rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,


I have long been aware of the gradual reduction in the number of beast sightings I have experienced over my years in this place.There was a time when the foxes visited my block, and coyotes often howled in the orchard. Even when they no longer came, the raccoons still frequented the neighborhood more nights than not, and deer were not infrequent guests. It has just occurred to me that it has been weeks since I've seen any wildlife other than the common birds. Even the squirrels who once were so common that it was not unusual to count more than a dozen in a day have become scarce. The human population of the neighborhood has not increased by much in the years I've been here, yet the animals who once shared their territory with us have come to be an infrequent sight. I think it must be that the few houses built nearby in the last few years have blocked crucial paths, and that the number of cars has increased much more than the number of people. Only the birds are free to avoid the impediments and hazards brought by these changes. And though this process has been going on for years, it seems to have accelerated in recent months. I can't even remember the last time I saw a squirrel. As I recall, there were three deer a month or so ago, and a couple of raccoons late one night in May. I now see more wild animals on television than I do in real life.

They must still be out there in the surrounding forest, though, drinking from the sluggish summer streams and the heat-shrunken pools. They will not visit the new Walgreen's, or the seven-screen movie theater, or the Quizno's (opening soon.) We have our dogs who bark in the night, and the cats drowsing on porch rails, and the birds who fly oblivious to our passing cars, and flash through the spray of our lawn sprinklers when the afternoons are hot. But I would like to hear the foxes once again, and see their eyes glowing from the darkness of the still streets.

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