Why Some Animals Eat Their Young

Posted on October 5, 2007. Filed under: Me and only ME ranting |

Why Some Animals Eat Their Young

At times I have wondered at and been appalled by the fact that some animals kill or go so far as to eat their young.  “Why would they do this?” I would silently scream, “Why would an animal want to do in something so cute and cuddly?”  With big heads and big eyes, baby animals are so cute as they stumble around discovering the world around them.  Sometimes they chase their tails, sometimes they jump up in the air with all four paws for no reason, and other times they just want to rough-and-tumble-it.  Most people can’t help but bubble over into vulgar displays of affection.

So why would animals want to lay waste to such adorableness?  It wasn’t until tonight that I think I finally realized why.  My wife asked me to take Titus to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum and to meet her there with some other friends with small children.  Being as I’ve never been to the museum before, I figured what the heck, I can only learn something while I’m there, right?  Yeppers, I sure did.

At first it was an absolute blast to be able to watch Titus run around, eyes wide, panting with anticipation, running from one exhibit to the next.  Then in a heartbeat he began pushing other kids out of the way to get to things, started grabbing tools out of other kids hands, climbing on different displays (that had prominently displayed signs stating in no uncertain terms, “NO CLIMBING!”).  I began to think I had the most difficult child in the world on my hands.  Even when Marcia was available to watch him, I began to despair.

But alas, my gloominess turned to glee as I saw what other children were doing to their parents.  Screaming, crying, kicking, shoving, running away from them.  I actually had to chuckle, my kid sure as heck ain’t that bad after all!  Some of the parents didn’t care, which made me think, “I ought to remember that kid’s face, I’ll probably see him at the detention center pretty soon.”  But the maelstrom of chaotic flailing limbs and banshee-like screams did not begin until it was announced that the Children’s Museum would be closing in just a few minutes.  You could almost hear in the announcer’s exasperated voice “So get the hell out!”

Marcia was to take the boy back to the house so when I finally lost track of them, I beat a hasty retreat.  I wandered out of the Agrosciences section on the fourth floor and found my way to the elevators.  Now I was in for a real treat.  Starting with the closing of the elevator doors, a sound began to emanate from the other side of the thin sheet metal.  I heard a young girl whining, “No, I want to go back that way!”  I smiled knowing the frustrations of the parent of that incorrigible little child.  As I watched the floor fade from four to three, I was once again met with the protestations of another little rugrat.  This time, on floor three, I heard a much louder tantrum (I believe it was a young boy) in which the young child screamed, “Go back!  I don’t wanna go!”

I suddenly had visions of descending through the rings of Dante’s version of Hell.  Moans, cries, protestations, yelling, cursing.  I was afraid Judas Iscariot or Brutus was going to appear on the elevator with me and put a reassuring arm around my shoulders to say, “We all end up going to the same place.”  Floor two flashed its bright gleaming redness into my eyes.  I could hear (through what I could now only assume was a portal to the netherworld) a bloodcurdling “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!”  At that pitch, all voices become unisex.  The fear built in my soul as the elevator began to come to a stop.  My hands began to tremble.  My throat became parched.  My eyes proceeded to well up with tears.  What would await me on the other side of this transdimensional doorway?  My ears were never meant to hear such things.

No longer were there any words involved.  All that surrounded me were the mingled growlings of parents and the spine-chilling screams of their spawn.  I don’t know if I’ve ever walked so fast in my life.  On my way out I noticed a sign that mentioned that the Children’s Museum was going to have a Haunted “House” type attraction from October 16-31.  I chuckled and thought to myself, “The 16th?  Ha!  They actually posted a typo.  Lord knows nothing could have been more frightening as this evening has been.”  Reaching for the soothing cool metal of the exit door’s handle, I knew I would soon be safe from the cacophony that was rising and falling like waves.

I walked across the Sky-Walk thingy over Illinois St. and had my welcoming Monte Carlo in sight.  At this time I noticed three sets of parents with their offspring in tow.  This is the moment I had my grand insight.  I realized that children today are conspiring with each other.  How else could the following event have happened so perfectly?  As the children stepped from the concrete onto the pavement of the Parking Garage, all three (from different families mind you) scattered in three different directions.  It was like watching the three horsemen riding off to lay waste to the earth.  I began fretfully to look around for the Fourth Horseman (for he is Death and Hell follows after him, little did I know that HE would end up being a little 3 year old girl).  Dodging in and out of parked cars, I watched as natural selection was bested time and again as the God’s precious little creations dove Matrix-like out of the way of oncoming traffic.  Meanwhile, the parents are frantically yelling, “STOP, STOP!”  At least one had the sense to yell out, “I’ll beat your behind if you don’t stop!”  I swear it was like hearing tires screech as that child ceased and desisted. 

I finally made it to the Monte Carlo and was able to put it into reverse, I checked carefully and pulled out slowly as to not do my part in proving Social Darwinism.  As I began to pull away at a crawl, I spotted her.  The Fourth Horseman I will refer to as Death!  Most people are fully aware of the patience of grandmothers with everyone, especially young children.  But this little one was going to be the death of her grandma.  Grandmother was trying to pull one way (I can only guess to the car) while the little imp was pulling the other way and pointing back to the museum.  Grandma had the situation well in hand.  Until that is, when the little one named Death decided to try a new tactic….running towards traffic.

In no time, the good being of Light who is the Grandmother snatched that little child up (did grandma conquer Death?) and swung her into her arms.  As she tried to cradle the little one, Death flailed like a spider monkey;  arms, legs, feet, hands….my god I believe I even saw a tail….they flew every which way. 

This is when I had the epiphany.  I understood it at last.  THIS is why animals sometimes will eat their young!  I can only think that the parents/grandparents did nothing of the sort tonight because they knew people were watching.  No doubt there was a whispered word of warning or two to some of the children, “You do that again and what happened to your bunny is going to happen to you….yum, yum!”  But for the most part it was an unspoken understanding of how things used to be back before we had social mores and CPS.

I hope you all enjoyed the story.  For those of you who are feeling upset, I hope that you could at least pick up on some of the sarcasm because I was laying it on pretty thick.  If you still can’t see the humor in the writing, then maybe you too are just proof of why some animals eat their young.

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