Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Young Cougar


Linda Dahiman photo


We flushed him out of his habitat,
chopped down all the trees,
leaving him bare hillsides, 
decimated deer populations,
and no place to hide, or rest.

Down the slopes he came,
skinny, hungry, 
searching for food,
into what we arrogantly call
"our" territory,
(as if it ever was anything more
than loaned to us
to preserve and protect).

Young Cougar has had to learn
to co-exist
with our noisy presence,
the shriek of chainsaws and helicopters in the woods,
to dodge our speeding cars, 
put up with our racket,
our paved streets and row upon row of houses,
our Everywhere Presence,
encroaching further and further 
into a vanishing wilderness.

This week, Young Cougar lay down in her yard
and stared at her through her window, unafraid.
His look was not threatening.
It was curious, assessing.
Finding no threat,
he lay down for a few moments, to rest.

But calls have been going in to Wildlife
and what is euphemistically called Conservation.
And now they are hunting him
with guns and dogs,
to shoot him for being so unafraid.
Instead of taking him far out into the wilderness
and setting him free,
they will shoot him
for being hungry and homeless.

Who the predator?
Who the prey?

If we can remember that,
over the course of centuries,
we all may have been
both hunter and hunted,
predator and prey,
warriors and warred upon,
perhaps we can spare
some mercy
for other creatures (and other humans)
who are also simply
trying to survive
in this shrinking, calamitous world.



Nicole Shanks photo

Run fast, young cougar.
May you survive into your old age.

I tried to copy the video on facebook of this youngster lying down looking through the window, but it would not copy beyond facebook. Sigh.  This is for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Predator and Prey. Timely, given the several cougar sightings around town this past week. We had a cougar move through our creekbed across the street, out behind my old trailer. He left our livestock alone. But Mama Deer, who has been visiting us with two fawns, now arrives with just one. The way of the wild, sad though it is to think of the terror the deer experienced in those terrible moments. 

We are out of town a ways, so our cougar may survive. The one in town is being actively hunted and will likely not last the week. He was seen eating a deer and has not so far threatened humans or domestic animals. But his presence within the city limits puts him in peril.  How they expect him to know the boundaries of the city limits, i have no idea.


17 comments:

  1. Excellent. I love the perspective you take here. I thought this was going a whole differentnt way.

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  2. Excellent. I love the perspective you take here. I thought this was going a whole differentnt way.

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  3. "what is euphemistically called Conservation" Ha! I like how you describe the stripping away of his resources and how you gentle his curiosity. We have all been both predator and prey.

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  4. Humanity has a poor understanding of co-existence even among their own kind. What an excellent illustration of that this is Sherry.

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  5. "Run fast, young cougar.
    May you survive into your old age." human predators have to evolve for many more ages to utter such prayerful bliss...

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  6. perhaps we can spare
    some mercy
    for other creatures (and other humans)
    who are also simply
    trying to survive
    in this shrinking, calamitous world.


    Such a whole lot of emotion and depth in these lines, Sherry

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  7. Our Everywhere Presence - I've not heard that expression before but how apt - I think it will go full cycle - we destroy so much we don't understand that one day I hope nature reclaims its own space and presence back

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  8. luv how you are able to empathize with the animals

    much love...

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  9. Pity!Can the rescue team not relocate them somewhere?? Ahh, it just seems so sad to me! Humans are so rotten.May the run free on the other side....
    Heart-touching poem, Sherry!!

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  10. This is a sad poem, Sherry. You have to hope the cougar survives, but yet it is sad for animals such as deer who become prey. The cycle of life is not always kind...but all need to find a way to survive.

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  11. poignant, we do forget and carry on with the destruction and deforestation. Really enjoyed this Sherry; I especially like the 2nd stanza.

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  12. Poignant but an eye opener. Appreciate you sharing.

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  13. As stewards and caretakers, we can do better...thanks for giving voice to creatures losing habitats and reminding us of their plight.

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  14. when did it become our territory; nicely put right through, Sherry.

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  15. Ah, such profound message this piece have...

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  16. Such a sad, but so very apt, comment on this terrible situation, Sherry. We are ruining the planet, making species extinct by the thousands every year. Human beings are the worst predators on this planet indeed.

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I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!