Apparently there are things that confuse some people that are quite clear to me. And I’m not bragging that I have such superior intelligence, I just think that some other folks are having trouble with the square-pegs-and-square-holes concept. Tinker toys and Lincoln Logs are pretty self-explanatory.
I came to this conclusion last night as I watched a documentary about wild animals. These people were on a game preserve somewhere in Africa where animals were being rehabbed or rescued. And they had a leopard in a pen that they were trying to get close to. Why? I’m not sure. The pen wasn’t all that big, and they could reach inside the wire fence and pet the animal. To me that’s close enough.
Now eventually three of them went into the pen. One had a camera and two had Ph.Ds. The cat initially seemed friendly, but then suddenly it jumped on the man with the camera, clawing him and putting almost his entire head in his mouth. The two geniuses took their Ph.Ds and beat the cat off. Then they drove the injured man to a hospital 100 miles away where he had some 90 stitches to his back, shoulders, arms and head.
Then came a prevailing question in this documentary: Why did the cat attack?
I’m going to take a shot at this one – even though I don’t have a Ph.D. I believe the fact that the cat was wild, had killed to survive in the past and possibly felt threatened as being the key factors.
It’s been proven that you can’t take the wild out of most wild animals – at some point they have a tendency to turn on you. It’s kind of like you can take the boy out of the country, but he never forgets how to run a trot line.
I further conclude that you should not try to pet stuff that can eat you. I don’t know why that is so hard for some people to understand.
Now, I realize some people may grow up with a lot of stuffed animals and bathtub toys, and maybe they get a false sense of security relative to all of this. But there are books and films available that illustrate the great contrast between fiction and reality.
Take for instance the hippopotamus. They indeed look like cartoon characters. But when it comes to deaths from wild animals in Africa, this creature has more notches on its tusks than anything else that roams the wilds.
Then there’s the moose. Bullwinkle makes one think God got confused when he was making mules and deer. They are cute, but moose account for several deaths every year in Canada.
And of course snakes speak for themselves, or at least that one in the Garden of Eden did. Why should it be a surprise when someone wakes up in the morning with a 15-foot python wrapped around him? Did he really expect this thing to go fetch the morning paper?
Then there was that guy who lived with the grizzlies. And one day they ate him. Precedence explains a lot to me.
So I don’t know if I’ve gotten smarter or if some other people just got dumber. I do think I’ve gotten wiser. There is a difference between intelligence and wisdom. Intelligence is knowing that some leopards come with spots and some are solid black. Wisdom is knowing to count the dots from behind the fence.
My daddy used to say when we were building a barn or a tool shed that you have to be smarter than the hammer. I don’t personally know those three guys who went into that leopard pen, but I’m pretty sure they never built a corn crib with their daddies.
Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.