August 29, 2023

Today's SMH Moment

Sometimes all you can do is shake your head and feel sorry for someone.

Quite often there are geese lining the grass strip along the banks of Baltimore's down Jones Falls waterway.  Their presence is a welcome bit of nature in what is otherwise a cold, concrete and asphalt environment. This particular section of the river (shown in my photo, left) is just outside our offices in the City's Inner Harbor area.

This morning the geese were there, and in numbers just like this photo from 2017.  At one point I looked out my office window to see a man walking along the sidewalk (shown just off to the right of the photo) toward the bridge in the photo.  As he walked, this grown adult human picked up stones and sticks and heaved them at the geese, yelling and chasing them mercilessly until every one of them had flown away or into the river.  Then, satisfied with his harassment, he continued his walk and disappeared into the neighboring streets.  

I wasn't sure how to process what I was seeing.  The geese were not in his way, nor were they bothering anyone, frankly. But he persisted for the better part of a minute--even crossing back on his path to throw objects at the last remaining birds.  It was disgusting.  From my glass enclosed perch 30 feet in the air, I was helpless to stop him. But unable to look away.  All I could do is wonder what must have happened in that man's life to create that kind of animosity toward completely innocent beings.  It's an attitude that's completely foreign to me.  And I hope I never understand it... just pity it.

I checked the river all day. The geese never returned. I hope they come back. 

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