Wild Kingdom

Here’s how Merriam-Webster describes a natural phenomenon that takes place in our house:


The incredible bit of animal behavior went unrecorded.  Using our formidable research skills, we were able to reconstruct the event from evidence.  And a good guess.  And stuff.

Here’s the story:

We had these cookies the Joey really liked, but if he got into them, he would eat the entire package.  

In an effort to ration the cookies, we put them up on a shelf beyond Joey’s reach.

This worked for a good while.

Then one day, I reached up for the cookies only to find the package empty.  It was in its place up on the high shelf.  It wasn’t just empty – there weren’t even crumbs.  Not in the empty package, not on the shelf, not on the counter below or on the floor.

How did Joey perpetrate this?

Well, he didn’t.  Not alone.  There was symbiosis.

Joey grew enough to reach the shelf.  So the cookies ceased to be out of reach, and Joey helped himself.

But he’s not a neat eater.  How to explain the clean scene?  Who or what cleaned up the crumbs?


There was another species sharing Joey’s environment.  It had the natural capacity to clean up dropped food, even crumbs.

Although I never saw them pulling off a cookie hunt together, I did manage to capture this photo of them in close proximity in the wild.  It was not easy to get this photo, because Joey normally ignores the other species.  People with autism can go either direction; some are drawn to animals and some remain aloof from them.  

Joey, being the more highly evolved species, showed a preference for social order and control of his environment by returning the empty package to its place on the high shelf.

At least that’s my assumption.  I can’t come up with a hypothesis that would explain the dog doing that.

I have observed her stealing some chocolate covered cherries that Melissa gave me on a holiday.  And she left the wrapper on the floor.




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