Here in the big city, I see a lot of pigeons. Which leads me to something else I see a lot of -- kids trying to kick pigeons. Which leads me to something else I see a lot of -- parents standing idly by, saying nothing, doing nothing, as kids try to kick pigeons. Which makes me want to kick the parent. Granted, the pigeons are usually too fast for the kid. Occasionally, however, precious pumpkin picks up a rock and tries to throw it at a pigeon. Parent stands by, glassy-eyed, saying nothing. And we wonder why kids grow up to be cruel.
Occasionally, I've spoken up. Once, in a park, I saw a kid trying to hit a swan that was hanging out by a lake. First off, a kid has no right to hit a swan or even try to hit a swan. Second of all, swans can be dangerous. In fact, in this case, the swan had turned around and was about to take a bite out of the kid. I would have gladly watched it happen -- kid deserved it -- except for one thing. The kid was only about 2. He had no idea what he was doing.
The parents, who stood by not paying attention like the morons they were, should have been telling this child, yes, even at 2, that animals deserve respect. That we all share the same planet. But they weren't -- and the kid was about to get chomped because of their passivity.
So I yelled, "Hey, watch out!" and when the parents and kid all turned and gaped at me, and the bird even gaped too, I yelled, "And what are you doing letting your kid hit a swan?"
They just gaped some more. I'm not totally sure they even knew what I was saying. It was clear, however, that they thought I was a crazy woman. I felt like one. Yes, you parents make me the crazy woman sometimes.
Here's the deal: Animals cannot speak up for themselves except to scratch and bite. And then when they do it, it's everyone else's fault but yours. It's the animals' fault. No, actually, it's YOUR fault. You are not parenting. So I will discipline your kid when you're not doing your job. I will do it to protect creatures who have every right to live their lives without being kicked or hit by a rock.
If you wonder why your kid is being picked on at school -- look around you. Parents let their kids kick helpless birds. Why wouldn't he or she also try to kick a human being? So far the message has been: Go ahead, kick away! I won't notice. I won't care.
Well, I will. I will say something. To you. To your kid. If you won't teach your child, then someone else will.
Do you ever say something to a kid trying to hurt an animal? What about the parent?
Image via MrGreen09/Flickr