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Monday, May 10, 2010

if not sadness, than ape???

I finished watering my garden the other day and went about coiling up the hose. I glanced down and saw a leaf that resembled a fetus or newborn animal. Closer inspection revealed that unfortunately it was a new born bird who'd fallen from its nest. Directly above it was a hole in the side of our house that I'd seen a bird fly into a few days earlier.

I picked up the tiny body, about two inches long, and placed it on a trowel so that I could look at it up close. It looked so peaceful, eyes closed, at rest. I was so sad for this little creature. I was just as sad for those it left behind.
there was not protection from the elements like the crazy wind that's been wreaking havoc on our trees. It was hidden away from predators, as the cats in the neighborhood had no chance of getting near it.
Then


with the blink of an eye,

it was gone.

What did this mother bird do when she realized her baby had fallen out of her carefully thought out nest? Did she made a sound? Was it quiet? Loud? Drawn out? Did she sit next to her tiny baby? When did she finally accept defeat?

I often think about how animals experience emotion, more specifically how they mourn. We're told not to attribute human emotions to animals; that they don't "feel" like we do.

Although anger is different than sadness, it's still an emotion and to make my point I'm throwing it in here. I often observe my own cats in the throws of jealousy as they brood watching one of the others receives pets and attention. They might not be able to think, "I feel jealous", but they're experiencing something and they prove it by smacking the other cat as he saunters by them.

When it comes to loss, perhaps animals are better off not having to experience it exactly like humans do. I certainly wouldn't wish my sadness on them. But the concept that people project their emotions on animals and that they have none of their own? I'm just not on board with that theory.

1 comments:

Azham Vosovic said...

abg...you write good stories... huhuhu...keep on writing n i'll keep on reading!