Seeing Something Different

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“This dude is nuts,” I thought, sitting in front of the TV in the living room of my Kappa Sigma fraternity house. It was the late 90s and I was watching, for the first time, “The Crocodile Hunter.” Ain’t no sane person going to go play with venomous snakes and scorpions and the like. Yet, here was this Aussie doing just that. And, even more strange, he was doing it with so much enthusiasm – cautious, but not fearful.

As I watched the show, it started to become all too apparent that Steve Irwin was a one-of-a-kind. Why? Because he plays with crocs and dangerous animals? Yeah, but more than that, because he sees things (namely dangerous creatures) from a totally different angle. You and I would possibly see a diamondback rattler in the wild and head for the hills. Not the croc hunter! He’ll walk up, be sure he’s safe, then point out the beautiful markings on the snake’s back, the intricacy of the placement of the rattles, the powerful muscle form under the snake’s smooth skin, all types of things that ARE beautiful, but that are overshadowed by the one thing snakes are known for: danger!

Well, Steve met his match this morning in a freak accident in Australia. As you might expect, he died doing what he loved – exploring and documenting wildlife, no matter the danger involved. We should all be so lucky to pass in such a way.

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