Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Buzzard Worship for Dummies: Origins
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" One True Religion? Then what are all the others, fairy tales? Okay, then:
Fairy tales can come true
It can happen to you,
If you're young at heart.
Great song, Geezer Anne.
Boy, are you a lucky reader! We are about to embark on another of our "Dummies" series, this one all the essential information you need to know in order to worship buzzards!
Okay, now Anne is losing even her most dedicated audience.
Buzzards, indeed. Ugly, stinky, scary, bald, evil-eyed scavengers who rip up road kill. Who would worship those disgusting raptors? ...
Mr. Peabody, is our Time Machine ready?
Yessirree, Sherman, and off we go to the deep past of human history!
Here we are in Neolithic times. We hunt, we gather, we die of broken legs and crushed ribs instead of cancer and heart disease.
And how do we get those awful injuries? By hunting, of course. Take a look at that Wooly Mammoth over there. Huge as a house ... err ... cave. And we've gotta bring that sucker down with some primitive spears.
Chances are pretty darned good that Og or Mog or Cousin Gog is gonna get stomped or chomped by that mammoth. We might bag the kill, but it's gonna have its price.
And this isn't just true for the mammoth. Take your average Ice Age wart hog. He ain't the cute little piggy in Charlotte's Web. You go one-on-one with him, it's 50-50 you come out the eater and not the eatee.
Established: Hunting is dangerous, often deadly, and doggoned difficult.
Og, your salvation is flying in the sky.
You watch the vultures. They have a sophisticated sense of smell, and they circle in groups, getting ever closer to their dinner. A dead animal doesn't have to smell distinctly gross to get their attention. They sniff, take a chance, if it moves they shove off.
If it doesn't move, they eat it. Or Og eats it, if he follows them and gets there first.
What's that you say? The human race was founded on buzzard leftovers?
Of course not. But today's African lions often use vultures as clues to find dead or dying animals. With an advancing brain, Og and his buddies would have done the same thing. It's better to harvest a slightly fragrant mammoth that's already dead than to go up against a live one. Hey, you've got fire, right? You're gonna cook it! With no broken legs!
So the human race owes at least an assist to the vulture.
Isn't it about time we show this distinguished winged marvel the respect it deserves?
Our operators are standing by to take your call.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS