The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Wild Things


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Aug. 07, 2020 - 4:14 PM

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Wild Things

Alex McRae is a writer and ghostwriter and author of There Ain’t No Gentle Cycle on the Washing Machine of Love. He can be reached at: alexmmcrae@gmail.com .

The story of human history as recorded on rocks, cave walls, papyrus tablets, newspapers or digital devices shows that people don’t deal well with major changes to their daily routines.

Today, the COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest story in the world. People are already saying,

“Things will never be the same again.”

They are right, but this isn't new. When Noah and his family sailed off to escape the great flood, you just know one dude standing there in water knee-deep and rising, turned to his wife and said, “You know, Ethel, things will never be the same.” And they weren’t.

Between 376 and 476 AD, a massive, sustained and not-so-friendly invasion of Gauls and other so-called “barbarian tribes” turned ancient Rome into a shadow of its former self. The folks who lived there 1,500 years ago adapted and survived. They coped. They moved on.

Sooner or later the human race will adapt to life after COVID-19. Things will be different, but that’s okay. The historical record shows that humans can do “different” when their survival is at stake.

In the last century, humans learned to trust airplane rides, put a man on the moon, detonate nuclear bombs and survive a TV show starring Donnie and Marie Osmond.

When I was a teenager, my parents were more worried I would be a hippie than a commie. Things turned out fine.

But human behavior isn’t what has me on edge these days. Humans always react poorly to change. When the critters go crazy, my inner alarm goes off. These days, it’s ringing nonstop.

My backyard is heavily wooded, and for the past 14 years, my wife, Angela, and I have enjoyed watching the wildlife cruise the property.

The deer parades are nice, especially when the youngsters are along. The coyotes are vocal but keep their distance. Friendly raccoons mind their business, and once I learned that they eat ticks, I learned to tolerate the possums.

The songbirds furnish free music and the other day a wild turkey strutted through the yard in the middle of the afternoon. It was nice.

But a new bird just showed up. And it’s been acting in ways I don’t consider friendly, much less welcome.

I’ve had backyard owls for years, but I never saw one and only heard them at night when they sent out sweet little hootie hoots. Recently, a new voice joined the owl choir. It sounded like the bird equivalent of the bass singer in a gospel quartet.

The other day, I saw it. In broad daylight. Parked in a tree not 20 feet away. And it was staring right at one of my backyard bunnies.

I love my sweet little bunnies and watched in horror as the owl took flight and headed straight for one of my fuzzy buddies. My holler disrupted the attack and the owl flew away empty-clawed. But it’s been back. It needs to go away. For good.

Since every other rule of civilized behavior is being shredded these days, there’s no reason the federal prohibition on hunting owls should be exempt.

A pellet gun won’t take out an owl the size of a VW beetle. But a bazooka will. Mine is on the way. The big, bad owl is going down.

If anybody questions my actions, I’ll just point to my new BLM sign and explain that in my backyard, Bunny Lives Matter, too.

Alex McRae is a writer and ghostwriter and author of There Ain’t No Gentle Cycle on the Washing Machine of Love. He can be reached at: alexmmcrae@gmail.com .