Wednesday, April 05, 2006


We have birds nesting in our dryer duct. They're not any pretty birds or anything, just those black ones with the bluish-green tint to their feathers like they've been slopping around in oil. Russell has taken quite the interest in them, and I've realized that their young are doomed to be killed by him when they start learning to fly. This doesn't bother me at all.

I like rabbits and squirrels and other fluffy creatures of the earth. My wife does too, and she gets mad when I give Russell the opportunity to catch them. It does not seem to follow, for me, that because you like the prey you must avoid killing it. I have the suspicion that hunters of deer very much like deer, and big game hunters have a very healthy respect and love for their particular prey animals.

Russell is built for killing rabbits--he's probably half whippet, and that's what they're bred for. If we lived on a farm, I'm sure he'd kill a rabbit a week. It seems wrong to completely deny him his natural instincts.

Frank Herbert wrote in God Emperor of Dune that the predator does not hate his prey. The predator in fact does something quite beneficial for the species of the prey as a whole.

In any case, I just hope the presence of Russell in our backyard will contribute to the extinction of birds that nest in dryer ducts and make a lot of damn noise.


  1. Hmmm, are these some initial, experimental steps in the direction of a flirtation with Social Darwinism, perhaps?

    Such an amalgam of potential contradictions...intriguing!

    (The dog isn't named after Bertrand, I assume!)

  2. Actually, I believe the dog goes by his middle name. I'm pretty sure his real name is Kurt.

  3. Yes, his name is Kurt Russell Hoffart, and he is named after the greatest under-rated actor of all time.

    We didn't get to Bertrand Russell in Philosophy 201. Sorry.

  4. That's not a bad idea. We had some birds nesting inside our garage - the damned roofers punched a lovely hole into the eave. I should have let the hounds loose on the roof, that would've scared off those noisy, pooping, feathered squatters.

  5. Ah, sorry. No offense intended to KRH!

    We didn't get to Bertrand Russell in Philosophy 201. Sorry.

    No need to be sorry, and it's never too late to make his acquaintance; probably can find him hanging out in the library? : )

    What ever happened to "be kind to your fine feathered friends! A [bird] may be somebody's mo-o-other"? This have anything to do with avian flu fears?

    [In Grammar Grinch mode: it's "damned noise", btw. Participles are the only verb forms which can be used as adjectives to modify nouns, not bare infinitives.]

    ("ibiudar"!? Do you think that's the Blogger word verification trying to to diss me?)