Thursday 10 January 2008

A heartwarming cockroach story

A human and an interesting cockroach met, a couple of days ago, in Brooklyn, New York. The human was female and a notorious cockroach-hater; the cockroach was a fella who could actually make himself look squashed, in order to save his own life.

This cockroach could sense human attention on him, much in the same way that humans can sense attention from other humans. However, this particular cockroach had evolved a new way to make human attention go away, and in this way he demonstrated a quality quite unlike humans, who are doing very well at successfully evolving new ways of drawing attention to themselves, even when the attention concerned is likely to bring them to freshly heightened states of squashedness.

But this time, the human called the cockroach's bluff. She examined him closely, saw that he was not actually squashed but faking, and promptly made his faking true. However, in the second or two just before the pretence became real, there was a flicker of human to cockroach to human consciousness, during which the roach realised that the game was up, and the human realised yet again, that roaches are far smarter than they look.

And, as is often the case when a human squashes a roach with her bare fingers, the roach didn't die all at once, but slowly, his hairy left leg waving a little bit at the end, and there was, in fact, in the human female, a moment of genuine affection.

No comments:

Post a Comment