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Rated: ASR · Essay · Nature · #160345
...Mother Nature is involved in population control...
         Many years ago – ten or fifteen years perhaps – a plague of rabbits appeared in the State of Idaho. In that year, through some strange deviation from the laws of nature, a thousand times the normal number of rabbits appeared in the southern part of Idaho.

         Abruptly and without warning, in those hot summer days, the rabbits were everywhere in startling quantity. They were desperately hungry and ate every bit of foliage they could put their teeth against. They stripped the prairie bare and moved into the towns, eating the bushes, the grass, the flowers, the tree bark, everything they could find. There simply was not enough food to feed the many hungry mouths.

         People fought them in ways that seemed obscene. Groups of men moved through the fields with clubs, killing bunnies one by one until thousands had died. The men, and the watching women, were sickened by the carnage.

         Even the New York Times reported on the massacre and the term “club sandwich” acquired a whole new meaning.

         The ranchers and farmers, however, had no choice. Not to act against the rabbits would mean no food for their horses and cattle, no food to take to market, and, perhaps, no food for their own families to eat – except perhaps for rabbits. It was, however, a battle they could not win alone. Mother Nature herself had to move to help with this battle of balance, and she did. Winter approached, bringing with it a virulent disease of rabbits, and the rabbits died, most of them anyway.

         The story vanished from the media and from the consciousness of people outside Idaho.

         The following spring, all was back to normal. There were rabbits, of course, but only the normal numbers and the fierce desperation of the starving creatures of the previous year was gone.

         All seemed as it should be.

         About that same time, human viruses rose out of Africa and South America. Ebola, Marsberg, and others. These swift virulent diseases killed so quickly that the victims had no opportunity to travel and spread the disease beyond the local area. Thus, except for sporadic outbreaks, the diseases quickly expended their life force and were generally controlled, or so it seemed.

         But, another disease, milder in its initial onset, was already stalking the planet and its human population. It was a disease with the quality of patience.

         AIDS held its deathblow in secret until the illness broke free from the place where it had begun. Before mankind or scientists knew it existed, the illness spread from one person to another to another until it had patiently spread around the planet.

         Mother Nature in her planetary wisdom has looked at mankind and sees the damage done to this world. She sees the terrible things we do to each other and to the planet. She knows the terrible effect of overcrowding, the horrible personality changes, the fighting, the violence, and she has chosen once again to heal the earth by bringing under control the creature whose population explosion is destroying the world she created. As with the rabbits, a disease has sprung into existence that may well bring the population of mankind to an appropriate level that will preserve our planet.

         Humanity has made progress in the management of this illness, but – partly because of the inappropriate actions of our species and our ineffective behavior, the illness marches on, doing the task it was sent to do.

         Someday, in a century perhaps, Earth will return to its former glory, no longer burdened by the vast infestation of the human species.

         And, should we conquer this illness and resume increasing our population, further action may be required. The sun, mother of our solar system, may one day focus her attention on this abused child of hers. She will, after thought, reach out with her tongue of flame and lick clean the faces of her children.

         The choice is ours. We must preserve, protect and revere this land we have been given, this fabulous ball of dirt in a large galaxy. We must control our population and our consumption of the limited resources of this earth. It was not given to us for destruction. We must change our ways or our fate will be forever sealed.
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