Rock-a-bye Birdie

Submitted by Ralph E. Shaffer
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Thursday, 14 September 2017

The indigenous inhabitants of an as yet uncharted island were plagued by an inexplicable increase in the size of the tern population. A few of the noisy birds had been bad enough, but these terns were a small, inedible variety of the species and they threatened to drive out the native fowl, a major source of food for the residents. The elders held a conference at which it was decided that the terns must be eliminated. Since the locals had no poison and the bow and arrow was ineffective against such small birds, the most effective method of killing terns was to hit them with small rocks, of which there were many on the island.

When their decision was announced and preparation began for killing the terns, animal rights activists on the island protested. Despite civil disobedience and mass arrests of protesters, the killing of the birds went on. Realizing that the slaughter would continue until the birds were extinct, the protesters offered a compromise: allow a small number to survive and then keep the tern population in check.

The response of the elders was adamant:

"They would leave no tern unstoned."

In a last ditch effort, the bird lovers offered a final solution. They would feed the offending birds marijuana, put them on a high, and thereby lessen the noise. The inhabitants agreed, provided that everyone of the offending birds would be drugged. The bird lovers accepted, promising that:

"They would leave no tern unstoned."


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