Topic: "Chassahowitzka" (2)
It seems just like yesterday, thought Frodo, when he sat in front of his television and watched the pilot in the Ultra-Light lift off and turn in a southerly direction. Behind the fragile craft, from the swampy wetlands of Wisconsin, rose 18 individuals following their perceived leader. For many days and nights the young Whooping Cranes would trail after the faux leader who would lead them on their first migration to their winter feeding grounds in Florida. Once this initial trip was completed, the young pilots could steer their own way back-and-forth with the change of seasons.
It is moments like this that make Frodo proud of the young scientists and naturalists who study, observe, test and act, for little money, and who take self-satisfaction in saving the work of God. It is certainly not comfortable to fly in an open air motorized glider through cold and often inclement weather. These are remarkable people, and they deserve much for what they accomplish.
A few days ago, a series of tornados tore through Central Florida, and the wilderness area known as Chassahowitzka felt the impact. 17 of the 18 young Whooping Cranes who had just completed their first migration to their winter feeding grounds were killed. Nature reclaimed that which belongs to her.
Frodo cannot help but grieve for those young people, and share their pain. "It is so strange," said Frodo, "that on the same day that five US Marines and 2 US Sailors were killed in the downing of another helicopter in Iraq, Frodo feels the loss of wild birds."
"Mr. Frodo," said Sam, "one Crane survived. Don't you think we should be glad for that, and that the lesson is that life goes on, despite the challenges laid before us?"
Frodo raised his head and said, "And for the young men and women who go up in helicopters and Ultra-Lights and come back safely unto Earth."
"Mr. Frodo," said Sam, "Why don't we suggest they name that Whooping Crane, say, 'Ichabod?'"