It was Sunday evening when I first sighted the news, and followed it as it spread from site to site, wisps of rumor coalescing into a more weighty substance. Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, had died in the line of duty. Perhaps it was to be expected, that Darwin would finally catch up to him, but the shock is no less.
I see the jokes made, and the news that his zoo stayed open. I think he would have appreciated both. It is hard to describe my feelings at how the word travelled; within minutes or hours it had spread to the farthest reaches of the net. This seems a great honor, that one man so great of heart could in his life win the hearts of so many. The vacuum of his passing has left a void in the world, even as the world echoes with the remembrances of all whose lives he touched.
I hear tidings now of word and action, of the man who lived life with a boundless energy and a ready smile. I hear of the man whose life was his work, and took joy in every moment. I hear of the man who worked for his dreams, in public and in private, such that the truth within his heart was the truth reflected to the world.
To Steve Irwin, who Spoke to Animals; in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.