Interview with a stork, Mark Renz 1-239-368-3252

Interview with a Stork

by Mark Renz

Don't be sneaking up on me like that!

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you.  It's just that I'm a reporter for "Soggy Bottom Times" and...

The press, eh?  I don't talk to the media.

Why not?

Because you're always distorting the truth.

That's not true...we're fair and balanced.

Yes you are...toward your advertisers.

Look, I just have a few questions...

Fine, but make it quick.  A bunch of egrets and ibis are due here any minute and it's gonna get crowded.

How do you feel about getting re-classified as "threatened" rather than "endangered"?

Did my wife put you up to this?  Has she finally forgiven me for...

No, no, no...I'm talking about the way we humans classify you.

You classify me?  Why?  We don't classify you.

I know but this is our way of doing things.  We're intelligent and have to place everything into categories so we can better control the amount of space we occupy and what we do within that space.

I don't mean to ask the obvious, but just how much space do you uprighters really need?

What you mean?

Well, every time one of us endangered or threatened animals turns around, we're getting reclassified, according to your increased populations and needs, not ours. 

You have a problem with that?

You don't?

No. Like it or not, we're the dominant life form on Earth.  Everything revolves around us and has been placed here for our enjoyment.

Says who?

You wouldn't understand...

Interesting. Twisted, but interesting.  And so let me see if I got this right...You label non-human critters and plants as endangered or threatened based on how many of us there are? 

Well, it's not quite that simple...we also measure your numbers based on how much of your habitat we own and want to use for our needs.

Own?  What is own?

Own.  You know, we own the land.  It's ours.

You own the land?  Do you also own the air and water?

No, of course not.

But don't you dump your bi-products and waste into the air and water?  Don't you heat up the air with your carbon emissions and...

Yes, but we don't own the air and water because they're always on the move.

I see.

So with the land we own, our laws currently state that you're endangered.  But by labeling you endangered, it's becoming an economic hardship for us.  We can't make enough money to buy more land and...

Excuse me for interrupting but who are the people who wrote and approved the original laws to protect us?

We call them wacko tree-huggers among ourselves, but in public they're known as environmentalists.

Hmm...So let me see if I can wrap my bill around this...if I am classified as "Endangered", you can't destroy the land I occupy?

Well, actually it's wetlands...and yes, if you're endangered, it means there are fewer of your kind left than if you're labeled "Threatened."

So if the wetlands I share with other birds and wildlife is destroyed, won't that lead to fewer of my kind because of less wetlands for us to share with other birds and wildlife?

Maybe, but if that happens, we'll just classify you as endangered again!

I see...May I make an observation?


Has it ever occurred to you that if my numbers and the numbers of other critters and plants are low, it just might be a sign that entire ecosystems may be threatened or endangered?  Have you ever heard of the canary in a coal mine?  And if we're in trouble, isn't there a chance that your kind may also be in trouble?  Aren't we all inter-connected?  And on a human "need" side, doesn't Florida's economy depend on visitors coming here to see all the birds and wildlife, and to swim in pristine waters?

Yes, but our research indicates people are just as happy seeing 5 birds as they are 50 birds.  So a few less birds will not effect the amount of money we can make.

And why do you need to make more money?

So we can buy more stuff. You know, land and electronic gadgets. And so we can have more kids and and they can become just like us.

Does this "stuff" make you happy?

Happy?  Who said we want to be happy?  Now, about my do you feel about being reclassified?

Will my answer matter?

No, of course not.

Excuse me, but the ibis are arriving...