A reason to be sinful

I often wonder what kind of religion birds have developed to explain the strange behavior of humans, specifically when we’re driving our vehicles. The next time you’re heading on down the highway, pay attention to the ravens, crows, and other little birds that stay just to the side of the road as they peck and forage for their next meal.

You’ll notice that, without fail, most of them will jump just to the other side of the white line as a car is coming. They won’t go any further because, as far as they’re concerned, the white line is a sacred boundary that the evil cars are unable to cross.

It doesn’t even matter if a car is driving outside the white line and would hit a bird standing just on the other side of it. The birds seem to expect that they’ll be protected by that strip of paint, regardless if it’s true or not.

I’m curious if they have some sort of savior, a bird that once died for them so that they may have that white line. Maybe it’s big bird from Sesame street, or maybe they’ve attached some kind of cosmic significance to hawks and their ability to scope out the scurrying field mice out in the pasture. I don’t know. I don’t speak bird.

But anything that is sufficiently mystifying will be explained by magic by those that don’t have the capacity to understand anything that is beyond superstition. I would assume that birds don’t have an overwhelming intellect rolling around in their tiny little craniums, but they’ve at least figured out cause and effect. That’s a start.

Perhaps some day they will build huge nests in trees and every Monday (when traffic is the worst), they will gather together and squawk and sing praises to the white line in all of its mercy and understanding. And when one of the birds is killed, even after following the rules and jumping across the line toward its promised protection, the other birds will say that the white line works in mysterious ways, and that it has a plan for which bird must stay, and which must go.

Then there will be an entire sect of birds that believe in the yellow line, and not the white. They’ll be yellow separatists and will violently oppose the ones who claim that their white line belief is the one true belief. Each side believes their religion is right, and know that anyone who would believe in anything different is going to die. And they deserve it, of course, since they’re worshiping the wrong line.

Soon, radical birds will start dropping rocks on the nests of other birds. Their only difference will be which line they worship. Every similarity is thrown out the door, and every difference is simply summed up by which line they like to hide behind. Thousands, perhaps millions of eggs, children, will be carelessly murdered for a choice they never even had a chance to make.

All because one bird stood up and said, “Hey, I think I’ve figured this out.”


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