Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Younger, Prettier?

Once upon a time, there was a settled, committed couple. They’d been together for years and had twice become Mom and Dad to sets of triplets (triplets!). Incredibly, they seemed to be on their way to another set again this spring.

Then a younger woman showed up at their house and started hanging around. Mom alternately tried to befriend her and get rid of her, turning at times to vicious behavior. Then, suddenly, it was Mom who was gone -- out of the house and away from the young ones, who immediately regressed. Next thing anyone knew, there’s Dad and the new girl, taking up together.

I hear your response: "Such a cliched story! Give me something surprising."

Well, would it help to remove the personification -- to realize that the story’s characters aren’t human but rather American bald eagles? Their unfolding drama surprised everyone who watched the Norfolk Botanical Garden’s Eagle Nest-cam over the past week.

Scientists are already hoping for new eggs from the new couple this season. I’m a scientist too, but I need a little more time to remove the last traces of personification before I wish those birds my best.

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