PBS just aired a show about a harbor seal named Andre that lived in Rockport, Maine. It spoke of the man named Harry who cared for the seal for twenty five years. I was engrossed in the story of a man who bonded with a wild animal. Of course, I have always had an interest in stories like this. There were the stories about Jane Goodall who lived with the chimpanzees in Africa, Joy and George Adamson who raised Elsa the lioness, and Mel Ellis with Peg Leg Pete; they all struck a chord with me.
Today’s airing stimulated thought about all these stories I have always enjoyed and I contemplated why these stories would draw at my heartstrings more than stories about human interactions. Although I had never consciously thought about it, it did not take long to know why I feel and think the way I do.
When a wild animal befriends a human, it does not have hidden agendas. If they befriend you, they do it for a clear cut reason. Whether it is because they imprint on you as a baby and look at you as a parental unit, they look at you as a source of food, or as a symbol of safety, their reason is perfectly clear.
Humans on the other hand are not so translucent. They will act as if they like you only because you can do something for them and deny it to your face. Whether they think they can get to your money by acting friendly, you can help them get promoted, or whatever the reason, humans have hidden agendas.
I think we could learn some qualities that many currently lack from the animals that we think we are smarter than. I also think we could learn to be more wary of those who come on as friends to avoid being taken advantage of by them.