Saturday, August 12, 2006

Love in Non-Human Animals

Another story from When Elephants Weep:

Tibby, an otter, was raised on an island by a man who used crutches. Eventually, the man became ill and asked Gavin Maxwell, the author of Raven, Seek Thy Brother, to care for Tibby. Unfortunately, the man never returned for Tibby, who did not seem to enjoy her new home—she was always sneaking out of her pen and visiting the nearest village. Maxwell wrote that Tibby found a man in that village who used crutches and built a nest under his home, but was chased away. He documented that after this event, he received a call from a person who had noticed an otter trying to follow him into his house. When Maxwell asked if the man used crutches, the man gasped, asking how could possibly have known that! The author of When Elephants Weep writes, "Tibby may have been imprinted on humans who used crutches, or she may just have been fond of such people because they reminded her of the affectionate man who had vanished from her life."