Tuesday, June 28th, 2022 02:23:05

Brainy or bird-brained?

Updated: August 20, 2011 10:05 am

India That Is Bharat


BIRDS are bird-brained. This is a given. But do they have to be so hopelessly bird-brained as to involve themselves in criminal acts and other political activities of human beings? If and when they do , they naturally have to suffer the legal punishments meant for human beings. Take, for instance, this pigeon that was caught while carrying drugs into a jail in Columbia, South America. It was carrying a load of marijuana, cocain and other drugs tied to its wings when the police found it on the ground outside a jail. When they tried to help it fly they found the drug load, which was apparently so heavy that the bird got tired and fell to the ground. What did the police then do? They arrested the pigeon and took it to the police station, See? Like any freight plane the pigeon should have specified the maximum load it would carry, and it should have also signed an indemnity bond about the load’s safe passage. For now that this bird has become a jail-bird the freight it was carrying has been confiscated and the Colombian who owned it has been put to loss by the carrier.

                Still what this pigeon did was some simple smuggling as compared to the serious espionage in which another bird was engaged. For according to a recent report from Jerusalem a vulture was caught by the Saudi Arab authorities for spying for the Israeli espionage agency Mossad. The bird was found in a rural area in the Saudi Arabian territory wearing a transmitter and a leg-bracelet bearing the words “Tel Aviv University”. The tag could have indicated that the bird was a part of a research project on birds’ migration patterns, but Saudi Arab newspapers declared it looked like a “Zionist plot”. See? This vulture will have to convince its Arab interrogators that its political views are not Zionist, and that it did not mind feasting on Zionist carcasses. Till then it will have to suffer the rigours of intense interrogation by the Saudi intelligence agency’s brainy bird-watchers.

                Both the above instances should have sufficed to show the birds that it is dangerous to associate with humans in any way, but not even one bird seems to have learnt that “one lives and learns”. For the other day a parrot in Argentina had to spend five days in prison under police interrogation. A judge had ordered that Pepo the parrot be held in custody until he told the police who his real owner was. Two neighbours, Jorge and Vega, were disputing the ownership. Finally, after five days behind the bars Pepo called out Jorge’s name, and even sang the anthem of his favourite football team. A happy Jorge said, “I knew he wasn’t going to let me down, he is a real friend, and we cheer the same football team.” Now, in the considered opinion of Satiricus, who is considered bird-brained, even a bird-brained bird need not have spent so many days in custody before spilling the beans and revealing the football team he favoured. The only problem would have been—what if Pepo called Jorge by name but changed his loyalty to the opposing football team? In that event either Jorge would have disowned Pepo or Pepo would have disowned Jorge. Satiricus suspects that like all true football fans, the parrot would rather stick by the team than by his owner.

…Lift kara de!

Science is fantastic. It has more or less proved that morality can be measured in feet and yards. Satiricus is not joking. A team of scientists at University of North Carolina in the US of A has found a link between height and morality. They found that people become more compassionate when they are physically higher than other people. The study found that people were more cruel if they have just gone down the stairs, and less dangerous if they have just gone up the stairs. Well, well, well…. Satiricus has heard the phrase “moral high ground”, but he had no idea the height of a moral ground could be precisely ascertained with a measuring tape. But Satiricus sees a problem. People going up or down a moral staircase may find this facility useful, but what happens if they use a lift? In the USA they call the lift an elevator. Then will the elevator elevate people morally when they use it to go up, and will the same people descend to the depths of immorality when their elevator descends? And what about express elevators with which American sky-scrapers are equipped? Will a man coming down in an express elevator suffer a precipitious fall in his moral standards when he steps out of it? On the other hand will this lift lift his morality at express speed when he goes up in it? Satiricus does not know. He only hopes that the present pervasive break-down in the morality of the American society is not due to a simultaneous break-down in their lifts.

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