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game would have stimulated his instincts, or set up a reflex action, and put his paws in vigorous motion. He will, in an awkward kind of way, try to remove the burrs and bidens seeds from his coat, and bite at a sliver in his foot - these things irritate him and hence sustain a much closer relation to him than did the poker or the stick of wood; his instinct of self-defense is more or less aroused by them.
One's dog will come to cover when it rains, but can one think of him as putting on any cover to keep off the rain, or as bringing in his blanket out of the wet, unless especially trained? All such minor human acts are quite beyond the capacity of our wild or domestic animals, requiring as they do a certain self-detachment and viewing of things as they are in their relations.
Touch the spring of an animal's instinct or inherited habit, and it responds; but appeal to its power of independent thought, and it is, for the most part, as helpless as any other machine.
Birds will remove obstacles from their nests, and a setting hen will steal eggs from a nest within reach of her own. Such behavior shows only how acute and active their instincts are during the crisis of propagation.
The lower animals all seem to be upon the same plane; they are all yet at the breast of Nature, as it were, directly and unconsciously dependent upon her, while man has long since been weaned and
separated from her. He has moved into another plane of being, still dependent, of course, upon the Nature of which he is, in a measure, the master. He still runs down into the region of reflex action, but he also runs up into the region of choice and reason and invention, where the animal does not follow him.
Man is emancipated, the animal is in bondage. And yet man surely came by the way of the lower animals. In these forms he tarried, these are his kith and kin; their marks are still upon him. But how he ever left them so far behind, who can tell? How did he cut loose from them? Why is my dog on one side of the gulf and I on the other? Why was he left behind by the impulse that brought me over? Why are we not either all dogs or all men? The wave has traveled, but the water has stayed behind. What started the wave? Where is the source of the force it represents? This manimpulse that has never been stayed, what or who started it? Through good and through evil report has it come, through slime and ooze, and reptile and fish, through monsters and dragons, and cataclysm, and cosmic winters and summers, and has arrived safely at last with man on its crest.
Of course the animals show many human traits; their whole emotional life — and it is doubtful if
they have any other seems to run parallel to our own. They live in feeling, not in thought. Huxley says that this is because they have no language.
They have no language because their brains are not developed to the language point. But to have emotions and feelings and associations and repulsions, the sense of direction, the sense of home, the love of offspring, the fear of enemies, we do not need a language, we need only the senses.
The animals show human traits every hour in the day, but my contention is that they do not show anything like human intelligence. The two pairs of orioles I saw one day come in collision as I was passing along the road behaved, I thought, in a very human way. Each couple had a nest in elm trees that stood near one another on the roadside, and were, of course, more or less jealous of each other's rights. As I was passing, the two females had come to blows in a clump of willows a few yards away and were having a lively scrap. Instantly the two males appeared, hurrying side by side to the scene of the squabble of their mates. Just what took place on their arrival I could not clearly make out, except that the females separated and the males came to blows. After sparring a moment or two, they alighted on the wire fence a few feet apart, where they eyed each other sharply and exchanged some very emphatic words, the purport of which I could only guess. How very human, I thought, that two husbands, in interfering in a quarrel between their wives, should get each other by the ears! My neighbor and I got
into a "scrap" in trying to separate our dogs, exercising no more reason in the matter than did the orioles.
When Hobhouse, the English psychologist and philosopher, was trying to teach his elephant how to draw a bolt to open a box that contained a sweet morsel, the elephant used to lose its temper at times and bang the box around like a petulant child — a very human proceeding, I thought.
My son had a duck that one fall behaved, as it seemed to me, in quite a human way. He had a wild strain in him, and was brought up near the sea. He had lost his mate during the summer, and when fall came, I suppose the migrating instinct began to stir in him. He seemed uneasy and would leave the hens and wander off alone, softly calling as he walked. One night in early October he was missing, and we fancied a fox had snapped him up in the twilight. Days passed, till one evening one of the men saw a solitary duck flying past low over the buildings and fruit trees upon the lawn. He said it looked like our lost duck. A few days later the report came from our neighbor of a very tame wild duck upon the river. The duck had come ashore near his house, and he, not having a gun, had tried to capture it by a slip-noose at the end of a pole. But the duck took fright and flew away down the river. A day or two later it appeared again near our neighbor's house, and now,
having learned that it was probably our lost duck, our neighbor set out to capture it by the use of corn, and finally succeeded. He then clipped one wing and turned it loose. The drake, failing in his efforts to fly, was a changed bird; disaster made him think of home, and the next day at twilight he turned his steps thitherward. He came slowly laboring up the hill, very silent and humble, and allowed himself to be picked up. It was hardly the return of a prodigal, but it was the coming back of a humbled and disappointed wanderer.
Animal conduct parallels human conduct in many particulars, but to say that it is the result of the same mental processes is, I believe, to make a capital mistake. Why, inorganic nature often seems to copy human methods, too, as, for instance, in a natural bridge. Behold on what sound mechanical principles the rude arch or span is built up! Shall we therefore ascribe the faculty of reason to the rocks? Or behold how the mountain-walls are buttressed, the overhanging cliff supported— it is all good engineering. In nature such things are the inevitable result of irrefragable mechanical laws; with the lower animals they are the result of instinct; with man they are the result of reason.
I notice that when the phobe-bird builds her nest on the steep surface of a ledge, she begins like