Just had to share this latest from my friend, Tracy Farr. Maybe I related just a bit too much, especially about the cats….
If we could talk to the animals, I’d run!
While a lot of very intelligent people are weighing in on health care, socialized medicine and obscenely high insurance rates, cows don’t give it a second thought. In fact, I’m sure if you were to even mention those things to a cow, it would look you straight in the eye and say, “Moo,” and really mean it.
Cows chew their cud, swat at flies, and never once worry about the things we worry about – which makes them pretty smart in my opinion. Sure, they eventually end up tasting mighty delicious on a plate with a bit of A1 Sauce, but up until that very moment, they don’t have a care in the world.
Scientists are now discovering that a lot of animals, just like cows, are more intelligent than we originally thought. No, they’re not smart enough to get your kid an A in calculus, but neither am I, which doesn’t prove a thing, so let’s continue with some absolutely true stories about smart animals.
Did you hear the one about the bird and the worm? The worm was floating in a glass of water, but because the water level was too low, the bird couldn’t reach it. Scientists gave the bird some stones, and before you could say, “nevermore,” the bird dropped the stones in the water, raising the water level and bringing the worm within easy reach.
If scientists were to put me in a room with a pile of rocks and a vat of water, and floating on the water was a cheeseburger – medium well but slightly out of my reach – I doubt very seriously I’d think of using the rocks to raise the water level. I might jump in, especially if it was an Angus Burger, but using rocks is for the birds.
So, how did this bird get so smart? Is it possible a new species of thinking, reasoning creatures that are able to use new math are gathering just under our noses? And if they are, why can’t we smell them? Don’t ask me – go ask your mother.
And then there’s the story about the chimps that can make and use tools (I usually buy and lose mine). They make spears out of tree limbs, jab them into other creatures and then eat them – which makes me have “Planet of the Apes” nightmares because it sounds less like they’re making tools, and more like they’re making weapons.
Dolphins, on the other hand, are too sneaky to need tools.
A dolphin was trained to bring up trash from his tank. Whenever he brought up trash, he was fed a “treat.”. One day, when the tank looked clean, the dolphin appeared with trash in his mouth, got his treat, but raised the suspicion of his trainer. The trainer discovered that the dolphin had made a cache of trash. Not only that, but instead of bringing up whole pieces, he was tearing off just bits of the trash, thus making his cache a long-lasting stash of trash. And what did this prove? That dolphins are sneaky – didn’t I already say that?
Finally, there’s a cat in my house and goats in my yard that are living proof that animals are smarter than we give them credit for. The cat meows at the door and I get up to let her out. I don’t want to. I fight against it. But the cat has trained me so well that I just give in and do what I’m told. Life is so much easier (and there’s less cat poop on the carpet) when you do what you’re told.
As for the goats: When the goats get out of their pen, I rattle a bucket of feed at them, they start following me, and I feed them when they get back into their pen. But the last time they escaped, I only had cat food. When I rattled the cat food at them, they followed, but refused to eat it. Minutes later, the goats were out again, but when I rattled the cat food, they just stared at me as if they were saying, “Listen my fine fellow, your entrées are very upsetting to our stomachs and we prefer to dine instead on these succulent weeds and grasses. So be a good fellow, run along and make sure our Cadillac is ready when we are.”
It sounded a whole lot like, “Baaaaaah” to my ears – but what do I know? I’m not as smart as a goat!
Tracy Farr is a musician and humorist, and in his spare time he drives a school bus. You can find more fun stuff at Stinky Creek , Texas