Are These Great Lakes or What?

Back to Contents

    In the early 1990's I read of the zebra mussels, a fresh-water bivalve that was beginning to infest the Great Lakes. Originating in Eastern Europe, they apparently arrived in this country as larvae in the ballast water of freighters and found American waters very much to their liking. They are prolific breeders and they settle in their sessile stage on any solid surface. They were clogging intake pipes of cities' water systems and growing so thick and heavy upon the lakes' navigational aids that they sank buoys. Inspired by those reports, I conceived the following in addition to "The Zebra Mussels":

We used to live in Europe, where Nature had us checked,

but then we stowed away upon a ship that some fool failed to inspect.

Now it's a bivalve free-for-all in America's inland seas,

clogging pipes and sinking buoys; just doing what we please.

We've clarified Lake Erie with our filter-feeding ways.

Now we'll mussel in on Chicago: yeah, eco-crime really pays.

'Tain't nice to fool Mother Nature has oft' enough been said.

But if not for your careless foolery we would all be dead.

Now we simple mollusks laugh at your efforts to defeat us.

We know that you don't dare bring into play anything that would eat us.

But taking over your waterways might make you think we're hateful,

so we'll just say "Thanks, suckers!" so you won't think we're ungrateful.


Back to Contents