Are you a people-watching aficionado?

To enhance your study, may we suggest expanding your horizons from human to include the observation of animals.  But please, do not limit yourself to household pets, as in cats and dogs. Even if it takes a bit of effort on your part, include birds and farm animals as well.

Make it a point to befriend or achieve the rank of good acquaintance with someone who owns a ranch, farm, or undeveloped land. Take it from a formerly entrenched city girl, life away from the hustle and bustle of urban life is relaxing and eye-opening. Mind you, the concept of relaxation was foreign to this lady until the big move.

As we mentioned in past columns, Hubby yearned to buy land and return to his country roots. His wife fought the idea for years. She envisioned country life as living in a shack with old toilets and other broken plumbing fixtures used as planters scattered around in the yard. She was wrong.

Of course, if you drive around on country roads, you can still find toilet flowerpots enhancing many front yards. On the other hand, countless stately homes also dot the countryside. What drives this lady a tad crazy is when she encounters entire suburban neighborhoods transplanted in an otherwise bucolic setting.

Yes, she realizes it is probably cheaper to build in the country or small town than in the suburbs. But it seems like a sacrilege to scrunch humanity together when there is room for privacy. It comes down to the fact that she likes her space without bumping into another human all the time.

Living in the country allowed this writer to discover the finer similarities between humans and other creatures inhabiting this planet. At least as far as it relates to her little corner of the world.

If you listen carefully, you may hear your coyote neighbors following another night spent checking the perimeter of their shrinking territory. “Another human den appeared on the east side,” one scout reports. “There goes the neighborhood,” another laments as the den joins in with woeful howls.

This lady recalls similar incidents back in the suburbs when a couple on the block divorced. The newly liberated male put a blinking red light in his living room window to light the way for the crowds of males and females flocking to console him every weekend. Some of the comforting gatherings turned a bit raucous as the dawns early light broke on the horizon. Naturally, the neighborhood gossips chattered over coffee and doughnuts, lamenting: “There goes the neighborhood.”

As this lady gazes out her kitchen window, the donkey family is in the midst of a disagreement. Their colt, Fluffy, has reached puberty. Consequently, his hormones seek an outlet for experimentation. Unfortunately, his mother is the only female available. Since Fluffy never read “Oedipus Rex,” he does not realize the taboo of pursuing his mother for playtime.

While Jenny avoids Fluffy’s advances, Jack is a jealous male and attacks the inquisitive boy. The attacks usually come in the form of Jack taking a bite out of Fluffy’s neck. Fluffy objects, but Jack grips the boy’s neck with his unbrushed teeth. Not only is the lack of dental hygiene unsanitary, but also such behavior is not loving.

Suddenly, Jenny comes galloping across the pasture, prepared to rescue her colt. She turns her back on Jack and gives him several admonishing kicks until his nose bleeds. Her actions confuse the poor guy because she does the same thing whenever he tries to get amorous with Jenny.

Those well-placed kicks in the snout are similar to the slap human females use to fend off unwanted romantic male advances. But when it comes to protecting their young, they get the claws out and draw blood as well.

Then there is Stupid, a longhorn bull. For a long time, Stupid was unclear on his purpose. A similar confusion afflicts human males today when it comes to interacting with females. Some females are too friendly, while others vehemently reject male advances.

Animal or human, both genders’ purpose is to confuse each other.


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