To: All Msg #51, Aug0193 11:01AM Subject: Bambi and Evolution In an article that has expir

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From: Herb Huston To: All Msg #51, Aug-01-93 11:01AM Subject: _Bambi_ and Evolution Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA From: huston@access.digex.net (Herb Huston) Message-ID: <23h3ur$fpp@access.digex.net> Newsgroups: talk.origins In an article that has expired here, Mickey Rowe mentioned "The Bambi Syndrome," an item by Matt Cartmill that appeared in _Natural History_ 102(6):6-12 (June 1993). Most of the article is about the influence of the Disney movie on hunting, but Cartmill mentions an evolutionary message that I had missed when I read the book more than 30 years ago. In the penultimate chapter, Bambi meets the old stag (his father) for the last time. The old stag suggests that they investigate the source of three "thunderclaps" even though it's "where He is now." When they reach the scene: "Here He is," said the old stag, moving to one side. Through the bare branches, Bambi saw Him lying on the trampled snow a few steps away. An irresistable burst of terror swept over Bambi and with a sudden bound he started to give in to his impulse to flee. "Halt!" he heard the old stag calling. Bambi looked around and saw the stag standing calmly where He was lying on the ground. Bambi was amazed and, moved by a sense of obedience, a boundless curiosity and quivering expectancy, he went closer. "Come near," said the old stag, "don't be afraid." He was lying with His pale, naked face turned upward, His hat a little to one side on the snow. Bambi, who did not know anything about hats, thought His horrible head was split in two. The poacher's shirt, open at the neck, was pierced where a wound gaped like a small red mouth. Blood was oozing out slowly. Blood was drying on His hair and around His nose. A big pool of it lay on the snow which was melting from the warmth. "We can stand right beside Him," the old stag began softly, "and it isn't dangerous." Bambi looked down at the prostrate form whose limbs and skin seemed to mysterious and terrible to him. He gazed at the dead eyes that stared up sightlessly at him. Bambi couldn't understand it all. ... "Do you see, Bambi," the old stag went on, "do you see how He's lying there dead, like one of us? Listen, Bambi, He isn't all-powerful as they say. Everything that lives and grows doesn't come from Him. He isn't above us. He's just the same as we are. He has the same fears, the same needs, and suffers in the same way. He can be killed like us, and then He lies helpless on the ground like all the rest of us, as you see Him now. There was a silence. -- Felix Salten, _Bambi: A Life in the Woods_, Simon and Schuster, New York, translated by Whittaker Chambers (Hiss's nemesis and Nixon's benefactor). This episode does not appear in the movie.

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