OK, with all that is going on maybe it is time to enjoy a little tale.

I decided to turn the TV off and watch a little nature. A raven flew into sight and landed on the branch of a spruce tree. It had a waffle in its mouth. Now that is not something you see every day.

I got my binoculars out and had a good look at the waffle. It seemed to be a perfect good waffle. It was just waiting to be toasted. With a little butter and syrup and a side order of bacon, it could be someone’s breakfast. We are talking about a waffle I would be prepared to eat, except for the fact I did not know where it came from.

It is possible someone put it out for the birds to eat, but it is also possible that it came from inside a garbage bag that had been carelessly stored. The raven may have torn open a bag and the waffle just fell out. So, the raven grabbed it and flew off. Now, it was sitting in a tree, looking around for a place to hide it. The bird was caching food to be eaten later.

Tales from the Dump

A lot of critters will make food caches. I have seen ravens, squirrels and whisky jacks all do it. All in the same area. As do many other critters, big and small. From bears to mice and from ants to bees. Many will also raid or steal from each other’s caches if they spot them. It is kind of comical in a way. Working all together they have an integrated food management system. Oddly enough, by caching food and by taking it from other caches, they are really distributing the food around. And since most critters poop, they also feed the forest, the plants and the trees.

I watched as the raven buried the waffle beneath some snowy leaves. Judging by the tracks the next day, it appeared that a fox came along and ate it, sometime during the night. The raven was no doubt disappointed. Yet that is one of the things about a new snowfall. It lets you improve your tracking skills, and it shows you what is going on when you are not looking.

Now consider the waffle. It had already gone through a lot of hands. Someone had to grow the wheat and other farmers grew the other ingredients. Probably a chemical company and its workers provided some of the preservatives. Then someone milled the wheat, someone else in a factory processed the ingredients into the waffle. It was packaged and a whole bunch of people did stuff to produce the packaging. Then it was shipped North and a truck driver drove them.

Several mines contributed the metals for the machinery and the truck. Plus, a whole lot of people built the truck, machinery and buildings involved. A small army of people built the roads for the truck to travel down and oil and gas workers produced the fuel. Then the store unloaded the truck and put the package of waffles on the shelves. Then whoever bought the waffles took it home and for some strange reason decided to throw one of them in the garbage. If you ever take a good look at what people throw out you might be amazed and horrified.

The waffle I was observing, somehow escaped that fate. It ended up in a raven’s beak and then a fox’s stomach. Not sure how the waffle felt about that but at least it didn’t end up in the dump.

Thousands of people worked to get that waffle made and delivered to Yellowknife. Then a series of events happened so a fox could end up eating it. I think maybe the ravens and the foxes should be considered as Yellowknife residents and counted on the census. Apparently, they both like waffles.

So that is the waffle tale, which proves that the world works in mysterious ways.


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