To the editor:
The buses had stopped just past the covered bridge in Jackson, and 60 older people were in groups of 15 — or 10 or 20 — all looking across the estate to the woods toward the river.
It was the bear and cubs they really wanted to see. Not the leaves or the mountains, just a glimpse of this creature that had been here for millions of years.
Their eight-hour ride was worth it in one minute. That bear and four cubs were the best attraction the valley has had in years and worth millions to the valley.
I have had many encounters with bears and other animals, usually from inside my glass house. There is no food around my house, but the mother bear would come by every week or so and sit on the rock on my level and let the cubs climb on my woodpile and play with my tools. We had a solid respect for each other. I’m still angry at the person who calls himself a hunter — for killing her!
We elbow species off the planet. We deny room to entire groups of animals that need the wild.
Teach the children to enhance nature. Prepare them for a warmer climate and look at the possibility of new crops in existing land.
The way we’re going, we may eliminate every competitor for living space on the crowded Earth. And when the animals are gone, we will be the masters of all creation. We shall look around and we shall see nothing but each other, riding in the bus, but seeing nothing.
- Category: Letters