Attentive – thinking about or watching something carefully : paying careful attention to something. merriam-webster
My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, Proverbs 5:1
A mark of sensible intelligence is paying attention (attentiveness) to wisdom. Being with wise people, reading wisdom literature, practicing being wise; all these lead toward a good life. Attentiveness can even make a difference in the animal kingdom. As my friend, Ben, saw in Uganda.
* * *
The house cat, her eyes trained upward to an adjoining room, lowered her body along the floor. Assuming a stalking posture, she began her move.
Ben – a young missionary living with his uncle and aunt in Kampala – sat his beverage aside. This could be interesting.
Seated where he was, Ben could take in the full view. He intertwined his fingers behind his head and watched.
A large circular bird cage hung on a secure hook from the living room ceiling. On a simple roost in the cage sat an African Gray parrot. The house cat licked her lips.
Ben’s uncle and aunt owned a third pet, as well – a dog – which, at the moment, was nowhere in sight.
The cat was viewed by the canine as a bothersome presence – so would find herself at times racing through the house – the dog barking in hot pursuit.
A straight-backed chair had been left directly under the parrot cage – a detail not lost on the cat. She leapt onto the chair and placed her front paws atop its back support. Her leaping advantage established, she eyed the bird a final moment. Before pandemonium struck.
Unknown to the predator house-cat, the Gray was a keen observer. Not only was she taking in her every move, from her perch she had often watched the dog-and-cat-chase through the house.
Suddenly, the bird dropped to the cage floor, raced round and round on it. And vigorously barked – perfectly mimicking the dog’s strong bark.
Throwing his head back, Ben broke into a long, rollicking laugh – as a shrieking bundle of fur bolted through an open door to freedom.
©2016 Jerry Lout