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A few days ago, I was working in my office and observed a fly buzzing up and down my glass office door.
It clearly wanted to go outside, but was unable to find a way.
Annoyingly, it buzzed around for a few minutes, distracting me as it went.
I got up and opened the door, but the insect ignored the opening and kept moving up and down the glass.
As I cursed the fly and its stupidity, I realised how similar we can be to the fly on the window.
Eddie the echidna was upset and marched up to his mother.
“I never want to eat ants again!” he loudly proclaimed. ”All we eat are ants and I’m sick of them.”
“But, you’re an echidna, you’re supposed to eat ants,” his mother said.
“Not any more, I’m going to become a meat eater from now on,” said Eddie defiantly as he walked off.
After walking for a while, Eddie spied a mob of kangaroos and started to stalk them. He saw one of the large marsupials away from the rest of the group and honed in on it.
When he got close enough, he pounced and landed on the tail of a massive male kangaroo.
When the farmer comes to choose the turkeys at Thanksgiving he looks across the barn and finds the most suitable for the dinner table.
The ones that sit there all day and don’t move very much, making their meat nice and tender.
The ones who spend more time at the trough, gorging themselves and getting fatter.
Perhaps even the grumpy ones who aren’t nice to the other turkeys, making them expendable.
The farmer chooses turkeys that have, without knowing it, prepared themselves to be eaten.
Similarly, when it’s time for a company to shed staff, someone will look across the office or factory and find the most suitable candidates.
If a lion is vegetarian, is he still a lion?
If he doesn’t use the long claws, razor sharp teeth, athletic ability and hunting skills that he’s been equipped with to catch and eat prey, is he really being all that he can be?
If he starts consuming grass instead of zebras, is he just another member of the herd?
What about you?
Ikenga was the silverback leader of a band of gorillas.
One day, he called his young son, Eto, to come to him.
“Eto, one day you will be the leader of this family,” he said, “So you will need to build your strength so that you can defend them from enemies.”
“Thank you papa Ikenga, I will make sure that I eat much fruit and grow to be as big and strong as you.”
“Good boy Eto, but there is one other thing that you must do to gain the strength that you need. You must fight me.”
“I can’t fight you,” protested the young gorilla. “You’re much too big and strong.”
“Yes, I am,” said the silverback, who smacked his son around the ear, sending him hurtling to the ground.
Eto scampered away to his mother, rubbing his ear and looking over his shoulder suspiciously at his dad.
A few weeks later, Ikenga called Eto over again.
Karen and I recently took the kids to a shark and ray centre, a terrific local venue where we could enter enclosures and hand feed a variety of shark and ray species.
It was a lot of fun and the kids absolutely loved it.
As we interacted with these remarkable animals, I reflected on one of my favourite species in the animal kingdom, the iconic manta ray.
These giant, gentle rays, which can grow to as big as 7 metres wide, seem to fly through the water. They soar, unhurried over the oceans, feeding as they go.
As other fish flit from place to place in a mad panic, these noble creatures just float about their busyness, seemingly impervious to the pressures of ocean life.
As I considered these beautiful rays, I wondered if I shouldn’t be more like them.
It is said that if you keep a solitary crab in a bucket without putting the lid on it will have no trouble escaping.
But if you have a bucket full of crabs, whenever one gets to the top and is about to escape, the rest of the crabs will reach out and pull him back down to the bottom with the rest of them.
It sounds like a lot of workplaces to me.
Someone comes up with a great idea, an innovative solution or wants to leave for greener pastures, others come in and “bring them back to earth.”
Often with a thud!
As a dad, one of the more common statements that I make to my kids is, “…it’s what separates us from the animals!”
For example, “Hayden, use a knife and fork, it’s what separates us from the animals.”
Or perhaps, “Madison, use your inside voice, it’s what separates us from the animals.”
Or even, “Logan, don’t tease your sister, it’s what separates us from the animals.”
(Seriously, don’t judge me until you’ve tried it.)
Anyway, for some obscure reason, I was considering the differences between hamsters and people the other day and came up with the following aspects. Please note this is not an exhaustive list and doesn’t include references to body hair: Read the rest of this entry »
Peter Parrot came home upset and confused.
“What’s wrong?” his mother asked.
“I hate my stupid beak!” Peter blurted.
“Why do you hate your beak? I think it’s beautiful,” his mother said reassuringly.
“All of the other birds have much cooler beaks. Sammy Spoonbill, Pammy Pelican, Harry Hawk, Freddy Finch, all of them!”
Peter’s mother sat silently for a moment. “He may be right,” she thought to herself, they do have very cool beaks.
“You should go and see Major Macaw, he’ll know what to do. He’s the wisest of the parrots and lives in the tallest tree in the forest. Yes, he’ll know what to do,” responded Peter’s mother.
So Peter Parrot flew to the tallest tree in the forest and found Major Macaw.
Little Jimmy’s family was sitting around the dinner table having a polite conversation, when little Jimmy asked his dad, “How does fear grow?”
“What do you mean son?”
“Well, I can see that it makes sense to be afraid when you are standing on a cliff top and don’t want to fall over the edge, but my friend at school is terrified of asking or answering questions in class. He told me that even the thought of raising his hand and having everyone look at him makes him shake and he wants to crawl under the table and cry. He wasn’t always like that, he used to be so confident. How does someone become so afraid of something like that?”
“Why do you ask?”
“He doesn’t seem to mind, but I heard the teacher say to his mum that she was worried about him. Why should she worry? Surely being afraid of raising your hand in class isn’t a big deal. I don’t understand.”
The father pushed his chair back from the table and looked into the distance for a moment.
“Do you remember your Uncle Billy?” he asked.