On our recent Wanker of the Week page we said "The blackbird is not only one of our commonest birds, but has the most beautiful and varied song of any British bird. The nightingale doesn't even come close, in The GOS's opinion - and he lives in the country so he ought to know."
Our esteemed correspondent Saga Lout didn't agree. In the Guest Book he wrote "I have to disagree with you about the bird "song". Understanding, as I do, what the birds are "singing" about puts the dawn chorus into a completely different light. If a bunch of human adolescents sat outside your window shouting "Oi darling, look at the size of my willy" you'd soon be complaining. And when they're not shouting about their prowess in the mating department they get all territorial: "Oi you, get orf my land".
(Is that grumpy enough for you?)
Well, fair enough. And certainly grumpy enough. Also factually correct. But it set us thinking …
Do the intentions of wild animals make any difference to our appreciation of them? When we sit transfixed, watching a wildlife programme of baby foxes gambolling playfully outside their den while mother looks fondly on, should we really be remembering that when they're bigger they'll think nothing of worming their way into a henhouse and playfully gambolling until forty or fifty fat pullets are toast?
Or vice versa, does the fact that a great white shark is a great big vicious b*st*rd that would like nothing more than to chew off your legs prevent us from appreciating its grace and power?
What about those cuddly white polar bears that we're all so worried about as they perch on dwindling ice-floes? If we, like some Canadians, actually had to live where they do, we'd be more concerned about them invading our townships and rooting through the dustbins. Not quite so white and cuddly then, are they, with their muzzles dripping with last night's vindaloo and their damn great teeth pointing at you when you step out of the back door?
And just suppose we did, by chance, find the sound of human adolescents charming? One can imagine great nature reserves where these fascinating creatures could roam free in a natural habitat, to be described in hushed and reverent tone by David Attenborough: "And now, if I'm very quiet, I can approach these magnificent specimens as they go about their private business. Far off among the trees the males can be heard trumpeting their mating call, "'Ere, you slag, look at the size of my dick!" or defending their territory against marauding males from a neighbouring tribe with shouts of "F*ck off, paki!".
Meanwhile, closer to hand in the thickets that surround me, the females are tending their young with tender calls of "I went round to see the fat cow 'cos I 'eard she'd been saying fings about me".
When you watch the intricate social life of these endangered animals, you have to wonder what the future holds, faced as they are with constant threat to their delicate environment from the encroachments of mankind and the damage of Global Wa … oh sh*t, they've spotted me …"
either on this site or on the World Wide Web.
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