Silly, silly humans. Perched smugly atop the food chain, we think we've got it all figured out. We're convinced we know just what makes our simple-minded animal friends tick. Cows mindlessly graze in pastures all day. Dogs greet us with vacant smiles and wagging tails. Cheetahs hunt the slow and weak. Click beetles click. Stink bugs stink.
But what do we really know about the seemingly predictable populace of the Animal Kingdom? Do we honestly know where sheep congregate in the wee hours of the morning? Whether bears play practical jokes? Or what Holsteins yearn for in the waning light of an autumn afternoon? Sadly, no.
But thankfully, the groundbreaking work of cartoonist and renowned animal behaviorist, Gary Larson, sheds a revealing light on The Secret Lives of Animals. Under that very banner, this year's Far Side wall calendar collects some of Larson's finest work in the field. Here, we encounter gorillas philosophizing over bananas, "hit cats" who shoot up doghouses, and an assortment of animals browsing in the self-help section of their branch library. Clearly, there is more going on with the resident fauna than most humans glean from first glance.
So, the next time your faithful dog greets you at the door, wagging deliriously, don't assume she's smiling because she's happy to see you. She might just be thinking of a joke the neighbor's collie told that morning. And the joke was probably about you.
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