Busybodies come in all ages and both genders.

If you watch a group of children playing, you will soon spot the miniature busybody in the group. Children are simple creatures, but they do have a strong sense of self. If a child believes they are treated unfairly by their peers, even if it is only from their point of view, they will run to the authority figure and tattle.

The motivation can be basic greed, as in desiring a toy another child has. Also, some children need extra attention which can translate as jealousy. Therefore, they tattle or throw a tantrum to garner adult notice, even if it is negative.  Such behavior can be the result of coddling or spoiling by their parents or neglect.

Overall, a child’s motivation is basic need – sustenance and love. Unless we are dealing with a warped situation, children’s needs are simple. On the other hand, adults tend to complicate things with infantile behavior. How else would you describe an out of control, as in shouting or screaming, presumed adult who just happens to be a boss, a spouse, a friend, or a relative?

In general, an adult suburban-dwelling busybody tries to find self-worth and friends by sharing secrets or spinning unsubstantiated tales. Were they less annoying and even destructive, busybodies could use a good measure of pity, and real friends? But it is difficult to love a magpie.

Before we moved to The Funny Farm, we lived in a Dallas suburb. Then one day a busybody moved into our lovely neighborhood. That woman’s forked tongue never stopped wagging. We soon discovered a curious factoid. Busybodies do not share well.

She broke up longstanding friendships. But then we must question the strength of such a flimsy bond between alleged friends. Sometimes the woman turned on the “friend she tried so hard to gain. Perhaps she was unhappy with her lot in life, but that is no excuse for such behavior.

Female busybodies tend to be sneaky. They try to ingratiate themselves with people with the tales they tell. On the other hand, male busybodies are a bit more direct.

Our next door neighbor married the widow next door. (This is where we break into a chorus of “I’m Henry the Eighth” by Herman’s Hermits.) The guy had a scary mean streak.

He threatened Hubby with a golf club because a branch of our walnut tree loomed across his property. One day, we found him on a ladder sawing off the offending limb. On another occasion, he called a towing service because we parked our truck in front of our house and he did not approve.

Workplace busybodies spread gossip, and bad news like one spreads soft butter on a slice of homemade bread, liberally with drool running out the side of one’s mouth.

Overall, when it comes to personality traits, did you know people and animals are disturbingly similar?

For this city girl, moving to the country held countless surprises. One such discovery was that people are not the only ones who are busybodies. The suburb-dwelling human versions, also known as meddlers, gossips, and nosy, would have fit right in because their animal counterparts act the same way. The exception being the fact that animals are unable to speak and therefore cannot gossip. But in behavior, there is little difference.

If we want to be accurate, nosy does not do the critters justice.

Before we set the scene, there is a secret you must know. This writer tends to focus on the task at hand. Consequently, she startles easily. As she stood with a garden hose in hand, filling the chickens’ water barrel, a warm breath bathed the back of her neck. Her heartbeat went into overdrive because she was alone on the property.

She jumped, turned around and shrieked, and came face to face with the male donkey. Her screeching startled Jack, and he began that loud and proud braying routine he perfected.

Not only did she avoid a donkey induced cardiac arrest, but came close to losing her hearing as well.

Collecting fresh eggs from the nests is always an adventure. The patrol chicken makes matters worse. She marches up and down, voicing her displeasure until the egg collector departs the premises.

Given a choice, we chose the feathered clucker over the neighborhood busybody.



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