Here's a Molly story: She and the squirrels kept eating the nuts from the pecan tree. In previous years, I've been lucky to get even a handful of
pecans. Molly would crunch the shells until the pieces were small enough
for her to extract the nut. She would perform this evil deed on the porch
leaving so many pieces of shells, I couldn't avoid stepping on them or
tracking them into the house (very bad for hardwood floors!).
No manner of correction could deter Molly from this enterprise.
Then I decided to appeal to her mercenary instincts. She is now a
full-fledge member of the American enterprise system: for each nut she
brings to me (places on the porch for me) she receives a portion of doggie
bone. The more nuts, the larger the portion of bone. She now eats few nuts
(eats up her profit) because she wants the doggie bone. She seems to have
an awareness of the worth of her collection. If I do not provide the right
amount of doggie bone for the number of nuts she has delivered, she lets me
know that I'm welching.
She also seems to detect "quality": I will not exchange bone for any but
recent, uncracked, good nuts. We have lots of older nuts lying about, but
she seems to know NOT to bring those--they produce no rewards.
Animals certainly are interesting, aren't they?
Story as told by Karen Merz