I had a somewhat difficult childhood, given the fact I was raised by wolves. Lost and alone in the wilderness of an Essex park, my only choice was to learn from their wily canine ways in order to survive. I say raised by wolves, although actually it may have been more of a brief babysitting. And the fearsome wolves that I encountered on that fateful day may have been a pair of quite friendly dachshunds. But their natural instincts to help a small boy, separated from his anxious parents for almost fifteen minutes, says a lot about why dogs are considered man’s best friend. I’ll never forget Dotty and Dennis the dachshunds, or their kind owner who helped me make the arduous half-kilometer trek back to the picnic area where my parents were finishing the last of the sandwiches and pop. I learned a very valuable life lesson that day: if you want to enjoy sandwiches and soda pop, don’t wander off in a daydream after listening to Peter and the Wolf ninety seven times.
Tag Archives: Animals
Sunday supplement #3
I think we can all agree this week had more than its fair share of tragedy, farce and gloom. Clearly the whole Pokemon Go craze suggests people need a break from the relentless bad news and the hard-working halfbananas team are only too happy to get on board with providing some light relief. But first, some fruity facts..
Banana facts of the day
Bananas are one of the world’s most popular fruits, with over 100 trillion of them consumed every second. They are named after famed explorer and inventor count Otto Von Banana, who brought them back from an expedition to south America in the 1600s. His other major claims to fame are inventing the walrus moustache and a hat that doubles as a canoe.
The gene genie
‘There is only one race – the human race’
Genetically we are very similar – there is only a small variation among humans and the concept of different races is largely a social construct, not a biological one. We’re also not so different from our nearest relatives the apes – Chimpanzees share over 98% of our DNA.
We are related to all life on Earth in all its staggering diversity. Even bananas, which share 50-60% of our DNA, are distant relatives. I suspect this is why some people bruise more easily than others, and some quickly turn brown, or peel after sunbathing. They are a bit more bananas than the rest of us. (I’ve certainly encountered a few 100% bananas individuals online..)
One might think that the appreciation of all the wondrous diversity of life among our global kin would be hardwired. That Homo Sapiens would celebrate and embrace all the many forms life takes. Yet the history of our species is a bloody tale of intolerance, hatred and exploitation of our fellow man, and of the other species with which we share the planet.
Evolution has brought about a spectacular abundance of plant and animal life that we are trying our very best to eradicate, perhaps so we can have the planet all to ourselves. Of course the interdependence of humans and the flora and fauna of Earth makes this behaviour slightly baffling. It sometimes appears we are like a cartoon character, sawing through the branch that it sits on. Or in our case chopping down the whole forest.
If we could talk to the animals..
I’ve been trying out this amazing new universal animal translation software and thought I’d give it a go. Here is the result.
It is morning in the home of Jason, Ann and their elderly cat, Minnie.
J: ‘Hi Minnie! How are you?’ *Strokes her back and face*
Minnie: ‘Never mind that shit, get me some grub!’
J: ‘Hang on a sec, gotta use the bathroom..’
Minnie: ‘Oi! Where the hell are you going? Get back here!’
*Tries to trip him up*
Of all the animals that humans have learned to cherish and share their homes with, there is one that stands out above the rest. No not the giraffe, as lovable as they may be. I’m talking about those little whiskered troublemakers – cats.
From their apparent origins in ancient Egypt, the modern domesticated moggy has come a long way. Worshiped, at times reviled, but ultimately triumphant in winning a place in our hearts and homes, cats are here to stay. Although unlike dogs, getting them to stay is pretty much impossible.