What was Noah thinking?

Staff Columnist

“Build an ark,” the Good Lord said,

“And pack it two by two

Of everything that lives and breathes,

Leave even not a few.”


So Noah did as he was told,

Good servant of the Lord,

And sailed off for 40 days,

While rain upon them poured.


And when at last the sun emerged,

He knew his job was done;

The ark discharged its living horde

And left not even one.


A beautiful plant mysteriously appeared in our bird bath recently, and the question was put to the queen of all things backyardish, my wife.

“Because of the ZIKA virus,” she explained, “we can no longer have standing water, in which mosquitos lay their eggs.”

The logic is inescapable.  For the foreseeable future, we must put up with thirsty, dirty birds, thanks to Noah’s inclusion of two mosquitos on the ark.

What could Noah have been thinking?  That they do not take up very much room?  That they do not eat much?

As a matter of fact, they spent the voyage nibbling on Noah and his wife, and their descendants have been feasting on humans ever since.

Of what use are mosquitos to humankind?  Environmentalists may hold that they provide nourishment for the bat population, but who likes bats?  Noah could have been well advised to leave them off the ark as well.

For that matter, and while we’re on the subject, the descendants of Noah’s two alligators have been creating quite a stir here in Florida.  Their population inhabits nearly every body of water in the Sunshine State, a menace to small household pets everywhere, and last week, in Orlando, one of them killed a two-year old boy.

There was a time when that species was quite useful to mankind.  Their hides provided fashionable handbags for the ladies and long-wearing shoes for both men and women.  Some esoteric restaurants even offered alligator hamburgers and steaks to the gastronomically adventurous diners among us.

From 1967 to 1987 they were designated an “endangered” species, protected by law, but their population grew and today they  are listed as “threatened,” which means that in Florida they’re considered “endangered” and can only be harvested legally under special licenses issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Common sense and statistics demonstrate that there is nothing “endangered” about alligators – if anything they are a danger to humanity.  Noah would have been well advised to keep that twosome off his crowded craft.

Modern man, for his part, ought to once again declare open season on them.  At their rate of propagation they are not likely to become truly endangered.

Of course we cannot blame Noah for all the foolish disparities between humans, atop the food chain, and lower species which need to be checked as a menace to present day populations.

There is no record of the ark accommodating sharks (or any other fish) on board. Aquariums were not known in biblical times.

National and international regulations hold that sharks are a “protected” species, and strict rules are in place covering fishing and capture of members of the various shark populations.

The media has recently carried frequent news releases covering shark attacks against humans off both coasts of Florida – some so close to shore as to endanger waders or surfers.  There were even some involving the coast of Mexico, although sharks seem not to favor Mexican fare.

There are some national cultures which favor shark fin soup and encourage fishermen to catch sharks, cut off their fins, and return them rudderless to die in the ocean.

Others, including our own fishing industry, seek sharks for their steaks and practical uses of other parts of their anatomy.

Once again, if humans are allowed to utilize sharks as well as alligators by means of unrestricted fishing and hunting, the rate at which each species replenishes itself in its own environment is not likely to result in either the shark or the alligator environment to completely die out.

Mosquitos on the other hand — what the heck was Noah thinking?


Richard Hershatter is a retired Connecticut lawyer and novelist who writes an occasional column of interest to Floridians.  He can be reached at Banyan502@AOL.


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