Late yesterday, this image of a weasel “riding” a woodpecker went viral. People loved it. Chicks wrote “awwww” underneath it, as they do. It was a big thing, and still is.
Unfortunately, the truth sometimes hurts. We live in a carnivoristic world, ladies and gentlemen (carnivoristic is not a word; I just made it up, but you get it). Weasels don’t wrap their brains around the quickest route from A to B, decide it’s a straight line, acknowledge that woodpeckers take that straight line via the air, and hitch a ride. No, unfortunately, they think food, lunch, the next meal. That next meal, ladies and gentlemen, was woodpecker.
Fortunately, he failed. This woodpecker survived.
The photo was captured by East Londoner Martin Le-May in Essex, England on Monday. He detailed the scene in this email to Buzzfeed News.
“As we walked we heard a distressed squawking and I saw that flash of green. So hurriedly I pointed out to Ann the bird and it settled into the grass behind a couple of small silver birch trees. Both of us trained our binoculars and it occurred that the woodpecker was unnaturally hopping about like it was treading on a hot surface.
Lots of wing flapping showing that gloriously yellow/white colour interspersed with the flash of red head feathers. Just after I switched from my binoculars to my camera the bird flew across us and slightly in our direction; suddenly it was obvious it had a small mammal on its back and this was a struggle for life.
The woodpecker landed in front of us and I feared the worst. I guess though our presence, maybe 25 meters away, momentarily distracted the weasel. The woodpecker seized the opportunity and flew up and away into some bushes away to our left. Quickly the bird gathered its self respect and flew up into the trees and away from our sight.
The woodpecker left with its life. The weasel just disappeared into the long grass, hungry.”