I got home from the supermarket the other day only to find that the bottle of milk had leaked all over the floor of my car. I was not happy. Fortunately, it was only on one of the removable carpets and not in the boot. I would have been really cross if it had gone all over the boot because that would have been much more difficult to clean. I got the offending bottle out of the bag, put it in the full sun, and told it in no uncertain terms “Let’s see how you like THIS then”. The bottle sat there contritely, filled with remorse, crying more of its contents over my driveway.
About 12 months ago, I was sitting happily writing an article when I felt something on my ankle. I looked down to find a big Huntsman spider making its way up my leg. With a shriek suitable for someone who was being attacked with a bloody knife in a darkened room of an eerie house that was filled with suspenseful music, I threw my laptop, mouse, cup of tea and everything else up in the air and swished my unexpected cuddler onto the floor. Full-on ‘mother’ mode took over. I pointed an accusatory finger at the surprised offender, “What on EARTH do you think you’re doing?”, I boomed in a voice that could probably be heard 10 kms away (one of the results of being a swimming teacher for so many years: I can PROJECT my voice very, very well). The spider cowered on the floor, somehow managing to look both sheepish (if that’s possible for a spider) and increasingly contrite as I continued, “That was really naughty, you gave me such a fright! Don’t you EVER do that again! Ever!”. It stayed where it was for a few moments, wrapped in what I can only assume was spider-like mortification, then slunk off and dejectedly climbed a wall before disappearing to hopefully consider its future actions.
There’s a family of swans lives nearby – actual black swans, I mean, not a family of football fans – and I had a chuckle to myself one day when one of the teenagers got told off by its mother and was made to swim at her side, away from the rest of its siblings. I have this theory that being told off by a mother is actually a universal event throughout the animal kingdom. The photo with this post is of a pelican being told off by an older lady after it had bitten her. Check out the body language of both the woman & the bird: it’s totally that of a child being told off by its mother.
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