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Noah Battles Animal Extinction: A Moment With Bill Reflection
A Few Thoughts Before We Begin Our Story
3,079 animals are currently on the Critically Endangered List according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the best-known worldwide conservation status listing. Approximately 40% of the known species in the world are estimated to be at risk of extinction.
The thing about it is this: once extinct, a species never will be again.
How many once roamed this planet never to be seen again? Easily thousands; possibly tens of thousands…..
Allow me now to re-tell the story of Noah, that ancient patriarch of Biblical days. I ask your forgiveness as I utilize a little creative license in the telling of this story, but since I will be writing about a man who lived, supposedly, to one-thousand years of age, I doubt my creativity will offend too many people. Try to look beyond the “historical” inaccuracies and find the meaning hidden within.
Storm Clouds Are Forming
The winds increased in ferocity as Noah secured the last plank onto the hull of the great ark. He was a stocky man in build with wide shoulders and narrow waist, average in height but strong in stature. His flowing white hair and lengthy beard blew in the wind, giving him the appearance of wildness, but one glance at his eyes and it became apparent that this was a kind and loving man.
Now that the ark was completed it was time to gather the animals, two by two, male and female of each species, herding them to the safe confines of the mammoth structure, in hopes that they would be protected during the coming cataclysm and their kind would continue to breed when the rains subsided.
Into the hull he prodded the Atlas bears, the aurochs, the Bali tigers and the Caribbean monk seal. Following them were the Carolina parakeets, the Caspian tigers, the dodos and the dusky seaside sparrows. Eastern cougars were hesitant, as were the elephant birds, the golden toads and the great auks, but eventually they too follow the throngs into the darkness below.
As the last pairs of woolly mammoths and short-faced bears walked up the plank the first raindrops fell, and before long the raindrops became sheets of water, and the winds blew with greater force, and the ark rocked on its support beams as the great rivers overflowed their banks and the natural laws of buoyancy lifted the ark and it proved to be seaworthy.
The land disappeared and the waters raged, and the great voyage of salvation began.
A Fine Sea-worthy Vessel
Noah steered the great ark down the Persian Gulf and into the vast Indian Ocean. The high seas rose and fell, embracing the ark in deep troughs and then spitting it skyward at the crests, but she was built well and not a leak could be found as she continued her journey around the Cape and headed northward into the Atlantic Ocean.
Days became weeks and still the rains thundered upon the life-saving symbol of hope. The animals were of course restless but they inherently sensed safety within their confined space, and on the deck Noah stood firm and strong against the worst elements man has ever known.
One morning Noah awoke, sensing a change, a slight shift from the norm. The wind had lessened, the rains began to quiet and the seas diminished in size. Far off in the distance gray shapes were seen, ghostly specters at first but then taking on definition…a large land mass loomed, and Noah pulled hard on the tiller and steered toward that distant shore.
Conditions continued to improve and eventually the ark scraped bottom and came to rest in a protected cove. Noah looked around and knew that all was well, the worst behind him, and he smiled. “I shall call this land America,” he said, surely a land of hope where the animals will be safe, he surmised, and he climbed down from the deck, opened wide the doors, and his precious treasures begin to leave the ark for their new home.
But What Is This?
The morning of their fifth day in America, the fortieth since the rains began, the sun broke through the clouds, the rain ceased to exist, and a beautiful rainbow dominated the western sky. The animals drifted across streams and valleys, eager to stake their own claim in this bountiful land and get about the business of mating and continuing the species.
Noah began the business of building a new home on that shoreline in hopes that others would follow and a settlement would be established, and sure enough others did follow, and each new day found increased throngs of people celebrating the end of the rains and establishing their own foothold on this strange new land.
And one foothold became a thousand, and a thousand became tens of thousands, and all needed natural resources to survive, so the great forests were cut and the life-giving streams were diverted and dammed, and modern growing techniques were used as the soil was turned, turned and turned again, depleting it of its nutrients and rendering it lifeless.
And each new day brought new difficulties as the animals found it increasingly difficult to find a life-sustaining habitat, and they roamed further and wider in search of clean water and smaller animals to eat, and without the trees the sun baked the land and left it brown and lifeless, and then the hunters came with their modern weapons and the sounds of killing reverberated across the landscape and bodies of bear and deer, dodos, toads and auks littered to and fro, and those not killed by man could not conceive suddenly for this life-saving land could no longer save or sustain life.
And Noah cried!
Please do your part
- World Animal Foundation - Animal Rights, Animal Welfare, Wildlife, Adopt An Animal
Animal Rights, Animal Welfare organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of the planet and the animals that inhabit it. Adopt An Animal.
Sitting Round the Campfires
The old men sit and tell stories of the old days, and Noah, no longer strong of body but still very clear of mind, nods his head and confirms that once there were many more animals, all sorts of species that accompanied him on the great journey and once roamed this earth. He tells the children gathering of the magnificent birds, fish and mammals, and he traces pictures of those animals in the dirt for the children to see, and they ooh and aah and ask him what became of those animals that took the great voyage with him, and they notice tears in his eyes.
“The land is for all creatures my children. Man does not own the land. Man can choose whether to become one with the land or destroy the land, and every single day that decision is made by each man and woman. The animals you ask about are gone now. They will be no more. Yes it is sad, but in the years to come more animals will journey to the never-more, and man and his needs will increase, and when there are no more animals to destroy, man will turn on himself, for that is the way with irresponsible existence and self-centered attitudes.”
“So I say to you weep not for the animals that have left us. They suffer no longer. Instead, weep for yourselves for you have yet to suffer though suffering is on its way. You are the ones, the young before me now, who will live your lives not knowing nature’s beauty. You are the ones who will inherit the results of greed and uncaring, and you are the ones who will sit around campfires when you are old and re-tell stories of disappearing species and the slow death of humanity. And when you tell your stories to your children and grandchildren, and they look at you with tears flowing down their cheeks and ask you why, what will you tell them? How will you be able to justify so much killing, so much waste, so much disregard for the natural world?”
And Noah’s Days Ended
Finally his time had come. Noah made his way to that shoreline where he first landed upon America so many years before, and he climbed up the plank onto the decaying deck of the great ark. He lay his weary bones upon the planking and looked up into the skies, and visions of that great journey played upon the movie screen in his mind. He no longer recalls their names for it has been so long since they left his ship and began roaming the land. All but forgotten, and Noah knows that with his death they will be no more.
And with his death the valuable lessons learned, lessons of conservation and preservation, will be no more.
So it is written in the Great Book!
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”