The Strut

Direct eye contact is said to incite violence among dogs and bears. Apparently they read it as an affront.

Showing a big cat your back, meanwhile, will elicit pursuit and attack. Flight is a prey behavior and must be treated as such.

Ravens, pack rats and barracuda are drawn to shiny objects.

Antelope have been known to walk right up to a waving white flag, or sometimes even the white shirt of a bow hunter.

I guess we all carry preprogrammed weaknesses.

Among mine is the strut. Something about a pheasant rooster’s, head-bobbing, prancy-legged parade stride makes my blood boil. My response is as ridiculous as the bird’s movement. I know this. But nothing so impotent as knowledge can keep me from seeing red. I just have to get the cocky bastard.

We are, I fear, beholden to our Pavlovian dispositions. So long as that’s true, it’s comforting to know that the snake-oil salesmen haven’t yet cornered the market on our passions; that there’s a little of the bear and the cat left in us yet.

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