I republished Nothing Ever Dies of Old Age in The Wild last week in preparation for this week’s post.
Clarissa, a female raccoon with kits of her own (quite shy, haven’t filmed all of them yet), came out for peanuts and cookies with some of her kits and all of Hecate’s kits.
I tossed and spread food as I always do, then noticed Clarissa demurred. She may be shy with me but demure with other raccoons, especially someone else’s kits, she’s not (she’s the one by the pole on the right of the video).
I stayed out quite a while (this video is three clips made across a good chunk of time) and realized she’d hurt her paw. She could barely hold things with it and wasn’t putting any weight on it.
Naturally – or should I say as is Nature’s way – the other raccoons took advantage of her disadvantage to harass, intimidate, and otherwise steal from her.
I cut a nasty scene out of the video.
I know such things occur, I only wish they didn’t. The Wild is more like kids on a playground than diplomats at a table. Humans have laws but those laws only work when everybody agrees to let them work.
The law of The Wild isn’t one of mutual agreement so much as it’s one of balance; One suffers and another does not. One dies and another lives.
Sometimes I break the law. I put out more than enough food and separate the piles so that territories don’t matter. The This is mine and what’s yours is mine law doesn’t apply because it’s too much effort to go and risk conflict than to stay and eat what’s here.
I wish humans could learn that one; if you have enough here, you don’t need to go elsewhere.
But I also know coupled with that is an understanding of “how much is enough.” The Wild knows this in full. Extreme conditions induce aggression – what’s called surplus killing – in The Wild, and I mean extreme conditions. Major meteorological and/or climatic upheaval, for example.
That noted, humans should watch out. The Wild won’t follow your laws.
And you’re not prepared for Its.