Dear Kid,

Sorry, sweetie. This needs to have a bigger audience than just you.

Dear People,

You are people. One way you can tell is that you don’t have four legs, you’re not covered in fur, and you don’t have feathers. Also you’re reading this.

People can read, animals cannot.

If you’re still confused about whether you’re a people or an animal, ask someone. They’ll probably tell you. If you ask an animal, you probably won’t get a direct answer.

To be clear, animals are wonderful. When they are domesticated, they make wonderful pets. When they are wild, they belong in the wild and they should be Left Alone.

Recently there have been a number of unfortunate incidents when People and Wildlife get too close. Some have been accidents; tragic, but accidents.

Some have been products of stupidity.

Wild animals are just that: wild. They should be left alone. They deserve to be left alone.

Read the signs (remember that part about people being able to read?). They are there for a reason. When they say “Leave the animals alone” and “Don’t feed the animals” and “Stay out of the freaking water”, they mean it.

Animals are (often) beautiful. Watch from afar. Admire. Take a photo with a zoom lens (or take a photo with your phone and be prepared to say “See that spot right there? That one? I was that close to the moose.”).

The exception of course is when the wildlife invades your home. In which case you should scream like a six-year-old girl and call the authorities. “Yes, officers, I did call because there’s a rogue spider in the house.”

And take a photo. Because you won’t have to say “See that blurry spot?”

Love, Mom