Life and Death Struggle

Today several events came together to remind me of the brutal and frightening world we live in, where life and death situations come up daily and constantly, for us, and for the animal world which we are a part of.

Within the last week I have been reading the book “Gates of Fire” by Steven Pressfield. While a book review will be forthcoming when I finish reading it, I can share now that the story is historical fiction about ancient Sparta during the Hellenic/Persian war when the Persians overran the “west” of the ancient world – Greece. The Spartans were amazingly disciplined, heroic and sacrificial. During some battles against an enemy that outnumbered them ten, twenty or more times, the Spartan warriors, protecting their homeland, heritage, women and children, went forth into certain death and considered it the ultimate honor. The insanity of war, in ancient times, as today, stands out naked, stark and incomprehensible.

This morning I looked out onto our patio to find our largest koi, an orange and white fish about 15 inches long and weighing many pounds, dead and ripped open on the concrete. Some substantial animal must have pulled him out of the pond in the early morning and killed him. Only very little of him was eaten. I don’t know if it was a raptor, an opossum (even though it seems impossible that an opossum could have lifted him) or some other predator, some animal was looking for a meal and found our fish. I eat fish (sushi, fish and chips, etc.) and never think twice about it, but this koi was our pet for the last three years, and seeing him dead there this morning really hurt. It was a sad day.

After I had cleaned up the mess on the patio, I sat down at my desk to check email. A colleague had sent me the video below. This is the most amazing hunting and animal kingdom survival story I have ever seen. Make sure you watch the whole thing.

After watching this, before getting ready to go to work, I took out the trash and as I walked by our pool, I noticed a tiny drowned mouse floating in our pool.

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