A Tail Tale


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20160415_161513So I was just taking a walk the other day, and I turned my head and saw this guy. I looked at him and he looked at me. I pulled out my trusty cell phone camera, took a couple of shots blind — the glare was so strong I couldn’t see what I was shooting — and we continued our assessment of one another.

Chattering a bit to him or herself, or maybe grumbling, because that’s what it sounded like, it then climbed its way up and over the top of the fence. Given that it was a nocturnal animal out in the bright sunlight of day, exhibiting absolutely no fear of me, I promptly left it it to its climbing. I had no interest in playing the rabies lottery.

It went one way down the walking path and I went the other. I looked at it, down the narrow way, unconcerned in its stroll, its tail up, its stride steady and confident. People were coming. It didn’t care, on it went, the sun lighting the tips of its fur.

Maybe it didn’t have rabies. Maybe it was just a city raccoon with a rebellious side enjoying some of the day life.

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An Elephant Protest


I read this story about an elephant in India who smashed down part of a house, but then heard a baby crying under the rubble. It went back and removed the debris from her.

People have been encroaching on the elephants’ migratory path, and they’ve been letting the people know how they feel about it. In another story in the same article, an elephant moved a little girl out of the way before destroying houses.

I think the elephant knew that there were people in the other part of the house, and choose what it thought was the empty side to destroy. When it heard the baby crying, it came back.

It was a political statement. An elephant protest. And it was a non-violent one.

Elephants are sentient. It’s obvious, the evidence is everywhere. They remember each other, they mourn their dead, they even create art.

Why do we cling to this idea that sentience is only ours? There are so many other creatures on this planet as self-aware as we are.

Well, most of us, anyway.