This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. Have you ever been walking along…minding your own business…and someone starts waving?
Someone may run over to you, acting like they know you, and as you are trying to figure out how you know them, you wave! Then, they realize that they don’t know you at all. They thought you were someone else. Yep.
Well. As we were at the beach this weekend, we were the ones who started waving. There in the water, we saw him. We thought it was an otter friend being an otter. Doing otter things.
We admired him from afar. He was cute alright. An otter alright. But not.
As we waved and watched him being cute, we wondered why he didn’t wave back. Girl Person said maybe he didn’t recognize us from that far away. But as we got a little closer, I noticed he was not who I thought he was. This was no otter. Nope. But who was he? Boy Person was the one who solved the mystery. The mystery of this mysterious otter but not otter. He was a Nutria. A what?
A Nutria is an animal I had not met before. He seemed nice. But he was in fact a stranger. And I wanted to learn more about him. The persons said that Nutrias are very good swimmers. In fact, they can stay under the water for five minutes. But they eat a lot of vegetation. And persons are concerned there are too many and they don’t like them.
You see, even though Nutrias were not from here, some persons thought that it was a good idea to bring them here. Now that the persons think there are too many, they think it’s a problem. But I see many problems here. None of which are the fault of the ones affected.
Persons say the Nutria are destroying things. But who destroys the most things? The most places? Perhaps persons need to look more at themselves. And perhaps persons need to realize that they have a responsibility to do the right things in the first place instead of trying to clean up their mess later on.
Even though the Nutria was a stranger to me in the morning, I considered him my friend by evening.
Sometimes, we all feel out of place. Maybe we live somewhere we truly don’t want to be, but can’t change it right now. Maybe we just moved and don’t know anyone. Maybe we feel we are different and that no one understands us. And maybe that is true.
Like the Nutria, do you feel like you were put somewhere in your life that you don’t belong in? We have all felt like that. Whether we are a person or an animal.
Nature, the earth and its inhabitants share responsibility for taking care of our world. Mistakes can happen like persons bringing the Nutria where they did not belong. Now, lives suffer because of their mistakes. It is my hope that persons can learn to look at their mistakes and realize the animals are not the mistakes. And try to figure out better solutions that the easy solutions.
We may look at the world differently when we know we have the same feelings as the animals we share it with. All of us deserve to be happy. No matter who we are. So take a moment to dig a little deeper when you think you know it all..or even who you know.
–Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle