We’ve got a Darwinian situation at Las Golondrinas. I mean, old Charles would be beside himself with glee checking out our corral. No, it’s not Iguana lizards morphing into Goldie Locks. It’s lips. Donkey lips. More precisely, donkey lips that think they’re hands.
I like to think I have strategic advantage over my animals. The truth is, I need all the help I can get to stay even with them!
My Scotties are too smart for their own good–way too smart. Burnsie now employs his new eyes in the back of his head to monitor my feet and me when I walk him to the door. You see, until recently it was enough for me to walk to the door with him, acting like I was going outside. He would anticipate and dash out the door ahead of me.
It took about three such ruses. Now his new eyes in the back of his head tell him when I pause at the threshold and he stops dead in his tracks quicker than an Austin-Healey roadster with brand new brakes. And he stands statue-like, unmoving, if I’m not also going outside. He’s too smart for his own good. Evolution is alive and well in the Scottish Terrier. He figures things out.
Until recently I took comfort in knowing at least my donkeys and goats were inferior. I reassured myself that I had intelligence and opposable thumbs and all those homo sapien features that put me at the top of the food chain. Well, get ready. Turns out evolution is alive and well in donkey DNA. We’re all in trouble.
My Galapagos Island discovery at Las Golondrinas occurred one morning recently as the Scotties and I walked the fence line from the gate to the donkey barn at morning feeding time. There it was in front of us: empirical evidence donkeys’ lips are prehensile opposable thumbs in the making.
Pulled completely through several of the 2 inch by 4 inch openings in the field wire fence grid were long sections of a canvas car cover that had been folded and stored on the other side of the wire fence. The car cover was not torn into ribbons but was still whole, making pulling it through the small wire openings at numerous locations in the wire grid, quite an accomplishment. I don’t think I could do it with my homo sapien opposable thumbs!
Because the gate was fastened when I entered, I know the donkeys were inside the corral area when they threaded the needle with hunks of that car cover. They had to stretch their prehensile lips through the wire grid to reach the canvas on the other side and grab the car cover with sufficient grip to pull sections of the 20 ft by 10 ft canvas into and through the heavy wire mesh.
My Scotties looked away furtively when they saw me reconnoitering. They knew I was putting two and two together … connecting dots they and the rest of the animal kingdom don’t want humans to connect. This is spooky. We should all be scared. Very scared. Can you imagine the vindettas, the mayhem to be wrought on humans when animals unite in evolutionary triumph over man? Look out KFC. The chickens are coming … and they’re pissed!
Come to think of it, how do I know my fastened corral gate is conclusive that the donkeys were not outside my fence? If their lips are morphing into opposable thumbs capable of threading flat canvas through wire mesh, who knows, they may be capable of not only UNlatching my thumb-required gate latch, their teeth may be capable of cracking the tumblers on a bank safe and their ears capable of tying Boy Scout knots … or untying them … then tying up the Boy Scouts! Holy Darwinism. We’re in trouble …
Be advised, human race: H. G. Well’s Animal Farm is real and we’ve been lapped by the four-leggeds in the food chain and old Darwin is rolling over in his grave.
Joseph Harvill, publisher Great Scots Magazine