A different kind of superstition


“The world, we are told, was made especially for man — a presumption not supported by all the facts.” John Muir, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf

Picture if you will a man quietly sitting in the shade texting on his cell phone. A group of curious seagulls notices that he has not finished his fries. They close in to investigate and immediately notice that the man does not flinch. With this scenario in mind our tale of superstition begins.

Superstition is usually defined as  “a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief.”

This is how the word is defined as far as human beings are concerned. Many of us have our own personal array of good luck charms to protect us from harm: four-leaf clover; rabbit’s foot, magically endowed horse shoes. This list is endless and varied.

What if in the natural world birds also share this same superstitious streak? We are curious about them so why could they not be curious about us? 

The seagulls in the photo above might not actually be physically harassing this text sender. In the seagull’s mind wasting food so blatantly could bring about dire consequences to the perpetrator. 

They might be protecting this man’s best interest by approaching him and in their own way alerting him to the dangers of wasting his lunch.

I realize that this is a personal flight of fancy but answer me this: when was the last time you dined outside and did not have a flock of seagulls eyeballing your cuisine?

Think about this next time you are tempted to waste your lunch. Mother Nature is protecting your interests.





About gc (659 Articles)
Quote of the week: "If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.-- Frank Herbert quotes .

4 Comments on A different kind of superstition

  1. This is a great article and analogy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words. Always appreciated. The indifference of the texter and the curiosity of the seagulls caught my attention. Enjoy the weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the look of your blog and your line of thought.


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