Within a short driving distance we are fortunate to have the crown jewel of the West Virginia state park system, Pipestem State Park.* It’s where we do our self-directed aquarobics twice a week and where we occasionally enjoy a program of music or something at the open-air amphitheater. There too we have become acquainted with a man whom we have come to admire, the Park’s naturalist, who does bird walks, hikes to lookout points, and similar programs. A recent “chance” encounter with him led to this information.
On a bird walk, Jim told us, he updated a hiker who gasped at the “joyous” birdsong. No, the birds don’t always sing because their little birdbrains are happy or because the sun is shining; they sing to establish territory. “This branch is mine. You make your nest somewhere else. We can stay out of each other’s faces.”
A very young boy remarked, “Why can’t countries do that? Instead of killing each other when they meet at their boundaries, they could sing at each other.”
Need I say more? What a sorry travesty, when a four-year-old has keener insight into this tortured world than the “educated” “statesmen”.
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* So named because pre-Christian Native Americans valued the Thunbergia shrubs that grew locally. The shrub’s stems were hollow, and thus served ideally with clay pipes when Natives wished to smoke tobacco.