Did you see the story last week about the raccoon who spent his day climbing a 25-story office building in Minnesota?
Little fellow became an internet sensation for a few hours, with millions checking in on his progress and wishing him a safe climb in perilous conditions.
In the comments sections that followed the coverage, I noticed how some thought it odd that a creature whom many think of as a filthy pest, suddenly had his own cheering section.
Strange choice of words, it seems to me, as we are blaming the raccoon for something the WE did. We built the cities and neighborhoods in what used to be their habitat. We killed off most of the stuff that they’d normally gather to sustain themselves, and then we get upset when they are forced to root through out trash for scraps.
That little critter in the YouTube videos wasn’t climbing a building to make a point and he wasn’t in it for the adventure. He was terrified of all the humans wandering around at street level.
Also last week, my Facebook feed lit up with posts from a friend of mine at work. He was having a problem with a mouse that had turned up in his apartment. Little critter was eating his bread and making all the standard mousey scurrying sounds as it moved to and fro.
Following along post after post, I read about the snap-traps and glue traps, all of which failed to undo a rodent of such size and cunning, that I began to wonder if NIMH weren’t missing another of its test subjects.
I surmised from the follow up posts that the critter was eventually cornered, and quite possibly bludgeoned to death.
Now, in the days leading up to the creatures demise, I must admit I was somewhat amused by the frequent and desperate nature of my friend’s posts. You’d have thought, from the tone, that his home had been taken over by a pack of angry badgers, rather than by a single rodent.
“City people,” I caught myself thinking with a wry smile.
But as this saga dragged on I began to pay more attention to the language used, in both his posts and by some of the people who left supportive comments…,
“Straight out of Hell!”
All this hate, earned for nothing more than trying to survive in a world we built.
The raccoon in Minnesota became an internet sensation because he was never really in anyone’s way. The mouse in the house is a different story.
I know that a lot of what I read last week was hyperbole.
That’s kinda what the internet is for.
But I can’t help but worry when I see good people equating inconvenience with evil.
And I have been seeing that kind of thing a great deal as of late.
And no, I’m not talking about rodents.
The species may vary, but the circumstances are really pretty similar.
Living beings, just trying to survive in a world we built.