Part 2 – A Challenge From Nature
(for PART 1: An Introduction to Berries click here)
In the course of picking berries, you may come upon a deer who is also in the process of taking some berries for its own. Unlike you, the deer will likely not be storing the berries, but will simply be eating them on the spot. It is not recommended that you do this, because then you will not have any for later. But I digress – you are facing down a deer. What are you to do?
As you may have guessed, you are going to need to display your dominance so that the deer knows that it is in your territory. Otherwise it will see you as an intruder, and worse, as a coward, and it will not back down. You should adopt a pose that is similar to an angry deer, and lock your eyes with those of the deer. This would be an ideal time to have a genetic mutation that causes you to have horns or a tail, but the truth is that very few people are cursed in this way. The standard human body can be contorted into a relatively deer-like posture, and this will have to do. As you face the deer, you may snarl if you wish, but make sure that you are not snarling in a manner too similar to a cougar or a badger, as this will likely confuse the deer. Remember, you need the deer to think that you are a deer, like it is.
While you are in this dominance position, begin to approach the deer. Do this with a slow and steady gait as it is crucial to create the impression that you are in no hurry to get this confrontation over with. Deer do not respect people with a lot to do, as they generally feel that these people are exaggerating their own business to make themselves feel important1. When you are close to the deer, suddenly reach forward and plunge your arm into the deer’s mouth. Reach around inside until you come upon some of the berries that the deer has eaten, and pull them out. Place them in your basket. Then reach back down the deer’s esophagus and repeat the procedure until you have pulled all of the berries out of the deer’s stomach.
In this way, you are giving a signal to the deer that says “no, deer, these are not your berries, these are mine”. The deer will nod and perhaps bow down on its two front legs, and then it will run into the deep of the woods. Good work, outdoorsman, the berries are yours.
Tomorrow we shall discuss some more of the challenges of picking berries.
- The “busy soccer mom” theory of animal behavior. [↩]