Predators versus Prey
The last time I went to see the boy, there were these huge birds of prey in the back yard picking at the carcass of a deer.
Mother-in-law: City boy, you should go out and take a look.
So, off I went with my son.
I told the boy to be quiet so as not to scare off the kettle of hawks that were all around it. He obliged, in a manner of speaking – he was silent but also ran about like a madman so the birds flew off to nearby branches.
Presently, I brought the boy back in and went in for a closer look. I managed to see a bit more but they flew off nonetheless. It smelled like death.
When I went back in, my sister-in-law asked me if I saw anything.
Me: Not really, I think I scared them off.
Her: I wonder if they thought you were were hunting them.
Me: Probably, I have the eyes of a predator.
Her: What does that mean?
Me: All humans do. Our eyes are in front of us, so we can pinpoint things and hunt them down. Prey – deer, rabbits, etc – they have their eyes on the side of the heads so they can see animals like us coming.
Part of the reason I never mentioned the knife stuff – beyond calling it “fencing,” all this time, which isn’t strictly incorrect – was because most people are far removed from what we actually are: Animals.
Clothed animals, but animals nonetheless.
We’re predators. We’re meant to stalk and hunt things. That’s what we were created for. It’s neither a good nor a bad thing, it’s merely a thing.
Just like where our eyes are. We don’t think about it much – you probably never have – it’s just where they are.
Me: Guard up, boy.
Son: Do I have to?
Me: Because this is what we do. Guard up.
And yet, I wonder what would happen if we had to be predators again? Some of us would do fine, I think. Most of us would struggle.
Although, truth be told, I honestly don’t know know how I would do if I had to fend completely for myself, for myriad reasons.
Mouse: You stubbed your toe again?!
Me: (nodding in pain)
Her: Man, when you’re a klutz, you get hurt. When I’m a klutz, you get hurt…