Thomas Ramey Watson

Animal Wisdom

There’s a long tradition of stories about animals

who teach humans that pay attention.

The lessons they teach depend largely on one’ s culture and tradition.

For that culture and tradition largely determines our perception.

To a lesser degree, our individual upbringing and experience also influence such perceptions.

Most pertinent to the world’s current financial debacle, The Little Red Hen used to be read to children in Western culture as a story espousing the virtues of capitalism.

If you did not work, the Little Red Hen ordered that

you did not eat.

Like a good boss, she ran the barnyard.

But those from cultures where cooperation and a strong sense of the entire group’s good have looked at the little Hen in horror. She cares only about her own prosperity with little attention to the good of the whole community. She is blind to the usefulness of the dog that lies around sleeping most of the time, failing to recognize the protection he offers the other animals.

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