It goes without saying that I possess a rather sensitive emotional self, one seemingly at odds with the logical part of me that demands objective detachment when facing life’s tribulations.
So why then do I weep prolifically when I face such moments?
A female mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) with a deformed leg.
I watched her for some time as she hopped along the shore of an island within Sunset Bay’s confluence. She rested, she moved along, she interacted with the other mallards and she stumbled across uneven ground.
Rejected by her kind as they avoided her without sympathy, I wept even as I knew I could do nothing to help her.
Despite her deformity, she seemed able to navigate the world sans too much trouble.
‘Too much’ being the operative term, however, as I witnessed the anguish of her stumbling and her discomfort with being unable to follow her kind with the ease they so readily demonstrated. Likewise, I witnessed how her fellow mallards shunned her, chased her away with able bodies even as she trembled on one limb trying to escape.
A male great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) with a deformed foot.
He seemed able, even mated with a female who never left his side.
Yet I watched him struggle upon a bent and crooked foot, one incapable of grasping a twig for steadiness, one not able to support steady weight upon a dry stone. He hopped unlike his brethren who walk from foot to foot. He tripped at least once as I looked after his progress.
Gripping the edge of a rock with only one foot as he leaned toward the water’s surface for a drink, he tripped and fell, nearly dunking his full form into the water below. In defiance, he grabbed a twig, a bit of nest material, beckoned to his love, then flew off with her by his side. Yet I knew the trouble facing him once he reached the tree that held their hope for a future generation.
A crested Indian runner (Anas platyrhynchos) cursed with the heartlessness of humanity.
First seen by me and others near year’s end with this wretched curse tied about his head, many joined me in asking for help from organizations specialized in rescuing such creatures.
Yet none have seen him since the first week of January. None can speak to his wellbeing.
All because he stood wounded by the careless trap of people.
I wonder if I am silly for crying, for lamenting the state of these creatures, for the weeping of my own soul in response to the suffering of life.