It’s been raining quite hard, which means no power, no internet signal, or both here, so I haven’t been able to get into cyberworld much today. I hope to sneak this post in when I can. I’ve had a pretty good day though. I’ve been deciding on a name for my science fiction writing alter ego, and getting stuck into editing Shadow People. Moniker wise, I’ve decided to use my second name as a surname. Say hi to Jo Cavell. I’ve also put some thought into my sci-fi Facebook page, and have got somewhat carried away. If I’m not very careful, I think I have the very real potential to develop a split personality. I keep thinking of it as “her” page, and wondering what art “she’d” like. She’s definitely developing a life of her own. I just hope that she doesn’t do anything to embarrass me. It’s all been a little odd, but very enjoyable. Editing wise, Naka, the alien that resembles an Earth chicken, only bigger, is still causing a slight problem for me. I’m just not sure if people can relate to a super-intelligent chicken, no matter what planet he’s from. I can quite easily, but then I don’t think that chickens are stupid.
When I was still a carnivore, I took solace in the facts that animals had no souls, and were not clever enough to worry too much about having their heads chopped off. This is what I was told, and I had no reason not to believe it to begin with. Fish certainly didn’t feel a thing, and lobsters should have no objection to being tossed in a pot of boiling water. I only starting killing lobsters quickly with a knife prior to boiling them, because I found that they were much more tender to eat that way. Although to be absolutely truthful, the screaming before I started doing the knife thing, did have me wondering why they would shout so loudly if they weren’t feeling anything. I know differently now, having had many clever, and loving creatures pass through my life. Including fish actually. I once had the total devotion of a gorgeous, blue, and very smart, Siamese fighting fish. Intelligence aside, animals are far more evolved than we are in the love department. How can you love if you have no soul?
I was looking out of the kitchen window yesterday, watching Jack and Diane, our newly acquired turkey couple, kindly help Sprite finish off his dog food. Suddenly, in absolute unison, two wrinkly faces peered anxiously skyward. They then hunkered down, obviously trying to look as small as possible, and leopard-crawled across the lawn. I have never seen anything like it, apart from cartoon burglars having it off on their toes, so I went outside to see what had caused it.
There was a group of raptors circling in the sky above. Diane has eight newly laid eggs in a nest, and I have to assume that this was the reason that they didn’t want to be spotted. They are far too large themselves to be bothered by any sort of hawk or eagle, but they were clever enough to know that if they were seen, they might warrant closer inspection, thereby putting their babies at risk. Turkeys with the power of deduction. By this time, they were halfway to my patch of herbs, but they didn’t speed up just because their human was on guard. They crept on, each leg stretching out as far as it would go, until they got to what’s left of my Sweet Basil, and totally buried themselves in it, till I coaxed them out with a pawpaw after the raptors left.
I was very doubtful when the friends who gave them to us said that turkeys were really very clever. They don’t look all that clever. But those military style manoeuvres now have me thinking otherwise. I would imagine that you have to have thought things through when you tiptoe to safety with your belly so close to the ground. So yes, turkeys are not stupid. A lot of creatures are a lot cleverer than we like to admit.
I’ve heard that parrots are as intelligent as your average three year old. Having lived with two of my own for seventeen years, I can tell you with some authority that they are a lot cleverer than that. Naughtier too. Then there are my two rescued weaver birds. Jelly, the first one that arrived, uses tools. Well, to be precise, she uses me as a tool. Whenever she wants to eat anything that needs to be held down to get a bite off, she brings it over, and puts it in between my fingers. I then have to hold on to it until she’s finished. This happens every morning with her cornflakes, so I know it’s no fluke. Also, if I don’t hold it properly, she beats me up. She knows what she’s doing alright.
Animals will probably prove to have been a lot cleverer than us if all the prophets of doom turn out to be right, and some big solar flare wipes out power and communication on a massive scale. They’ll just get on with what they do. Quite a lot of humans, on the other hand, stuck in big cities, with no knowledge of how to survive, will probably end up doing what we do best. Knock other people on the head, and take their stuff until it’s all gone. Who knows what we’ll get up to after that? For now though, I’m going back to commune with Naka, the really clever chicken guy.
Till next time friends. xxx