Are these cruel animals useful?
The ferret, the weasel and the polecat all have a bad reputation. They occasionally wreak havoc in hen-houses. But this is nothing alongside the great services they render us by eating vast amounts of rats, mice and even vipers. They also keep down the number of rabbits. A few eggs and chickens is not a great price to pay for being rid of some unpleasant animals. Unfortunately they often also fall victim to poisons laid down by people, or to their mistakes.
The otter eats a lot of fish: too many, say fishermen, because they empty the rivers. Let us do away with otters! This is exactly what has happened in some places, and the fish continued to disappear, there were epidemics, and the fishermen saw their catches getting smaller and smaller. The otter is a good swimmer, but not quite as good as a fish. Most of the fish it catches are either weak or sick. When the otters were killed, it prevented the selection between healthy and diseased fish taking place, and so disease took a heavy toll. Nowadays otters are protected, and bred to re-stock the rivers.
For a long time birds of prey also had a bad reputation: aerial poachers, said the hunters... But in fact the game they could make off with was often sick or wounded, and their food consists mainly of rodents and snakes which people gladly leave them.
In Egypt the crocodiles of the Nile have been exterminated. There too, as in the case of the otters, the consequences of unhealthy conditions among fish have been disastrous. The health of the small wader has declined. So crocodiles too can be useful, despite their unattractive looks.
The online troll on the other hand is an annoyance that needs extermination. They definitely thin the herd, but often target the most talented and creative, out of jealousy and spite. They love control, but what they lack most is self control. And they live to harrass and bully, but when they get their just desserts they quickly play the victim.
They often lie and will twist the truth so it becomes a distorted picture, blocking the light just enough so their wicked schemes can lay unexposed in the shadows.
They are quick to start the silly games, but when the tables are turned they grab their bat and ball and go home. Retreating to their lair. Lying in wait, concocting their next scheme, considering their next move or contemplating their next victim.
Stay well hidden online troll, because your prey is not toothless.
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