In the museum a giant balance scale, pans large enough to seat a man, only in this case it is not a man but stuffed hares in the brass workings. A motor tilts the two pans alternately up and down, up and down, seesaw, and as the two standing hares on the left pan dip, a panel on the wall behind them lights up—WATER, FOOD, HEALTH, SHELTER—and as this left pan rises, the right pan with its one dead, prone hare (and why ONE?) dips— DROUGHT, FAMINE, DISEASE, HABITAT LOSS; oh, we all want to crowd onto the winning side, but the mechanism, keeping its steady pendulum movement, is equally true to luck and disaster. Recall how as a child you had to choose carefully the seesaw partner of just the right weight who would not suddenly bail at the lowest point and leave you to crash? Eventually, you learn to read body language, discern eye contact, scan the horizon, figure out the best gambles to save your hide. The lone hare dips again. ONE is vulnerable. ONE is alone. ONE is not a herd or a gaggle or an ecosystem. ONE is an anomaly.
Ecology Exhibit: Natural History Museum, London