Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pity for the Birds

It's that time of year when severe cold and heavy snow cause many humans to pity the wildlife, especially those cute little birds.  Of course, unlike humans, birds are naturally equipped to deal with the conditions and can find plenty of food without our assistance.

In addition to their layered feathers, their ability to tolerate periods of hypothermia and their skill at finding natural food, birds possess certain advantages that we humans, endowed with a large brain, are too smart to enjoy.  Unlike humans, birds are unencumbered by thermometers and weather forecasts; neither do they know of warm lands to the south nor count the days until spring.  Functioning by instinct, they have no reason nor ability to wallow in self pity or to complain about the weather; either they take winter in stride or they succumb to its threats.

We humans, natives of the Tropics, would be ill-equipped to function in a wintry environment were it not for our intelligence and creativity (which ultimately led to our use of warm clothing and heated shelters).  Nevertheless, our deep-seated fear of the cold fuels pity for creatures that cannot take advantage of such modern conveniences, whether they need them or not.