These two albatrosses had been born on tiny, non-descript Pacific islands, so they knew almost nothing about the creatures some of their friends referred to as “humans.” They’d occasionally seen floating vessels on the far horizon – inventions of the humans, so they’d been told. Gertrude and Heathcliff were intrigued. So when planning their honeymoon they decided to check out this human-creature during a Hawaiian Island excursion.
One night just before reaching the archipelago they rode out a storm on the waves. The next morning they spied one of these human vessels, but it appeared to be disabled. Its sails were torn, and it listed to one side. The couple circled high above for hours until another human vessel arrived just as the first one slipped under the water. “Ah,” said Heathcliff, “these creatures have compassion for one another.”
As they flew toward one of the larger islands they saw cultivated fields and well-constructed dwellings. “I see these humans are an industrious species,” noted Gertrude. And when they reached the metropolis of Honolulu they were amazed. “Humans are surely a wise and magnificent species to create such grandeur,” marveled Healthcliff.
Then eager for some time alone, they headed for an uninhabited isle - Henderson Island. It had been listed as a “near pristine” World Heritage Site in 1988 – perfect! But as they were about to alight they were shocked to find the beaches smothered with plastic trash. *
“I don’t get it,” Gertrude pondered. “How can these intelligent, compassionate creatures permit this to happen? Don’t they understand that the very core of their prosperity and security is drawn from a balanced and healthy eco-system? I hope the human drive to expand doesn’t exceed the wisdom needed to care for this home because we’re right here with them forever…Earthbound.”
* By a fluke of ocean currents, about 3,500 pieces of plastic refuse wash up onto Henderson Island’s beaches each day. It’s currently identified as having the highest trash density ever recorded!