Saturday, February 19, 2022
Raised on PBS nature documentaries, there was always the confusion for me of who the "good guy" was. Was it the young antelope, separated from the herd, then stalked and chased relentlessly until brought down by a pride of lions working in tandem? We see her head, eyes still open, moments before she dies, the lions covering her body. Or is it the mother lion, greeting her cubs after returning from feeding on the antelope? Without this food, the somber voice-over tells us, the mother won't be able to produce milk for the babies, and they will weaken and die. We watch as the cubs swarm the mother's belly as she collapses on the ground, stretching out her long body so that there is room for all to feed.
As an adult, I came to realize that there was no one good guy, or, perhaps better said, all in nature is the "good guy". Without one, we can't have the other. Rabbits, and there are a lot of them, are eaten by predators, and predators, which there aren't so many of, face starvation if they don't find prey. They both live by their wits, and if they don't, they die. The reality, beyond the death of one animal or the other, is that both coyote and rabbit live on, headed in different directions but sharing the same world of sky and forest, life and death.