Many of you have wondered what sort of posts I would reserve for Crash Landing, now that I have a "serious" blog. Well start your engines...
This article on Komodo dragons in the WSJ really got me mad. First, I was incensed at the arrogant Western environmentalists who screwed up this island's ecosystem and frankly don't give a dang. This is presumably the angle that the WSJ editors were foisting on us, and it worked (on me at least).
But I also got mad at these villagers, and especially this father:
A year ago, a 9-year-old named Mansur was one such victim. The boy went to answer the call of nature behind a bush near his home in Kampung Komodo. In broad daylight, as terrified relatives looked on, a dragon lunged from his hideout, took a bite of the boy's stomach and chest, and started crushing his skull.
"We threw branches and stones to drive him away, but the dragon was crazed with blood, and just wouldn't let go," says the boy's father, Jamain, who, like many Indonesians, goes by only one name.
Are you freaking kidding me?! Your 9-year-old son gets bitten by a huge lizard--and then it starts smacking his head against rocks, as the article described earlier--and your response is to throw branches and stones at it?!?!
These things typically weigh about 150 pounds. As far as I know, their claws aren't as scary as those of, say, a tiger (but I could be wrong about that). I realize I shoot my mouth off a lot where it's safe on the Internet, but there is no doubt in my mind that I would at least grab that monster's head so it couldn't smack my kid's head against the rocks.
If a guy can rescue his nephew from a shark, a father should be able to save his son from a Komodo dragon.* He should at least try something besides throwing sticks and rocks at it.
*In fairness, these people might have ascribed religious significance to the animal, and that may have influenced their response.