AnElephantCant always be serious
But sometimes he despairs for mankind
He tells of the Great Auk
Who with scarcely a squawk
Into the dustbin of history is consigned
The Haibun Ligo Challenge is a weekly event hosted by the delightfully delectable Penny along with lovely Nightlake and the perhaps less pretty Pirate.
Visit them for all the guidelines and background.
This week there is a choice of picture prompts.
AnElephant bases his tale on this one.
The Great Auk
In the autumn of 1840 three Scots fishermen landed on St Kilda, on the western extremities of the Outer Hebrides.
There they found and captured a large flightless bird.
Although they did not know it, this strange creature was the Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis).
They took it with them to their bothy* where they prepared food for themselves.
Almost immediately the weather changed dramatically.
Howling winds and torrential rains were followed by great claps of thunder and startling bolts of lightning.
As it intensified the superstitious men began to fret, and soon blamed the poor bird for their plight.
In their panic they beat the helpless creature to death with sticks and rocks.
This is the last recorded sighting of a Great Auk in the British Isles.
Officially it has been extinct for around 170 years.
Perhaps the penguin is wise to live at the other end of the earth.
ignorance and fear
are twin tragedies
that sadly never die
*bothy –a rough shelter or hut