Once upon a time…

In a small town in the heart of Scotland, 1200 pink-footed geese flew overhead, each year they came and stayed for the summer in the small loch the town was named after…each year their cries were heard as they flew overhead heralding their arrival and the beginnings of the spring. The people of the town would pause and look up into the sky and watch their arrival with pleasure. The geese would fly back and forwards across the town, raising their young on the loch, giving them flying lessons and preparing to leave again as the winter arrives…the townspeople would watch them leave and know that the summer had ended and the winter was on its way. Decades of such simple and natural pleasures, watching Nature and the decades-formed migratory route of the pink-footed geese.

And then the giant machines invaded the town, the geese could no longer fly overhead for fear of their very life, no longer would they use the loch as their summer home, no longer would they give the townspeople such pleasure at seeing their arrival. “But they have used this migratory route for decades,” cried the townspeople…”the giant machines will rip them to shreds”… With tongue in  cheek,  did reply, “no such thing will happen,” said the salesmen of the giant machines, “we will only displace them…they will go elsewhere”… and what about the townspeople losing the pleasure of seeing them… …silence was the answer… So the townspeople appealed to the bird-loving charity, help us save this migratory route, and the bird-loving charity slammed the door shut. The salesmen of the giant machines with their money and power could do as they wish and the machines were built, and the promise of jobs came in the form of a wee mannie who roams the once-countryside and picks up the bird-kills of the machines was created.

No more pink-footed geese flew over the town…and the poor buzzards also went missing… the rumour indeed is their nest was torn down, and they sadly also became displaced. The walkers and countryside folk are reporting back now, that the three that belonged to the town just haven’t been seen for many a-months. And then there was the kestrels’ hovering over the fields, waiting patiently for their next meal and the sudden dive down to the ground when the wee mousey squealed. But sad to say the kestrels’ too have run away or worse still have died.

The bats luckily are a protected species but not relevant to the giant machines, it seems to be ok with them to kill them and poor wee souls their lungs explode. The rookery sits next to one of the giant machines and the noise for them must be deafening… are they still there, ‘tis been a while since I’ve ventured back to this auld haunt as I can’t stand the noise from the giant-machines. At what price do we sacrifice our wildlife and our countryside… is it ‘green’ to dig up the land and to pour in tons of concrete to hold the giant machines upright… to change the route of the pink-footed geese, to displace or kill the buzzards, kestrels’ and bats. The townspeople were offered trinkets…the salesmen of the giant machines have built a bird-box, I don’t know why…

And what about the effect on the people, well that is a story for another day…


Cartoon courtesy of Windtoons: http://windtoons.com/

Photo of Geese by Andy Hawkins: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thehawk1/with/5146429572/

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