The Town Drunk

There are many different levels of pressure to influence animals with.  We all have a unique style that is our own, and hopefully we are trying to improve this style. I will share a story my grandfather told me several times.

There is a dam just outside of Helena, MT named the Canyon Ferry.  When it was being built there were many freight teams hauling supplies to the construction site.  There was a town drunk who, when he ran out of booze, could stop a team with his mind or something.  He would stop the team and the teamster could not get them to move until they bought this man a bottle. Then he would let the team go.  My grandfather said the fellow’s sister could do the same with birds.  She could put her hand out and birds would land in it.

I got a real nice surprise when we were working on the Horse Whisperer movie.  The Townsend Star, a local newspaper came out with an article talking about the same man my grandfather had told me about.

I have always wondered if this was a gift that this man was born with, or if we can all get to a higher level of communication with animals.

Tom Dorrance recommended a book Kinship With All Life. It is a very interesting book that is along the same lines as the guy who could communicate with the teams.

These are real interesting things to think about.  How far can we go with our communication with animals? How much do they try to communicate with us but we can’t hear them?

There are several things I have heard about that get me to thinking we are missing quite a lot.

The book Seven Experiments That Could Change The World talks about monkeys on different islands changing how they peel a banana to match the style of different monkeys that they could not see or hear.

There is a book that discusses airline pilots’ dogs getting exited when the the pilot lands
and is coming home.  They seem to “feel” when the owner is coming home.

I have heard that the elk in Yellowstone National Park have quit bugling because it alerts the wolves as to where they are.  There must be some type of communication for this to happen.

In Texas there are lots of wild pigs.  I have also heard the rattlesnakes have quit rattling because of the pigs eating them.

They say hardly any wild animals were killed during the huge tsunami that happened a few years ago.  They all went to higher ground before it happened.

So I feel we could go much farther in our communication with animals.  I really want to work on this.  Maybe in the future we will all be able to communicate with animals at another level.

So next year if we have a bull bucking for one half million dollars like we did this year, and you see all the other bulls walk out of the chute and stand there for six seconds and ours goes out and really bucks you will know I am getting somewhere with this.

~ Curt Pate