Hypothetical question:

If you were, say, having a beer in the backyard with your neighbor on the 4th of July and she told you that not ten minutes before you arrived a hawk had landed only twenty feet away with a cockatiel in its claws, and the cockatiel was writhing around and trying to escape, but the hawk just stood there with its claws in the cockatiel, waiting for it to die. And two big crows were up above in the eucalyptus tree waiting to see if the hawk would try to fly off with the not-yet-dead cockatiel, and if the hawk dropped the cockatiel then the crows would have a chance at it. And you're all, Wow, what a National Geographic Presents: Predators! moment, right in my own back yard! And I missed it. Dang.

And then, say, what if, the next day, you're talking with a different neighbor and she starts telling you how she punished her daughter for letting their brand-new $150.00 cockatiel fly away, the bird that the girl's brothers had each chipped in $40.00 of their allowance for, how they clipped it wings even, and how the girl was grounded for a week and sat in her room crying for three hours with no TV, writing "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" over and over and over again in her diary?

Would you say, Hey! I know what happened to Snifffer! Or would you say, Aww, that's too bad, I'll listen out for that little wolf whistle you taught him? Or would you get all nervous and start blabbing this story you heard about a contractor being up on a roof and all of a sudden a SNAKE falls out of the sky and lands right in front of him! It's writhing around up there on the peak of the roof, and the guy's freaking out because SNAKES are FALLING from the SKY! And your neighbor's all, Uh-huh, that's weird, and she's wondering what in hell that has to do with her kids' cockatiel flying away, and you're all, Blah blah blah, if I keep talking utter nonsense about HAWKS dropping SNAKES maybe I can steer us away from the painful and obvious connection between HAWKS and SNAKES and HAWKS and COCKATIELS.

So is that what you'd do, do you think? Or do you think your neighbor would rev up her chainsaw just to shut you up?