Monday, December 24, 2007

My Christmas Present to You

Hello Darlings, and Merry Christmas.

As a filmmaker, you know I love STORIES, so my two presents to y'all today are the following stories. They're about furry little animals, which I know the lesbians will love, and I really do need to give the girls something because they almost all but deserted me during my SWEENEY TODD vlogging.

I'm not much for any of those Christmas stories (except Rudolph, because seriously, that is a gay story! I mean, he never played Reindeer games because he was in his room listening to Cher records and playing with Barbie's beauty station), but in the spirit of those seasonal stories, these ask you to consider looking beyond discrimination to extend basic human kindness.

The first story comes from Shreve Stockton, a San Fran ex pat living in Wyoming.

This is the star. Are you scared? It's a coyote!

I ask, because I live in Los Angeles and the coyote hate is pretty strong here. Mainly because, well they tend to munch on small dogs and cats in the highly populated hill areas. I've also heard that they're just creepy looking. Any which way, people just don't like them. Look at that picture and what do you feel? Then tell me what you feel by the time you finish reading the story below!

I was always a bit fascinated with coyotes because, well where I come from - Miami - we don't have coyotes. So the idea of living in a metropolis amongst wild animals, well it was interesting to me.

I constantly spot these critters on my drives over the hill to the city (for those of you not from Los Angeles, I live somewhere called The Valley, which is literally "over the hill" from Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Downtown LA. I'm about a twenty minute drive to WeHo, the gay town. All the cool people live in the Valley, it's very chique). Anyway, I've come to observe these guys with a certain interest. I mean, there they amongst us! If you think about it, this was their turf first and we're the ones that moved in. These guys just didn't leave, but instead acclimated much to the dismay of small animal owners.

They may look mean or sneaky, but really they are just survivors. They have learned to adapt and they are just feeding themselves and doing the best they can with those pesky intruders - well, you know, us.

Anyway, enough preamble.

Shreve adopted a 10 day old coyote found outside her cabin in Wyoming, it's parents shot for killing sheep.
The following photos are her photo essay of raising the little guy, which she named Charlie. The interesting thing is watching the relationship between the coyote and her cat, Eli. The cat had no use for the coyote, and he really needed to work his way into his good graces for months before the two became brothers.

After a while, Shreve put a collar on Charlie so the neighbors might think twice about shooting it. They have a competition in her town once a year where the person that shoots the most coyotes wins.

"Please kitty, like me. Accept me!"

Finally friends.

If you like these photos, check out the entire photo essay, week by week including a blog from Shreve. The Daily Coyote The whole story is really quite moving and the photos are sensational.

The second story I read in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC about ten years ago and it really touched me.

The above photo was taken by photographer Mark Thomas in Manitoba, Canada. The sled dogs were tied up for the night when a polar bear appeared on the horizon. This was unusual, but it had been a horrible summer and in these barren conditions the polar bears have been known to travel wider distances to find food. The sled dogs were easy pickings for this hungry bear.

The photographer readied his camera for the natural yet gruesome sight of nature that was certainly to occur. All the dogs were barking wildly and showing their teeth.  All accept one. The polar bear ignored the snarling dogs and approached this one instead, the one wagging it's tail.  Then something odd happened.

The photos tell the rest of the story - the two played.

A scientist said that this proved that the need for play was just as important as the need for food for these animals.  So although hungry, the polar bear just came down for some play time.

For those of you that are dense, the sub text here is go into the world with love, extend friendship even to those you might judge and surprising things may happen.

Merry Christmas everyone. Peace on earth and good will towards all men.

2 pithy remarks. Click here to Comment:

Sparrow said...

so incredibly cute.......

Michael said...

I grew up in Riverside and there were several orchards around our house, so coyotes were something I was used to seeing. They are truly beautiful.

I have lived in Burbank for the least 5 years and the fires in Griffith Park this year brought a lot of wild animals down into our neighborhoods to scour for food. Unfortunately, one every attacked and ate my thing we have to understand they were here before us and it was us who encroached on them. They are only doing what they do best: trying to survive.

These pictures are precious. Thank you for sharing.