Since our piece on the skills of pigeons, we’ve been flooded with correspondence about other amazing animal feats. Bessie Desjardins tells us her dog Luther can bark the entire Iliad in the original Greek. There is some reason to believe this, as Luther is a Rottweiler. Rottweilers rank as one of the most ancient breeds. They accompanied the Romans through Germany, driving their cattle and guarding outposts. Many were left behind and, in the town of Rottweil in southern Germany, they became the breed we know today (hillspet.com.au). Germans are well-known as classical scholars and of course well-educated Romans spoke Greek. So we’re inclined to give it to Bessie and Luther.
We’ve been sent links to more scientific work, including Watanabe’s A cross-cultural double-blind study of drumming cows, The Musical Abilities of Water Buffalo, and his ground-breaking work on teaching bees to play the xylophone (still in progress).
Gert is currently teaching her cat Celie to play chess. Well, trying to. Perhaps chess was an unwise choice given the attention-span of cats and their contempt for rules.
And just for fun someone sent us this very sparky version of Gertrude Stein’s Pigeons on the grass https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrR9i6q5UuY
Image Tom Frydenlund Pixabay.