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Everybody Wants to Know
Gordon J.L. Ramel

Everybody wants to know.
"Where did all the eagles go?"
Did they fly away to Spain?
When will they come back again?
There used to be so many here
we'd see them any time of year,
but now they're gone and very rare.
But do the politicians care
that everybody wants to know.
"Where did all the eagles go?"

Could someone also tell me please
why so few fish are in the seas?
It seems the oceans once were full
now who can find a single school?
The fishermen said there were tons
but now they just catch little ones;
and what about the giant whales
I read of once in ancient tales
that seemed to spout in every wave.
This situation is quite grave.

And did you hear about the frogs?
it seems they're falling off their logs
and leaving forests everywhere
and soon there won't be any there.
Such wondrous beasts seen in a zoo
but once they lived as wildlife too.
So can you try and tell me why
all of these species had to die?
Is it good that they are gone,
or are we doing something wrong?

Yes everybody wants to know.
"Where did all the eagles go?"
We liked them here they looked so grand.
When will we learn to understand
that we could find life easily,
both on land and in the sea
if we can only learn to share.
But do the politicians care
that everybody wants to know.
"Where did all the eagles go?"

About this Photo and Poem

The photograph by Linda Lundberg of Sweden shows the silhouette of a tree frog through the underside of a leaf.

The author was inspired to write this children's poem by the fact that so many forms of wildlife are declining in numbers.  In a letter to us (March 2005), he writes, "Where I live in northern Greece there is a man-made lake, Lake Kerkini.  Before it was created in 1922, part of the area now in the lake was a huge inland delta with massive marshes. One early visitor to these marshes mentioned hundreds of eagles "in every tree in winter" and appropriate numbers of ducks to feed them.  Development has made the area more hospitable for humanity, but less so for everything else.  We had a recent record this year of 14 Spotted Eagles (Aquila clanga) over wintering here. The area is still very important for raptors and water birds, and is a RAMSAR site, but it is a shadow of its former magnificence and we are fighting to save even this."

Most of the world's various species of eagles are less abundant today than a century ago.  Many are now classified as endangered or threatened.  Others, such as the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) of North America, are recovering well and increasing in abundance in some regions of their former range.  Although this latter eagle species still has a way to go to complete recovery, its example is encouraging because it shows that humans can reverse the decline of eagles if they get serious about it.

The author of this poem, Gordon J.L. Ramel, is a well-published poet who also holds a Master's Degree in Ecology from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.  The poem was recently published in his Kindle collection of poems for the young and the young at heart titled Tall Tales, Beautiful Beasts & Peculiar People.






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