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Forty Years with Birds and Dogs 

Wild Or Alien Or What?

What if there were aliens living in our solar system? Aliens native to our solar system, from some other world we hadn't yet discovered. Would they be after our resources, eager to enslave us, or better yet, eat us? Would they be wild, in our sense of the word ? I don't think so. Not if they are like most wild animals on Earth--those not on the hunt, driven by hunger. When well fed and respected, wild animals (and the wild birds I've known) recognize a friendly gesture--a peanut placed on the porch railing, a soft click and an extended hand to guide them out the door when they find themselves trapped inside the house, a crippled chicken tossed over the fence, just killed by two young hungry, hopeful coyotes.

I have known what is might be to be wild, like when my children were threatened or in danger. I have known fear, like when the seven-foot bear reared up in the bushes, just as I stood up. If she had attacked I would have fought back with all I could. I would go wild. As it was, she got my message--hands up and a slow turn away. "I'm out of here, Mama Bear." There is a universal language among living creatures on Earth, a recognition of Other Life. I believe it's a universal language, one that aliens would understand, too, if they were not starving.

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