Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday goodies: My kid, animal listener

Horse whisperer. Dog whisperer. Fill-in-the-blank whisperer. You hear it about people who have an affinity for a certain animal. I've even used it on my son before: lizard whisperer, bug whisperer. But really, the fundamental assumption seems to be that you can sort of tame the animal, at least for that instant -- that you fundamentally understand what's going on, from its point of view.

My son's not that kind of animal whisperer. For one, it's nearly all animals. For another thing, he doesn't tame them. He doesn't want to. "Whisperer" seems to imply that he's the one doing the talking, and he doesn't care about what he has to say with animals. He doesn't whisper. He listens. He seems to understand their otherness. If he truly bonds with an animal at all, it's in the sense that he knows they, he and the animal, are separate beings, that this is an Other -- and he loves that. He revels in it.

He doesn't pose with animals, except for once in a while when I ask him to. Usually I just catch him at it. He doesn't seem to understand that this is a special or uncommon gift.


Proud Mama said... Best Blogger Tips

Fantastic moments captured. He does have a gift.

Thérèse said... Best Blogger Tips

It is wise to be silent and observe around this kid.
Beautiful moments to cherish.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Great photos! Nice to see a kid connecting with nature.

From a bug "whisperer".

George Sims said... Best Blogger Tips

This is one COOL kid. Give him my best, from the Missouri Ozarks.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said... Best Blogger Tips

Love these photos! I have an animal crazy kid and love to snap him with our variety of creatures here - geckos, tarantulas, the usual cats and dog - in addition to outings to reptile shows, nature walks, etc. :-)

I have to say, and I am truly not trying to be negative, but the snap of him with the snake so near his face? Please tell me that was an optical illusion based on angle! A responsible snake and reptile handler should be firm about the "no animals in the face" rule (that's how I judge good handler, personally - is he/she letting my kid get his face into their animal's face? If the answer is yes, we move on. Just my 2 cents. The lizard (iguana, it appeared) is probably less of a concern. :-)

Anyway, I just discovered this blog and am now off to subscribe. I can't wait to see more photos via Arizona (one of my favorite states!) Gorgeous!

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

Proud Mama, Thérèse, nobonesaboutit, and George Sims: Thanks! My son checked out the pictures yesterday, and he was pretty tickled that others were checking them out too. Thank you for the kind words.

Cagey: First, thanks so much for the kind words, enthusiasm, and subscription! (And yes, expect many Arizona photos. I have a folder of hundreds that i haven't used yet, so I think I'm good for a while.)

As to the python, I know the face thing is a little jarring, and probably if it was for longer than a nanosecond, I would have told him to back off. It was a fluke, really. It was like this: the just-fed, lethargic, very-used-to-humans python was calmly checking out a few kids, raising up and down against the fence, with three very good handlers about an inch out of the frame. The handlers didn't encourage face time at all, and probably, they would have done something if they'd had time.

If I were using a photo to illustrate best human-reptile interactions, it wouldn't be that one. But when I'm trying to get people's attention Re: Not Freaking Out About Animals, that one does it every time.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said... Best Blogger Tips

I really hope my words didn't come across as judgmental - my comment was probably more for folks who are not used to dealing with/handling exotics. Obviously, you are! ;-) I just wanted to point it out to others who maybe aren't aware. I've just seen so much nonchalant handling at reptile shows - particularly with young guys in their 20s, so excited about showing off their snake, not realizing their snake's head is too darned close to my kid's.

It's hard to resist taking a snap of your kid with such a beautiful snake - nice thing that you didn't so that you could share with us!

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

Cagey: Judge away! I have no problem with most judging (especially nice, as yours was). And you're right.

Your comment is funny too, about the demographic -- I wrote about rattlesnakes years ago, and I seem to remember a statistic about who gets bitten most by rattlers. They were overwhelmingly male, and overwhelmingly in something like the 15-25 age bracket. Sounds about right. I think I've seen a few of them on the trails.