Slow as a Snail?
Humans take pleasure in comparing their friends and foes to feathery and furry creatures of Allah.
Recently, email inboxes were invaded with a file titled-”Revenge of the Mouse.” God alone knows if this was generated by the animal rights activists abroad or elsewhere. At first thought, this seemed like a suspense thriller from Hollywood. Open the file and there you see a cute mouse with long whiskers seated before a computer busy at work, but in place of the mouse which we use, there was a man shrunk to the size of the mouse-so this was the Revenge of the Mouse!
How often unconsciously or consciously we humans compare our friends and foes to the natural creatures created by Allah. In the process, we degrade these humble unpretentious loving animals.
Maths was a childhood nightmare for me at school. Added to this was my Maths teacher who could not figure out why I did not use my brain to calculate the sums. So, I had my ear pulled and also told in clear terms that I was stupid as a Donkey. There ended my hate-hate relationship with Maths and my entry into the study of the amazing world of feathers and fur which has continued to this day.
Donkeys are not stupid. They are among the most fascinating members of the equine family, which also includes horses, zebras, and mules. They make gentle, loving pets, especially for children and the elderly. Donkeys can be ridden, pull carts and buggies, or be used as pack animals. They make excellent stable companions for horses, and when pastured with sheep and goats will protect them from attack by dogs
You must have heard this-its pretty common- “He is as cunning as a fox.?”. The fox is not cunning.The fox is at the top of it’s food chain and has never naturally been hunted. It’s survival depends upon the availability of food in it’s territory.
Foxes use scent for their main communication. The big bushy tail (brush) helps to spread this around! Some hunts people have claimed that the fox does not seem worried by the fact that he is being chased. This is because the fox is generally a solitary animal and unlike a herd animal, has no one to call out to and raise the alarm. So you see foxes are self-reliant creatures of Allah.
Then we take great pleasure in comparing someone’s pride to that of a peacock-“as proud as a peacock.” People and peacocks have had a very long association. Today, Indian peafowl congregate safely near villages and shrines where they are still protected by sacred Hindu law. If the Peacock displays its gorgeous feathers, it has all right to do so. It is a common misconception that the peacock’s train is made of very long tail feathers. In reality, the 150 or so “feathers” in the train are actually protective extensions, or coverts, that cover the tail feathers. The tail feathers are the short, stiff quills that stand up behind the coverts to hold the fan aloft. Because the coverts are different lengths, the exotic eyespots at the end of each covert appear to be scattered about the fan.
We label quiet and soft people as “timid as a hare.” Hares and rabbits are not timid, but they fight bravely in defence of their young and in self-defence. They may leap over the back of another animal or a snake, and give it a fierce kick with the hind legs. They may bite if necessary. Those with eyes, but still cannot see straight or call the colour purple as blue are branded as “blind as a bat”. No, bats aren’t blind. All bats can see, although some species aren’t exactly eagle-eyed. While scientists believe smaller bats don’t see in color, many species get around amazingly well in the dark. Some bat species have the added advantage of echo-location — the ability to bounce sounds off an object, including prey, to determine its size, shape, and location.
Snails move by means of a wavelike series of muscular contractions along the bottom of the foot. This motion is often aided by cilia and, in land snails, by a track of laid-down slime. Snails feed mainly on algae and decaying matter and are important members of the food web, being a source of food to fish and waterfowl. A snail browses by means of a radula, a ribbon-like tongue often containing many thousands of denticles, or teeth, that are projected from the mouth opening and drawn along rocks or leaves. So if your friend has not mailed you for a long time, don’t, say “he or she is slow as a snail”. First of all, snails don’t send mails-they are quite happy parking themselves in green gardens.
Dragging these innocent creatures of Allah into a conversation or controversy between humans would be gross injustice to them!