Encounters With Weasels

Sitting in the blind 10 yards from the water basin where I had been watching for various birds to come in to drink, I was growing drowsy…the intensity of the sun in a cloudless sky heated the inside of my fabric blind and there was little action at the basin.  Suddenly, an abrupt movement in the rocks surrounding the basin jarred me alert.  As I watched, a long-tailed weasel appeared and disappeared, seeking out the nooks and crannies where a hapless chipmunk may be hiding.  Finding none, it went to the basin and drank, then stood on its hind legs surveying its surroundings, then into a crevice where it allowed me the time to capture a number of images.  Then, as swiftly as it appeared, it was gone.

Long-tailed Weasel 2a

I reviewed the images on the camera’s screen and saw an animal one could only describe as “cute.”  Bright eyes, groomed fur…a teddy bear of a wild creature.  But as a biologist I knew that behind that “cute” was an animal that survived through its ability to kill; its sole purpose in life to execute and devour small animals; and its propensity to kill more than it needed to sustain itself because that was its nature.  To look at it, who would guess?  But cute?  Oh my, yes!

Yellow Pine Chipmunk 7a

Returning home the next day I found my wife in tears having had an encounter with a “weasel” of a human being…a neighbor.  This person feigns concern for others but on the inside the fires of hatred and anger burn brightly.  Blaming my wife for her one failing, being overly compassionate for all living beings whether they be other humans or animals, she chastised and threatened my wife and accused her of acts she knew were unfounded and false in an obvious effort to hurt.  Her anger likely stemmed from several former incidents, probably the foremost was my wife’s refusal to abandon a neighbor and friend who had suffered a severe setback as a result of the actions of her family as well as serious illness.  The issue had the potential to reduce the property values in the neighborhood so in the neighbor’s mind, money outdid compassion and forgiveness.  Not surprisingly, this person is an avowed Christian, but the emotions of compassion and forgiveness are apparently not part of her Biblical interpretations and she looks at life in a purely self-serving manner.

As I pause to consider the incident I realize it was launched with a single purpose…an opportunity to degrade and belittle another so as to impose superiority, an all too common trait of civilized humanity.   It amplifies my questioning the purported preeminence of the human race.  I wonder if the weasel isn’t more honest in its dealings with the chipmunk who knows its sole objective is to devour it.

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