I am in Italy now. I went there yesterday for the first time in my life and I will be there until around the 19th. Since writing my last post four days ago, I spent some time thinking about the next thing I want to write about, when earlier today I did something and thought, this would be a good thing to write about.
My family walked around somewhere for a bit, and at one point we sat on a bench and ate sandwiches we brought. There were some birds there, and we all started tearing off bits of bread and feed them to birds, something I had done before in an earlier vacation. When the first crumb was thrown, a whole bunch more birds came out of nowhere to fight for the food; eventually there was quite a flock of them.
It worked pretty much like this. One of us would throw a bit of bread at the group of birds, and whichever one catches it first eats the whole thing. But when I tried it out with a bigger piece, about half an inch in size, something funny happened. One of the birds grabbed the piece and selfishly flew away with it, as if it’s prized delicious food not to share with anyone else. I did that several times, and each time that same thing happened.
I seriously expected birds to be a bit smarter than this, maybe for each to gather around the piece of bread and start nibbling on it because the pieces of bread were really quite big for the birds, the same way multiple cats eat from the same bowl of cat food. The pieces looked too big for a single bird to store in its beak, but the birds would always fly away with the big piece stored that way regardless.
I think the moral of the story is as follows: never underestimate how dumb animals can be.