Today I watched the Mama osprey across the creek flapping her wings while standing on the edge of the nest. I thought she might be frightening off some predator. But, I stared closely for a bit; then I saw a small head peeking over the edge of the nest. Mama osprey started flapping her wings again. And, every time I saw a little head, Mama would flap.
Down, down, I say. Don't you chicks ever listen to me? Do you know how far you'd fall if you got on the edge of this nest? And, then where would you be? Dead, I tell you, dead. I'd be fit to kill myself for losing you.
Now, Oliver, just stay put and Daddy will be back soon with something to eat. I know you're hungry now, but you'll just have to wait until supper. Olivia, how many times do I have to tell you not to peck at your brother. He's too little to stand up to you right now. But, you wait, he's going to grow and then I hate to think what he's going to do to you. He'll tell tales of you to all your prospective mates. George. George. GEORGE! Get your head down and behave yourself. If I have to tell you one more time....
It's easy to ascribe human characteristics to non-human critters, especially when you've been watching them for some time. Unfortunately, it's also easy to ascribe non-human characteristics to humans after you've been around them for a bit.
I have a friend with a pointy nose, and, when she is scared, she becomes very still and quiet like an opossum. A long time ago I had a friend who was bulky and slow thinking and very good humored, and I often called her my favorite pachyderm. Some people are bull-headed or assinine. My daddy sometimes called me his little monkey because I liked to climb trees.
We judge and stereotype people so often that we don't think about it much...until someone does it to us and we find out. A nosy old pig. A cow. A horse's rear end. Prickly as a porcupine. Some of our animal descriptions aren't very complimentary. Yet, we make them.
My spouse can be as stubborn as a mule. She claims she has to walk on egg shells sometimes with me.
Now, I'm trying to think up some more positive attributes that I can ascribe to people, and maybe I won't use the negative ones so often.