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Thinking Out A Plan
[March 3, 1888.]
Are animals able to think over and carry out a plan? The following
anecdotes will answer the question. When in India, I had a small rough
terrier who, when given a bone, was sent to eat it on the gravel drive
under an open porch in front of the bungalow. On several occasions two
crows had made an attempt to snatch the dainty morsel, but their plans
were easily defeated by Topsy's growls and snapping teeth. Away flew the
crows to the branch of a tree near by. After a few moments of evident
discussion, they proceeded to carry out the plan of attack. One crow
flew down to the ground and gave a peck at the end of the dog's tail.
Topsy at once turned to resent this attack in the rear, whilst the other
crow flew down and bore the bone away in triumph.
The same dog had a favourite resting-place in an easy-chair, and was
very often deprived of it by a dog which came as visitor to the house.
Topsy did not approve of this, and her attempts to regain her seat were
met with growls and bites. This justified an act of eviction, and the
busy little brain decided on a plan. The next day, as usual, the
intruder established himself in the chair, which was close to the open
door. Topsy looked on for a moment, and then flew savagely out of doors,
barking at a supposed enemy. Out ran the other dog to see what was up,
and back came Topsy to take possession of her coveted seat. The other
dog came slowly back, and curled himself up in a far-off corner. The
above I was an eye-witness to, and therefore can vouch for the truth of
what I relate.
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