More amazing animal feats


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 ( 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


Image Tom Frydenlund Pixabay.



9 thoughts on “More amazing animal feats

    1. I remember that story – the noble dog saving the baby and being blamed. It is perhaps going a bit far to make a dog a saint, though I do have a friend who would argue that dogs are much worthier than humans.

  1. It’s a perfect day to goof around Gert. Sorry I couldn’t watch the full 2:16min of Gertrude Stein’s Pigeons on the Grass. They must have been using some other kind of grass.The cat playing chess…. figures…..

  2. Our cat, currently 14 years old, does an excellent visual and vocal impression of our oldest offspring at the same age, whenever she’s crossed. You can see similar epithets cross her mind and expressions cross her face:
    Are you deaf or blind? I’m here caterwauling at the door and you’re either ignoring or laughing at me? How dare you leave me out here! Is my dinner ready? and so on and so on. (Yes, we did laugh. How we laughed…)

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