In our rousing talk last week we touched on what it would be like if we could become an eagle, a blue crab, a king crab, or the creature with an ever-expanding role in this universe, the mayfly.
This week we will start with the bottlenose dolphin:
Just imagine having 4/5’s of the world as your playground. To romp and frolic, eat raw fish, turn the internal organs of great white sharks into mush with your namesake and save the occasional human to get your name in the headlines.
The dolphin’s intelligence has come under scrutiny as of late. Scientists can’t agree whether their book smarts are quite as good as once thought, or if they’re on the same level as the rest of the animal kingdom.
Now allow me to interject or impart (I couldn’t decide which word I liked more, so I used them both) some of my own observations regarding animal intelligence.
We’ve all seen the Dolphins excel in synchronized swimming, perform various tricks for raw fish treats, and even snuggle with a kiss for some lucky participant. The Navy has used them experimentally to set underwater detonation devices. I’m no brain surgeon, but that would seem to be an accurate measure of intelligence.
As a comparison, I would like to enlist another member of the animal kingdom who has been touted to possess unequalled brainpower… the great ape.
On one trip to the Midwest, I happened upon a zoo with a gorilla exhibit. It was very well done; made to look like their natural habitat. To my delight there sat a solitary adult gorilla dining on some of the finest herbage ever plucked from a tree in his right hand. His left hand told a different story. Our intellectual giant would catch his grass laden turds and recycle these tasty leftovers via his pie hole. Now, knowing that, “you are what you eat,” rings true (for what you put into your body is what you will get out) and if these creatures are only one strand of DNA from being human; boy, oh boy, somebody’s got a problem.
I’ll let you guys mull this one over. Me? I’m pulling for the dolphins… It’s all about the clean thing and fish being brain food, but then again, what do I know? This ape could have been the first of its kind–a visionary…a revolutionary…the first green monkey.
There’s one more comparison I have to make. This one is in more of a personal nature and it deals with the lack of intellectual prowess. Do you remember the lazy days of summer when you were a kid? We would have a yard full of June bugs (a green flying beetle) that we would enjoy catching. Not that insects are particularly intelligent, but I would have to crown the June bug the brain-dead of the bug world. I remember many times, instead of flying around the house, they would start at the bottom and beat their poor little brainless cranium into the house rising several inches at a time, until it reached the height it could fly over the house.
Stupid bug. Nuff said.
Now, I have saved the absolute best for last–my sister’s dog, Gomer. How does one describe such an animal? It will be difficult, for none like him have roamed the earth before and none certainly have since.
Gomer was one of those rare breeds that would walk up to you sideways, beating himself in the face with his own tail. He had more intelligence in his undescended testicle then collectively in his entire body; but a sweeter dog could not be found.
Gomer enjoyed several activities. His favorite, far and beyond the rest, was being struck and or run over by motor vehicles. Gomer didn’t discriminate. It made no difference whether it be car or truck. If Gomer could have spoken, I know what those words would have been. “Duh, num, num, num!” I, myself, hit Gomer twice. My uncle and brother-in-law no doubt racked up countless strikes and that’s not including the many we didn’t know about.
Gomer also enjoy plunging through screen doors during thunderstorms.
It could never be said that Gomer didn’t live life to the fullest. When I’m asked about his death, I can honestly say, “he left this world doing what he loved… with tire tracks across his head.”