You would have to pay me big money to get me to put real clothes on and drive my kid to school every morning. Either that or threaten my kid with wolves. Yes, I said wolves. That's the big threat at the bus stop to kids in one New Mexico town. So what have the parents done? They've built "kid cages" to keep their kids safe from wolves.
And you thought a pedophile in a white van maybe, possibly sneaking around the neighborhood was the scariest thing that could pop up at the bus stop? Guess again!
I actually thought this was a sick Halloween joke when I heard it on the radio, until I did some Googling and found the story in National Geographic. Pretty reputable magazine right? They say it's legit: parents have actually built wooden and mesh "cages" for their kids to camp out in while they're waiting for the school bus. Apparently the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to extend Endangered Species Act protections for an estimated 75 Mexican wolves in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona, and parents are freaked.
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Of course the conservation-minded mag pooh poohs the idea that wolves are actually going to attack the kids and basically calls it all a bunch of hogwash.
Maybe they're right. Maybe the wolves are just misunderstood creatures that need a place to live too, gosh darnit.
But I'm a mom who lives in a rural area myself, and as accustomed as we are to wild critters (even scary ones like bears and coyotes) running around, I would be freaked! Heck, when my daughter's bus stop was a quarter mile from our house, I'd drive down to pick her up because we live in the northeast, and I didn't want her walking in the snow and sleet (and OK, I didn't want to stand in the snow and sleet EITHER).
But can we get back to these cages?
Are they really enough? We're talking about wolves who -- may or may not -- want to tear these kids limb from limb.
I have to say if it came down to "build a cage of wood and mesh to keep the vicious animals out" or drive my kid to school, I don't care how far it is, I'd be all "buckle up, kiddo!"
How about you? What would it take for you to say, "No way, no how am I letting my kid ride the bus"?
Image via Dana Hoff/Beateworks/Corbis