Predators, autographed caps, and The Elms event tomorrow

It was cold and windy in Amherst today. Traditionally, this is the weekend I pull the mower deck off my little tractor so I can attach the snow blower for winter. Just before dark, I realized the wind had knocked down enough leaves that I should clean the yard one last time.

Walking out back, I cranked up the tractor and sat there until it was warm enough to spin the mower. By then, it had gotten dark. I’ve already talked about the technique for leaf cleanup – counterclockwise circles – so I won’t go into that again.

As I circled the house, I saw tonight’s blog topic, gazing back at me. Tonight, I’d like to talk about food. Specifically, us as food.

As I ran the tractor around the house there was a spot where the headlamps swept the woods, and every pass I saw the same set of eyes, glowing green at me. Those of you who live in the city may ask, “Did you go back inside?” My brother was recently featured in a NY Times story about life in the country, and Things with Eyes That Shine in the Night.

Those of you who read my bear story – a few weeks back - may wonder if I got my shotgun. I did not, because tonight’s visitor was not a bear. I continued leafing, unworried. Why? Because I am secure in the knowledge that around here, I am at the top of the food chain. Not the thing with the green eyes. Me.

Thinking about the Thing, my brother, and the Times article, I realized that city dwellers do not have my assurance, for they are not at the top of the food chain, and they know it. To them, being observed from the woods instills panic and fear. In a city, the residents are #2 on the food chain, above dogs (#3) and pigeons (#4) The top of the food chain is occupied by Predatory Criminals (#1).

We do not have many predatory criminals in the Amherst woods, and many law abiding residents of our wooded lands are dangerous if attacked, so the environment is generally hostile to Predatory Criminals. And that’s why they remain in cities, where the residents are by and large unarmed.

It’s actually a mystery to me. So many animals have been hunted to extinction. Why haven’t city dwellers hunted Predatory Criminals to extinction? Perhaps generations of city dwellers have lost the hunting instinct, or perhaps cities have too much abundance of food and shelter.

* * * *

Now, lets more on to Shameless Commerce. Jan – our Robison Service event support person – has listed a bunch of my Free Range Aspergian caps on eBay. Go on over if you want a signed Aspergian cap for a holiday gift.

I hope this huge link works:


* * * *

And tomorrow . . . Elms College. I’ll be part of a panel discussion on life with autism. Come on by if you’re in the area. Two to Four, in the library.

* * * *

For the motorheads among you, this is the current version of what I clean and mow the yard with:


Holly Kennedy said…
Hmmmm... Green eyes observing me from a dark forest? I think I'd slip a baseball bat onto the seat next to me and THEN I'd feel fine. Otherwise, I'd be watchful and curious, but nervous all the same :)
John Robison said…
Why don't city dwellers do that, I wonder? Walk the parks with baseball bats.
Anonymous said…
John, I can't thank you enough for your book. I have a son with AS who went undiagnosed for 35 yrs. It was only 3 weeks ago that it was mentioned in passing that he may have this condition. I've been researching everything I could and came across your book. I couldn't put it down. Fascinating reading, gave me insight into the way my son's mind works. It's without a doubt that this is what my son has and your book has opened up a world of new understanding. We're neighbors, John, I live in Southampton and can't wait to see you at the Elms today. Again thank you from the bottome of my heart for finally giving me the answers.

Hi, Diane! Did we meet you today?
Anonymous said…
Yes, Kim, that was me that you met outside the Elms. After hearing you speak, you also need to consider writing a book, it too could be on the best seller list alongside of John's.
jae said…
John wrote:
"I hope this huge link works:"


it shrinks long links into ones that are about 25 characters in length. you'll love it!

Popular Posts