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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2251680-HOW-INTELLIGENT-IS-A-DUCK
Rated: E · Monologue · Biographical · #2251680
Ever since I got Cheepie, the duck, I've realized how intelligent ducks are.
How Intelligent Is A Duck?

"If ever I wanted," thought the Moon on the run

"not turn tail, 'stead swallow up the Sun..."

Ever since I got Cheepie, I've been making horrifying discoveries about a duck's intelligence. It didn't take me long to get an inkling that I was dealing with a very intelligent animal. Soon I found that Cheepie likes to stick to a routine. If I've given it food at a certain time, taken it out at a certain time, put it to sleep at a certain time, then that timing must be maintained for all days to come. No change.
Then I became aware that Cheepie is pretty much like a human baby. At a point, it stopped eating oats and preferred to starve. Now, I find it needs variety in its food.
It also likes forbidden stuff and forbidden places. I had to teach it not to eat plastic and now it knows that it should not eat plastic, so it holds the plastic in its mouth and waits for me to remove it. It likes going into the kitchen and my bedroom--forbidden territory--if I'm a little remiss and it likes exploring and peeking at my bed.
Then I discovered Cheepie has an inner clock. It would come and play with me other times, but exactly at 2 pm and at 8 pm in the evening (its bedtimes), it would disappear, and I had to find it and chase it and capture it. And if I used a certain strategy to catch it, it formed a different strategy to tackle me the next day.
And curiously, it seemed to take in the lay of the land, so to speak, to decide on a strategy. For example, if I placed the sofa in a certain way, it planned its strategy so that it could go to a place under the sofa where I can't reach it.
And it also found that my game plan was always to get it into the kitchen, from where there is no escape route. So, it would go right up to the kitchen door, wait for me to catch up, then turn right around and disappear.
All this made me google a duck's intelligence--and that's when I discovered that ducks are possibly the only animals born with abstract intelligence. Even human beings are trained into it, but ducks are born with it. Abstract intelligence is the ability to creatively see the whole picture (like taking a mental shot of a complete landscape). For example, a duck can find its mother even if the mother is in some other shape or form.
The final straw came about four or five days back. I geared up to catch Cheepie for bedtime. I closed all the doors and got ready to steer it toward the kitchen so that I could catch it. But it walked sedately into the kitchen and waited for me there. I just went in and picked it up and put it in its cage.
I thought that was a coincidence, but no, that is the current strategy. To just say, "What's the point? You're going to catch me anyways. Let me go into the kitchen and make things easy for you."
So, Cheepie just walks into the kitchen and waits there.
I feel like I've been outsmarted at so many levels!

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