Animal-Human Stories

Horse Defends its Owner from Bear Attack

I have one golf buddy that lives on a spread in Montana and owns a horse.  He tells about a time when he was working in a remote part of his property with his horse grazing near by.  All of a sudden a fully grown bear emerged from the nearby forest and began to charge across the open space toward him at full speed. Bears can run twice as fast as the DeJean Jackson in the 40-yard dash.  The bear was five yards from him when all of a sudden he heard his horse snort and whinny loudly as it charged in front of the bear to it away. The bear tucked his paws between his legs and galloped back into the forest as fast as he could. A neighbor, when told this story by my friend, said, “That’s unusual behavior; that’s a special horse, you should hang on to it.”

Was this love and protection from an animal for a human?

Geese Mourn One of Their Fallen

Another golf buddy, who was raised in the wild country of Idaho but lives in the city, has a special way with animals. One day we were playing golf and waiting to tee off in front of a small pond filled with about twenty five geese and he was reminded of this strange golfing event with geese. At another similar outing, a fellow golfer had hit his drive into a flock of geese settled in a pond in front of the tee and struck one directly in the head and killed it instantly.  “Immediately all of  the other geese quickly assembled in a tight circle around the fallen goose as if trying to help it or, perhaps mourn for its death,” he said.

Was this animals loving and caring for one another like humans do?

Birds that Lie

This last strange animal story comes from Nobel Prize winning physicist, Murray Gell-Mann, who reported it in his 1995 book on complexity, The Quark and the Jaguar (page 259). He tells the story from a colleague who studies birds (ornithologist) and whose research demonstrates that sentinel birds seem to lie. A sentinel bird flies beneath the flock as a look-out for predator birds that may attack the flock.  The sentinel bird signals danger from a predator with a special chirping sound, which rapidly sends the flock into a new flight pattern as a defense. In the process, some food the flock is eating usually drops from their mouths, and is caught and eaten by the sentinel bird. Research data from the ornithologist showed that the sentinel gives a false alarm about 15% of the time, presumably to get free food. The sentinel bird seems to be lying just enough to avoid suspicion, i.e., just below the “boy calls wolf too often” threshold.

Is this animals telling small lies to one another, just like humans do, to gain marginal benefits?

Are we humans a unique and special form of life as we are taught or are we living a convenient delusion of reality?

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