Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Book of Animal Ignorance

Working in a library means that you daily run across interesting books, but there isn't enough time in the world to read them all. That's how that obnoxious bumper sticker/t-shirt slogan "so many books, so little time" was derived I suppose. Anyway, I often bring books back to the Reference Desk and keep them around to dip into at random, especially non-fiction books like
The Book of Animal Ignorance: everything you think you know is wrong by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, 2007. (call #590 LLO)

The Book of Animal Ignorance is perfect for browsing. Here are some tidbits from it. "Cheerful dogs wag their tails more to the right side of their rumps. Morose dogs wag to the left." (59) I'll have to check my dog to see if she's depressed or not. I think she kind of wags bilaterally which must mean she is even-tempered and not neurotic?  Hedgehogs win polls as the most popular garden animal in the U.K. (100) Now that implies a lot of strange things, about polling, and about the Brits. My dog's run-in with a hedgehog a few weeks ago was really disturbing. The varmint had fangs you would not believe and did not look the least bit like Beatrix Potter's Mrs. Tiggywinkle. Aside from not wearing a pinafore, it was just plain aggressive. "Pigs can learn to dance, race, pull carts, and sniff out land mines." (161) But would you want your pig to dance? I think not."Sheep, even more than their close relatives the goats, were responsible for the greatest lifestyle shift in human history: the transition from hunter-gatherer to farmer." (192) So next time you impatiently wait for a flock of sheep to leave the road so you can keep driving, just stop cursing them and offer them thanks for our modern way of life.
If you want to know more interesting facts about animals, check this book out.

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