Adventures with Lisa, Frank & Daisy Dewdrop

Spiders & Pigeons
September 1, 2006, 4:02 pm
Filed under: My Weekly Column

The view from my office windows is not the greatest. One set of windows faces the wall on the backside of the bank, and the others face the windows of the apartments above Classic Creations.

This does not mean, however, that I am not exposed to the sights of nature.

Every morning when I arrive at the office, I have to tear down a spider web that hangs across the door. Every day, I tear down the web, and every morning it has been rebuilt. This spider (or combination of spiders), whom I have named George, and I have gone through this each warm season for three years. He never gives up.

Recently, a new development has arisen at the back windows. The problem began when my radio reception went kaput. The reception was never that good, so I never gave it much thought . . . until the antenna wire began flicking back and forth past the window.

“What the . . .?”

At first, I feared the wire had been caught in the central air unit, but the yanking was not consistent or strong, and curiosity got the best of me. I cleared off the table by the window, opened the glass and stuck my head out.

At the other end of the wire, about nine feet away, was a pigeon trying to pull the wire into her nesting area.

“That’s not good,” I thought, and pulled the wire back, winding it up and hanging it on the window where it exits the building.

The next day, she had it unraveled, and was yanking on it again. She tugs on it, gets it to the nest, and when she lets go, it falls back to the roof again. She flies down to grab it, and tries again.

It has been three days now, and she has not given up.

Tear down a beaver dam, and they will simply begin building again. Dismantle a bird’s nest or wasp’s nest, and they begin all over.

Ever encounter a bird that sees its reflection in your window? He will beat himself to death trying to beat himself (thinking it is another bird) to death.

I find it interesting that animals are not daunted by failure. I guess humans are the only ones who have the option to quit, give in, move on–most likely because it is our emotions that lead us to these decisions.

For animals, it is a matter of survival to try and try the same thing again. For humans, it is a choice. We can choose to keep doing things the same way, and we can choose to change our approach, our methods, our means. We can choose to try again, and we can choose to give up. We have the ability to adapt.

The thing that makes us human is our ability to learn from failure. That is what makes us an intelligent species.

I hope that none of Grantsville’s council members gives up. I hope that our mayor and recorder have the tenacity of George the spider. But, the time has also come to stop making the same mistakes that have been made in the past. Hiring practices, parking tickets, radar regulations–all these processes have established procedures and rules which must be followed.

Let’s just follow them, shall we?

If we don’t learn from past failures, we’re nothing more than a silly pigeon, tugging on a wire that won’t go. And sooner or later, someone’s going to yank on the other end.


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