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GAL FRIDAY: A lot to learn from animals

Veoma Ali

GAL FRIDAY: A lot to learn from animals

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“I CYAAAAAh  stand these young girls; they too wufless!”

As I approached the new fish market, an older lady was loudly complaining to another about the apparent lack of sense and sensibility when it comes to young women today.

A no-nonsense type, the other woman didn’t miss a beat. Without beating around the bush – and while skilfully scaling a big snapper, she snapped: “You wasn’t no sweet bread neither; you like you forget you got nuff chirren from nuff men!”

Reader, let’s just say I got out of the way, since there were sharp instruments readily available. And our old girl looked as if she was gearing up for battle.

I didn’t stay long enough other than to hear the shouts and scuffles, but it provoked my thought processes a bit.

It reminded me of a quote by Hermann Hesse: If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of us doesn’t disturb us.” Or something like that, anyway. Think about it a bit.

This is why I love animals so much. They are the ‘lesser’ beings but they don’t seem to possess that base quality that is hate. I doubt you would ever see a lion bad-talking a next one and trying to stir up strife in the jungle. Or even in my backyard – I never see a monkey whispering to another about another monkey yet. Animals act on instinct. Humans act (or are supposed to act) on reason. But hate is not a reasonable thing.

Most people have pets; and I suppose this is so since they enjoy the company of another being who doesn’t judge, criticise or hate them.

Interestingly enough, while some may claim that animals cannot love, they certainly do exhibit loving tendencies.

Take Sir Charles and his pig. COW has a pig. It is a big, fat creature named Hoagie or “Hoggards” as he calls it. I saw this in an English documentary; and Hoagie went to his owner to be petted and even greeted the camera crew with some special oinks.

Now, there are some folks around who, when greeted with a cheery pleasantry, choose to grunt. Hoggards could put them to shame . . . with more manners than some people! And then, coming home. I felt a little funny the other day: imagine a co-worker asking me for a ride and then inviting me in to get a pawpaw from his tree.

Two children sitting in the patio. I greet them and they stare. I asked my colleague if they were his. He affirmed. I asked him if they were mutes. He got upset. I got no pawpaw.

If you decide to take a read this weekend, read Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Power among the pigs is actually a mirroring of human tendencies. Before I go, my neighbour Rosie lost her beloved Kobe on Tuesday. Kobe was a perfect little dog . . . and you know what? He had good manners, too!

Veoma Ali is an author, broadcaster, advertising exec and, most important, a karaoke lover.