August 8, 2009

Those Smartie Pants

Aesop thought of foxes and crows as clever animals.
Perusing definitions of clever we find multiple meanings.
*Mentally quick and original; bright.
*Nimble with the hands or body; dexterous.
*Exhibiting quick-wittedness: a clever story.
*New England Easily managed; docile

*New England Affable but not especially smart.
*Chiefly Southern U.S. Good-natured; amiable.

The etymology, or origin, may include:
*E.Anglian dial. 1590 cliver "expert at seizing,";
*MaybeNorwegian dialectic: klover "ready, skillful,"
*perhaps infl. by Old English: clifer "claw, hand"
(arly usages seem to refer to dexterity; extension to intellect is first recorded 1704.

A Crow was sitting on a branch of a tree with a piece of cheese in her beak when a Fox observed her and set his wits to work to discover some way of getting the cheese.
Standing under the tree he looked up and said, "What a noble bird I see above me! Her beauty is without equal, the hue of her plumage exquisite. If only her voice is as sweet as her looks are fair, she ought without doubt to be Queen of the Birds."

The Crow was hugely flattered by this, and just to show the Fox that she could sing she gave a loud caw.

Down came the cheese, of course, and the Fox, snatching it up, said, "You have a voice, madam, I see: what you want is wits."

There was once a thirsty Crow. He spied a pitcher of water on the ground. “At last,” he panted, “I see some water to quench my thirst!”

When he got to the jar, he discovered the water lay way down at the bottom. The neck of the pitcher was too narrow, and his beak, far too short!

“What do I do?” said the crow, trying in every way to get his face into the jar.

Collecting small pebbles in his beak, he dropped them one by one into the pitcher. As the the pitcher filled with stones, the water slowly reached the top! The clever crow then drank of the sweet water to his heart’s content.

Aesop's moral stories had a literal truth we may not have realized.
A scientific study has proved the corvid's intelligence, though a worm does the enticing. Watch this guy think, study, plan and execute the tricky job of getting a snack from a too narrow tube.

1 comment:

Pear said...

What a clever corvid like our ravens and jays around her, they've trained us to feed them and caw if we're late.