When I am out bicycling, I always pay attention to the animals I see, for two reasons.
First, I have always loved animals. I enjoy watching and admiring them all, from “Scooter,” the driveway lizard (yes, I name random critters; don’t judge), to the magnificent Palominos down the road from our neighborhood.
The second reason comes from a slightly darker place… if one of those creatures should happen to be an aggressive canine who views me as a nutritional supplement, I’d at least like a heads-up, thank you. And so I watch.
I ride past a lot of livestock in our rural area, including goats, cattle, horses like the aforementioned Palominos, and cute little donkeys, as well as the dogs that supervise them. But things are not always as they seem.
One morning I was aghast to see half a dozen full-grown Canadian geese hanging by their webbed feet from someone’s hog-wire fence. Oh, wait — those are the lifelike resin lawn-ornament ones. The homeowner must have moved them off the grass so he could mow. Cancel that call to the SPCA.
Another day, I noticed a new landscaping feature on the front lawn of a small ranch. The owner had set up an old-fashioned bathtub as a watering trough and planted some bushes beside it. In fact, a little donkey was stepping toward it for a drink as I rode past. How cute. On the way home an hour later, that same donkey was still taking the same step toward the bathtub. Fooled again! “That’s no livestock,” I said out loud (yes, I talk to myself while cycling; don’t judge). “That is Jivestock!”
So then I started wondering what lies behind this Jivestock trend. I had heard of people using fake owls to scare snakes away from chicken houses, and fake snakes to keep ducks or geese from nesting in inappropriate spots. The fake geese, I imagine, are there to ward off possums or predatory birds. Curious, I did a little online research and found you can also buy fake coyotes to scare away geese. It all sounds like an Old MacDonald’s Farm version of “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” What next, fake hunters to scare away the coyotes?
But I digress…
Really, I don’t mind getting fooled by Jivestock while cycling — no harm, no foul, as they say. (Or, in the case of the fake geese, “no fowl.”) It actually amuses me, if anything. But “jive” abounds in other areas of life, with much higher stakes. For instance…
Money, fine and useful as it is, can offer only counterfeit security.
Hyper-scheduled busyness imitates purpose.
The physical pleasures, meant as gifts for us to enjoy, masquerade as our sole source of happiness.
Several weeks ago I told about the first time I learned that things are not always as they seem. I invite you back to my childhood to see how wrong a person can be, and how I found a real source of security, purpose and joy. The only real source, in fact.
And that’s no jive.
Thanks for reading!
PS: I am linking up this morning with Company Girls Coffee. Come have a cup!