Share and share alike
The press release had to be someone’s idea of a sick joke. It couldn’t be true that Montana asked the state of Wyoming if they would share some of their prairie dogs with them. That would be like Colorado, Idaho or Oregon asking California to send them more of their nerds, slackers and know-it-all old hippies!
I checked out the story and it’s a fact that officials in Montana did indeed ask Wyoming Fish and Game if they would let them trap up to 100 of their prairie dogs and “translocate” them to replenish Montana’s “sparse population.” To the surprise of no one, Wyoming said that they’d be more than happy to help Montana out with their shortage of prairie rats. (Prairie “dogs” are much more closely related to rats than they are your average Poodle or Chihuahua.) The good folks in the Cowboy State, which has the highest concentration of prairie dogs of any state, must be laughing their heads off at the prospect of unloading some of their rats on Montana.
In making the magnanimous gesture the Wyoming official said, “We’re the obvious choice as a donor state.”
A donor state! That’s a good one! It makes Wyoming sound like they are donating a kidney or a liver instead of a bunch of rat/dogs.
While I’m happy for Wyoming I feel bad for residents of Montana who will soon be overrun with the darn things. But the story did give me an idea that I call “Your Fair Share.” Under my plan donor states would export their problems to other states and be rid of them! A bankrupt state like California could trap washed up movie stars, nose-ringed rappers and members of their legislature and pawn them off on a state with a sparse population of whackos – like Utah. Colorado could send a gaggle of ponytailed bicycle riders to Florida who would in turn would send blue-haired-retirees, who don’t know how to drive or vote, to Nebraska. Nevada could export their excess of hookers and blackjack dealers to states like Maine who don’t usually see such things. Massachusetts could send something they have way too much of, like members of the Kennedy family, to Kansas.
As good as all that sounds I’m quite sure that the real money will be made in sharing endangered species. After all, it really isn’t fair that the last time I looked just five states in the far west had over 500 endangered species while the entire northeast part of this country had only 39. (Isn’t it funny how so many endangered species prefer to live in the west? I wonder, is it because they are so smart? But if they are so smart, why are they endangered?)
The biggest problem I see with Wyoming sending their rat/dogs to Montana is that western states shouldn’t be inflicting their problems on other western states but should be sharing with the east instead. I’m sure that landowners in the west would be more than happy to sell some spotted owls, three legged salamanders and fairy shrimp to the original 13 colonies. In a spirit of sharing I’m almost positive that corrupt western politicians could be persuaded to sell some of their yellow billed cuckoos and suckers to Washington DC. Although I must admit, sending large-mouthed suckers and cuckoos to Washington DC is a bit redundant. It’s also not fair that rural people in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, California and other western states get to live in fear of mollycoddled bears, mountain lions and wolves. Shouldn’t people in Philadelphia and Boston get to share in the fear of having their kids and pets attacked too?
As we were all told in kindergarten, we must all share and share alike.
I know what you’re thinking: What would states like New York have to share with the rest of us? That’s easy. They currently have an excess of investment bankers, out-of-work stock brokers and corrupt CEO’s who could be sent west. After all, if we’re going to trap lions, wolves cuckoos and suckers we’ll need some bait.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the Oct. 23, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News