Live with me for a week and you are bound to notice that I barely ever leave the Tiny Land. Sure, sometimes I take a peek-a-boo into the so called Normal Zone, but more often than not I am too occupied with stalking cats to bother. Small things are my best friends. After all, people always think that I am small too.
But the smaller a thing is, the easier it becomes to dismiss it. After all what can we learn from someone who can sneak under a doorstep? From a thing so light that it surely cannot bear any weight on the Important Life Events? There is so much pride in the big and strong that surely it must lead to their downfall sometimes.
So here comes my list of small lessons I have learned from my small things that turned out not to be that small after all.
Never expect things will just do themselves
Please, join me on the grass in your nearest park, if you may, and let’s go squirrel spotting.
Have you ever noticed that squirrels never stop? They hop, and then they hop some more, they dig, they run, they steal food, they pull of crazy yoga poses for your photos… But even if they do eat, they keep changing the spot they eat from, usually running up and down a tree, and twitch at even the smallest noise.
Some of that comes from the sad reality of being a prey animal – but some from the fact that they are always busy.
When I see an animal doing something bizarre, I usually call it animal business. See, squirrels are out on squirrel business A LOT. They always have something to do. Mostly it is of course eating, but don’t forget they spend entire months stashing food away for winter too.
Squirrels know that one cannot rely on luck only. Sure, they can find me and I may give them tons of nuts they will hide throughout the entire park, but they may not – and they need to keep going and going to make sure they will be ready in time.
At the end of the year they get a great rest – but its quality depends solely on their hard work, as far as it is possible in the animal world. And in ours. Both we and the squirrels sleep in the bed that we make for ourselves, it is just that squirrels seem to remember about it way more than we do.
Being cute does not always count as a Get out of Jail card
Well, unless the judge is me.
I am always puzzled by this one. Somewhere during my not that long life I have assumed that, since I do find cute things irresistible, everyone does. Animals and people the same. But that is not true, is it? No one can demonstrate that better than my cat.
My cat is by far the cutest thing in the world. He can get away with almost anything just by laying down and looking adorable. That is a fact when it comes to me and my dad, but my mum, my mum was never fooled by this business.
Sure, she loves him and cares for him, but no mischief goes unpunished by her. And my cat understands that, of course. He never sits on the table when she is around, only hops up there once she is gone and if he spots me watching him… well, he shows me his dashing, big eyes and everything is fine.
Cooperation does achieve miracles
Have you ever seen little ducklings hopping out of a park fountain?
Yeah, yeah, I know, I say: animal co-operation and all of you think: wolves or any other pack animals, but look at ducklings. They are so small that they can barely stick out of the water. And there it is, the biggest wall they have ever seen, usually made out of concrete as well, could it really get any worse?
Next time you have the privilege of looking at ducklings getting out of water, pay a bit more attention to them. Because they do often conquer insanely difficult obstacles and they achieve it by the power of the cutest collaboration you have ever witnessed in your life.
I’ve seen it more than once, so I can definitely confirm that it is #JustADucklingThing. Since they cannot really fly yet, or jump, or anything, they climb into the shore by treading on each other’s heads.
I am usually too amazed to take pictures of it and my reflexes are really slow anyway, but I promise you that this actually happens.
One small duckling cannot get out of a fountain or pond, but two or three? Why not?
Judging by the cover may be a dangerous thing
When I am sad and lonely and generally dislike my life, I often curl up on the floor and watch bunny videos. Judge all you want. Bunny videos are magic.
My favourite ones are about bunny mothers. Oh, they are just so good! This year’s Springwatch had one of these too, although sometimes I feel like I am the only person who watches Springwatch (and my boyfriend, but he really really gets no choice).
Bunny mothers are just so fierce. They look like cute little balls of fluff (which they definitely are), but to protect their little ones they can and will do pretty much anything – including taking on much more powerful predators. And although they seem like such easy prey, they can cause some serious damage if their babies are indeed in danger.
Most mums are like this, right? I mean… I wouldn’t get in between a bear mum and her cub. But when I see bunny mums, otherwise so delicate and not at all intimidating, it makes me really appreciate the do not judge things by their cover premise.
If you want to be heard, you’re going to need a really strong voice
Please do not get offended by this comparison, but I do always say that people are a bit like dogs – the smaller they are the louder they get.
That is definitely the case with me and with small dogs… aaaaand lots of people I know. There is something steady about being big, something patient and calm, which cannot compete with the sheer amount of energy small things have. Sure, that is a rough comparison, but in my book, it works.
The closest representation I have in the dog world is definitely a Pomeranian. After all, I am also a Pomeranian (that is the region I come from and the region this adorabunnity takes its name after), on top of that I am blonde and I tend to leave my hair on everything. And I am loud. For any of you who have never heard my voice, just imagine a Pomeranian speaking Polish or English and it is more or less on point.
But it is not only in physical voice I find this comparison. Belonging to the small things group requires quite a lot of will and charisma to get one’s point through.
There is this myth roaming around that high pitched voices usually get ignored in serious conversations – I’m saying myth, but who know, judging by my life experience this may well be true. More, people tend to patronize us, little girls and little boys, and not give us enough credit. Sometimes we need to bark; otherwise no one would ever notice us.