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Shell Shocked: Sanibel wildlife convenes emergency meeting

By Staff | Apr 14, 2020

Art Stevens

Sanibel wildlife were frantic and convened an emergency meeting. There was deep concern about the coronavirus and its effect on humans. The wildlife understood that although it wasn’t directly affected by the virus, the humans who routinely come to see the wildlife strut, fly and do their stuff were.

The wildlife gathered at a swamp in the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and came from such far regions of Sanibel as the lighthouse and the Mad Hatter. Al, the alligator who was this year’s chairman of the board, pounded his tail and the meeting begun.

Al: Good afternoon gaggles, coveys and flocks. I’m sorry to have ruined your hunting and feeding time but we have an emergency on our hands. There’s some sort of virus going on among humans and all the places they go to are closed.

Osprey: Chirp, chirp. What does this mean for us?

Al: This means that practically no one will be paying attention to us wildlife. Our livelihood is based on our entertaining humans with our flying, leaping, eating and mere appearance. Without human contact we are left to just look at each other.

Egret: That’s terrible. I apply make up every morning for hours just so those humans will think I look fantastic. And then they feed me crumbs. That’s what I live for.

Dolphin: I exercise every day so that my jumps out of the water are higher and higher. The applause I get is always music to my ears. If humans aren’t around then who would applaud for me – you, Al? You, osprey? You egret?

Iguana: Let’s not fight among ourselves. We need to figure this out. I usually show up on golf courses. I strut around and always have a good laugh when a human detects me and yells to his friends. I then slither away ready to pounce on the next set of golfers. But if there’s no one golfing …

Al: Order, order. We can’t all squawk at once. This crisis has made it clear to all of us that we wildlife need humans nearby to exist. Without them we’re a bunch of nobodies.

Gecko: My fellow geckos and I have the most direct experience with humans. We’re in their backyards, their decks and sometimes in their beds. Humans love to see us climb their pool screens and stick our jelly necks out to inspire their awe. I say the only solution is for all of us to simply go into the homes of whichever humans are left in Sanibel.

Al: I’m not sure about that. The ground rules between our wildlife species and theirs is that we always keep our distance unless we’re stepped on by a coyote and need to be treated at CROW. Good fences make good neighbors.

Coyote: My family and I are relatively new to Sanibel. How we wound up here I’ll never know. We thought we were headed to Africa but somehow made a wrong turn. Those damned GPSs. My vote is to invade humans’ homes and make ourselves comfortable. Then we would have the close contact with them we thrive on.

Al: I’d like to point out that we may not have a quorum here today. Notably absent are the AFLAC duck and the Geico gecko. Those two make a lot of money off humans and live in palatial residences. They are so famous that they don’t even consider themselves to be wildlife anymore. But that’s a subject for another day.

Osprey: Look at the time. I’ve got to go back to my nest on top of an AT&T signal tower to feed my little ones.

Al: And I’ve got some frogs to saut. Let’s adjourn this meeting and reconvene in two weeks. We have some hard decisions to make.