661. Idyllic island
© Bruce Goodman 2 August 2015
(Note: This story is not based on fact, but the process is grounded in the truth!)
It was an idyllic environment on the previously uninhabited island. Nature had spent millions of years adjusting the ecosystem to perfection.
Terence was a multi-millionaire. He bought the island as an anniversary present for his wife of three years. Helene loved nature. The unexploited island was an ideal gift. But first they must build a house on the island. Nothing too grand; something simple that suited the expansive wilderness of the place.
The next thing they did was to make a garden. But they had to bring in the plants and seeds. Cabbages, cauliflowers, carrots, onions… you name it, Terence and Helene planted it. There was, after all, enough room for a huge garden on the empty island. Terence chopped down a few trees to make room for Helene’s herb garden.
But then… Oh dear! Oh dear! Somehow some white butterflies crossed over the narrow waterway between the island and the mainland. The butterfly caterpillars attacked the cabbages. Helene introduced some bug eating birds. The native birds on the island were useless; they seemed to devour only nectar and seeds. The bug eating bird population exploded. Helene got herself a couple of cats. Not only were they company, but they would keep the bird population down. She was tired of the bird droppings everywhere.
Then the cats had kittens and the offspring went feral. Terence got a couple of stoats. The stoats kept the cat population down and got rid of those useless native birds. But the stoat population exploded. There was nothing for it but to trap the stoats.
Then Terence had to clear an entire section of the island of brambles and prickly vines that had invaded the land, brought in by introduced birds’ droppings.
By now so many people wanted to enjoy the beauty of the idyllic island that they had to build a little pier for visiting boats. The fishing in the area was magnificent.
What the heck! They built a bridge across. Why not? They had the money, and visitors brought in income to the few shops that were now appearing along the coastline.
Today Manhattan is thriving.