Count chickens before they hatch into revolution

ROGER SIMON

January 11, 1991|By ROGER SIMON

As far as I know, Rae Rossen of Randallstown is the only person besides me to have figured it out.

But when you think about it, the evidence has been staring all of us in the face for some time now.

"On Milford Mill Road, somewhere between Liberty Road and Reisterstown Road, our car was jolted by the impact of a young deer hitting the left headlight," Rae Rossen says.

"The poor animal's body flipped backward into another lane of traffic. From what friends have told us, we should consider ourselves fortunate since they say a more mature deer could have turned over our car and caused extensive injuries.

"However, my viewpoint is that deer may be stalking humans in retaliation. I believe the deer are getting back at us, and justifiably so."

A few years ago, I would have dismissed Rae Rossen as just another hysteric, a scaremonger, a person so bored with her own life that she must live in a world of fantasy. In other words, the typical reader of my column.

But for the last few months, I have been keeping a file that not only supports Rae Rossen's theory, but, I think, proves it.

Yes, that's right. Animals are angry. And they are not going to take it anymore. They are tired of being hunted and killed and eaten. And they are going to get back at us.

Think I'm kidding? The following story appeared in newspapers all over America just a few months ago:

"CALDWELL, Texas (AP) -- A 160-pound deer with eight-point antlers gored and trampled to death a man walking along a rural road, authorities said. It was the second buck attack in Texas in four days.

"Charlie Jackson Coleman, 61, of Caldwell, was hunting for antique bottles along the side of the road when he was attacked Monday by the buck, which was still standing over the body hours later when alerted sheriff's deputies arrived.

"The deputies said they shot the buck when it charged them.

"An autopsy determined that Coleman died from a crushed skull and suffered more than 100 hoof and puncture wounds over his back, stomach and face, police said.

" 'It was the most unbelievable thing I've ever seen,' Burleson County Chief Deputy Tom Randall said. 'It was more of a massacre than an attack.'

"On Friday, a buck charged three surveyors near Beaumont, 50 miles east of Houston, pitching one of them 20 feet into a creek. One of the men said he wrestled the deer to the ground and his partner slit the buck's throat with a machete."

Even allowing for the fact that this occurred in Texas, a state where people can tell some pretty tall tales -- he "wrestled the deer to the ground"? Yeah, right. -- I still think you will agree this is a very chilling tale.

The deer not only crushes one guy's skull and stomps him more than 100 times, but it stands over him for hours waiting to attack more people when they show up.

This shows evidence of not only murderous intent, but also cold calculation. And there is no shortage of stories about deer throwing themselves at cars as was the case with Rae Rossen. Mostly the deer get killed in these incidents, but not always. Sometimes the humans get it.

We have always thought this was a result of suburban sprawl, of people moving into areas where deer used to roam freely. Or that it was a result of deer over-population (a situation encouraged by the states to give hunters more targets to shoot at.)

Now, I don't think so. Remember the Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Birds"? It made clear that animals vastly outnumbered humans on this planet. And that if animals wanted to, they could easily wipe us out.

And could we blame them? Can we deny them their anger? What if every animal that humans have exploited, hunted or interfered with now turned against us? Take even the ones that look friendly: dolphins.

We think that when we put dolphins in a tank, like the one at the National Aquarium, we are studying them. But what if they are studying us? What if they are learning our habits, our patterns, and the routes we take to work each morning?

And don't assume that different species are incapable of working together. Don't assume they are as prejudiced as we are. Dolphins could be passing on information to deer, and the deer could pass it on to chickens.

Yes, chickens.

You know how many chickens we have in Maryland? Lots. I'll bet we have more chickens than people in Maryland. What are the implications of this? Take a look this story that was carried on the wires about a week ago:

"FOREST, Miss. (AP) -- About 4,000 chickens were thrown onto a highway and killed after the driver of an 18-wheel truck apparently fell asleep at the wheel and hit an embankment.

"The accident occurred early Wednesday morning and snarled traffic on state Route 35 for over seven hours, according to the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

"State Trooper Joe Nelson said driver Percy Solomon, 40, of Conehatta, was about a mile north of Forest when he fell asleep behind the wheel.

" 'It was terrible,' Nelson said."

Terrible, all right. But the story raises more questions than it answers. What caused the driver to fall asleep? Could it have been the chickens gently clucking him a lullaby, perhaps?

And why were 4,000 chickens so willing to give up their lives? Could it be that they were testing out battle tactics? Should all-out war break out between animals and people, chickens could block interstates. Cows could stampede through shopping malls. Monkeys could take over radio and TV stations. (Tell me you'd notice a difference.)

Wait, wait, wait, you say. This is not fair!

Yes, deer might be angry at hunters, but why did that deer kill an innocent bottle collector? And why was Rae Rossen's car attacked when Rae Rossen is an animal lover?

And why would chickens, dolphins, cows and monkeys be planning war on humans, when many humans are non-hunters, animal rights activists or vegetarians?

But, hey, I didn't say animals were fair. I just said they were angry.

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