Monday, August 24, 2015

Wild Thing

Have you ever watched one of those nature programs on the discovery channel or animal planet? You know, the kind of program where some ernest caretaker finds themself suddenly—perhaps accidentally—in charge of some small wild thing that has comes into their life?

They care for it, raise it, teach it, and come to love it it—and they are careful not to tame it—because they know that if they do things right, one day this creature will return to the wild. While the raising is rewarding and sweet, we know this time is all too short. Eventually, there are too many changes necessary for the place where the creature was lovingly raised to continue to be a support. That day they knew would come does come, and they all realize that it's time for that creature to go out into the world.

So they look to find a place where that not-so-small creature can transition to life on its own. They make preparations—finding supplies for the purpose, and then go to the place—a good place that the caretaker knows from long ago—it seems right. There are others like this one there. They make a place and leave the creature unfettered.

Full of life, the creature goes out to explore its new surroundings. After a bit it comes back, both the caretaker and the creature are pleased. The first night in the new place passes (un)eventfully enough. The next day, they meet one last time. The creature has a wilder look in its eye, makes its goodbye, then runs off with its kind kicking up its heels.

It was that kind of weekend.