the same questions I had at the beginning of June are resurfacing. Why such killing? Why can't there be a way to live together without any death? Should there be a limit to nature? Can a top predator and humans ever get along? Anywhere?

This is such a contrast to the squirrel poem. That I am tempted to write a poem in response from the bears.

To a Human in Churchill

COME play with me;
Why should you run
Screaming as you flee
in the land of midnight sun?
You think I want you dead?
When all I would do
Is to sniff your head
And let you go.

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