To: All Msg #51, Aug0193 11:01AM Subject: Bambi and Evolution In an article that has expir
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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Herb Huston)
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
"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.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank