Mystic silver gull, again sorry.

To: <>
Subject: Mystic silver gull, again sorry.
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 13:21:40 +1100
Hi All,
The two stories Maurits told are both charming enough stories and if they make people feel nice, that is fine. I'd tell the stories myself if they happened to me but see no need to invoke the mystic in the telling. Of course there are levels of perception and communication between species, but just look at the events as they happened and they are easily explainable and we should always consider the simplest realistic explanation.
The gull in Maurits' story was probably so entangled, stressed, preoccupied, close to drowning, hungry and exhausted it was unable to fly or swim properly and was pushed like any other flotsam by the waves to the shore, where Maurits was standing, but I reckon Maurits adjusted his location and walked to the likely spot so they would meet. So the meeting wasn't the bird's doing. Also consider the Silver Gull entangled in fishing line that failed to fly away (maybe because it was entangled) and slowly bobbed on the surface until a friendly Sea-Eagle came along and untangled it. Sadly for the gull, part of the process of disentanglement involved being eaten. Then there are all those poor seabirds oiled in tanker spills. Of course they understand that people are helpful to them and that is why they make it to the rescue centres. Of course they also deliberately get themselves covered in oil, so that us nice people would have mystic stories to tell about us being there to rescue them.
As for the Magpie-lark story: Here is my Magpie-lark falls out of nest, raised by people, grows up not scared of people, leaves home, disperses, keeps begging from people, meets someone new and says hello, looking for a hand out, walks right up to person's hand, the person who is for his own reasons standing still and has been for some time, is therefore not scary to the bird, the person is so charmed by this unexpected event that they continue to stand still and just let the bird approach, after that the bird doesn't last long, it gets caught by a cat or dog because it hasn't been taught to flee them (thus explaining why this encounter only happened once).
In my earlier message I forgot to add solar and lunar eclipses to the list of "signs". These have sometimes featured prominently, given all sorts of portents of doom or whatever, but they are totally predictable, simply a matter of geometry. Of course "Indigenous people around the world know, within their own ways of knowing, about the types of communication and interaction that Maurits is contemplating." That was their way of explaining things. The types of those thoughts are exactly the same as what so called advanced European people postulated (maybe even less silly than our ancestors thought, such as all of astrology). Fortunately we have now moved on, or at least I thought we had.  
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