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Critters are Smarter than People Think!

by Catherine Sadler, Ramah, CO, USA


The thread of Smart Kitty reminded me of so many stories written here about our pets doing actual thinking and planning. I have several stories of various critters I could tell about that I swear are cognizant!

For instance, here is the story of Banty Hen: (yes, I know, it's OT, but I can't help myself.) [grin]

Years ago, we raised chickens. Mostly, they were big white ones. But someone had given us 2 Bantam roosters. One hen managed to hide her eggs and raise up her babies. One baby was a hen looking just like the Bantam roosters. We called her Little Banty. As she grew up the two roosters were always at her side. They ignored the big white hens, but they had a matching rooster, so that was ok.

Several years later, we moved and took the Bantams with us. The white chickens were butchered. Two years later, first one and then the other rooster died of old age. Little Banty was lonely. For a few days she was very quiet. Then one morning she woke up, flapped her wings like the roosters had always done and then she crowed! After that, she hopped down from her perch and behaved like a proper hen. This went on every day after that for a couple years until we acquired a few more hens and a rooster.

Then Little Banty quit crowing. but she would have nothing to do with the new hens. She went her own way. The rooster was torn. Like any man, he was drawn by her exotic beauty, but he was also drawn by the Harem! He was constantly shuttling between the harem and Little Banty.

One day Little Banty used her brains. The rooster and hens were in the yard and she was in the hen house alone. So, she crowed like a rooster! Of course Rooster was outraged that a rogue rooster was in his territory. He went squawking to Little Banty but couldn't find the interloper. So he soon went back to the harem.

Pretty soon he heard the rooster crowing again. This time he ran all around the henhouse and the front pen squawking. But again he found no gigolo. He ran a little way back to the harem but turned around and went back to Little Banty. He stayed for awhile. Then the harem came into view and he couldn't resist; he joined them.

Pretty soon he heard the rooster again. This time he was positively shrieking with rage and burning the ground with his feet as he streaked back to Little Banty! After he searched the hen house, he joined Little Banty and was very solicitous about finding seeds for her and clucking at her. He never left her side again. As for Little Banty, I could swear she was smirking!

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