I sometimes wonder what animals think of the phenomenon of humanity -- and especially of human babies. For no creature on the planet must seem anywhere near so obnoxious.
A baby screams and squalls. It urinates and defecates in all directions. It complains incessantly, filling the air with demanding cries. How human parents stand it is their own concern. But to great hunters, like lions and bears, our infants must be horrible indeed. They must seem to taunt them, at full volume.
"Yoo-hoo, beasteis!" babies seem to cry. "Here's a toothsome morsel, utterly helpless, soft and tender. But I needn't keep quiet like the young of other species. I don't crouch silently and blend in with the grass. You can track me by my noise or smell alone, but you don't dare!
"Because my mom and dad are the toughest, meanest sumbitches ever seen, and if you come near, they'll have your hide for a rug."
All day they scream, all night they cry. Surely if animals ever held a poll, they'd call human infants the most odious of creatures. In comparison, human adults are merely very, very scary.
--Jen Wolling, from The Earth Mother Blues, Globe Books, 2032. [hyper access 7-tEAT-687-56-1237-65p.]
Earth, David Brin
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