After attending a visit to the zoo with my kid I found myself talking with the animals and I’m pretty sure they understood me. Although shamefully I was by myself at the time and speaking with the animals for no entertainment value to my absent child, I always enjoy a good chat with the animals at the zoo.
There was even an Ape there who, I’m pretty sure, was interacting with me and playing a game of hide and seek with me, the evidence to this fact was pretty overwhelming.
Once reunited with my child we continued looking at all of the different animals, but this time instead of speaking with the animals in my native tongue (English) I was attempting to speak with the animals in their native tongue’s. It only dawned upon me that this was in fact a common ritual undertaken by most Dad’s when at virtually the exact same time in the distance I heard a Dad speaking with an animal in its native tongue as I did with my animal.
I couldn’t help but chuckle inside at this weird phenomenon, where us men endeavour to communicate with the animals in front of our children. I hadn’t noticed any women doing the same thing, perhaps because they aren’t fluent in animalese as us men are. There is clearly a little Doctor Dolittle inside every man just waiting to get into a Zoo with his kids.
I’m pretty sure that we do actually believe that the animal is fully understanding our moos and clucks as we engage in full conversation with them and that it isn’t just for the purpose of mimicking these animals or mocking their inability to grasp our native tongue’s.
There is an expression which says that “all men are dogs.” and perhaps they are right, but I think it goes a little deeper than that and perhaps we can say that “all men are animals.”?
I would love to head a study into the brain patterns of both men and animals as they talk to each other in one of these ritual conversations just to see the results, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that there is some sort of exchange on an unseen level. Perhaps I’m just barking up the wrong tree?
Until then, I’m off to watch a Moovie! 😉