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With Other Species
By Robert B.
I would like to know if other people have experienced
communication with other species. I am not talking about dogs*
and cats because they are domesticated. I’ll let you decide
if I had some form of communication with wild creatures, but
first you need a bit of background.
Background: Several years ago I started putting out food for
stray cats. I put the food on a work bench under an unused car
port in the back yard. This year, 2000, there was only one cat who
came there on a regular basis at the time I opened a can of cat
food, put it on a dish and she would hop up on the bench.
It must have been about July 15 that I first noticed the
‘bees.’ They would land on the dish and take some
small portions of cat food in their front legs and fly away. I
had never seen a bee do this before. I thought bees only gathered
honey from flowers. My curiosity aroused, I made note of their
profile: yellow-striped on a black background and no apparent
stingers and did some research. My ‘bees’ turned out
to be Yellow Jackets, a variety of hornet.
Now, I have been leery of bees since I was a pre-teenager and to
learn that what I thought were bees were hornets further
increased my wanting to stay away from them.
Soon there were more hornets coming to the dish. They
weren't as polite as the first two had been; they had flown
around at a distance before landing on the dish. These hornets
flew near me as I spooned out the food and one actually landed on
the dish edge. I was getting a bit afraid, but the cat, who was
up on the bench next to the plate, didn't pay them much
attention so I decided to push myself a bit.
A few days passed and I got the impression that the hornets were
waiting nearby watching for me. The hornets appeared in the air a
few feet before I got to the work bench. There were more hornets
and some would fly up close to my face. “Don’t do
that,” I instinctively cried out and they seemed to move a
bit away. I was very nervous and slightly sweating, but forced
myself to go on with the feeding.
Now, I keep the cat food in the garage about 25 feet from the
work bench and I could swear that a hornet was flying near the
door to the garage. I got the can of cat food and went to the
As I was spooning out the food, a hornet landed on my finger. He
just sat there as I very cautiously moved. My fear quotient had
just gone up ten notches. I talked out loud to it,
“You’re making me very nervous.” Whatever soon
means in the beginning stages of terror, he soon flew to join the
others at the food. Because there were a number of hornets, the
cat diplomatically went and ate her kibble nearby instead of
joining in at the cat dish.
On August 1, I went out to the garage, again noted the hornet
flying nearby. By now, I was less nervous, but on my guard. I
went over to the cat dish. hornets were instantly around me. As
usual I threw out the old food, opened the cat food can, and in
my haste spilled some liquid from it on my fingers while spooning
it out. A hornet came, lit on my finger then slowly inched its
way between my fingers, which were spreading wider and wider
apart in fear. I could feel its wings brush the inside edges of
my fingers. Then from nowhere the thought occurred to me,
“It’s playing with me!” I was both amused and
frightened, if that is possible. I suppose it was that incident
that changed my attitude toward the hornets. I started thinking
of them in a friendlier manner.
On August 3, I went out to cut grass in the front yard and
noticed hornets flying near one of the front gates. I went closer
and saw some were flying away from the gate and some were flying
close to it. I moved closer, then spotted a round hole next to
the gate post in the ground. The hornets were flying into and out
of it. I was so close that they buzzed me, but never did anything
more --a friendly warning shot across the bow?
Now this alarmed me because the post man crossed between
“my” yard and the next near this point; he could get
stung. And what about the electric meter reader, he used this
gate to go into the back yard and check the electricity usage on
the gauge on the wall of the house? My dad, who is 96, always
uses this gate to go pick dandelions --which he hates-- in the
front yard. What to do? What to do?
I talked to a neighbor and vaguely mentioned I had seen hornets
around. She volunteered to tell me that she had a tree in her
front yard in which the hornets had burrowed in and made a nest.
She and her friend, one night -- hornets sleep at night-- stopped
up the hole with a sealer.
I thought about that and how my hornets have never harmed anyone
SO far. I am against killing any life form unless I am first hurt
by them. So days passed while I wrestled with the problem. I
actually went to the nest and asked them to move, but naturally I
was ignored. I talked to the hornets that came to get food each
morning, but, of course, nothing came of it. Yet, the front gate
was used and no one got hurt. So with some trepidation I decided
to let things be.
I began to look forward to see who would show up at
‘breakfast’ and mentally talk to them in a friendly
manner. Some would come and land on me, then fly away. My old
fear of them would rise up at times and I told them I was scared;
they seemed to back off.
I was at an apartment eight blocks away from the yard I have been
talking about --as the crow flies. I was about to get in my car
to drive to home when I noticed a yellow jacket circling my leg,
then flew down to my shoe. It was about to land when my fear came
roaring through and I quickly moved into the car and slammed the
door. Then I thought, “How strange?” Then I realized
I had lost an opportunity.
From September 1, fewer and fewer hornets started showing up for
breakfast. By September 23, there were only two hornets at
breakfast. They seemed more interested in me than the food I had
put out. I missed not having more hornets. More hornets showed up
sporadically on the days to follow but on October 13, there
weren’t any hornets that came to eat; I felt sad. I went to
the nest and saw only two hornets moving in the entrance
lethargically. I felt sadder still.
Then on October 24, a hornet showed up at the cat food. It
behaved strangely flying by me several times, then when I moved
away from the table it landed on the dish. It sat there looking
at me or the dish. I went away. The next day, the same thing
happened. Then on October 26, after I had put
“breakfast” out, the hornet landed. It didn’t
pick up food, but seemed to be eating it! Sense then it has
usually come. It is now taking away food and flying off towards
the alley; before my hornets flew toward the front yard.
Since that time and until yesterday, December one or two hornets
showed up at the cat food but there wasn’t the same rapport
*I mentioned communication with dogs. A famous scientist, Rupert
Sheldrake, is researching telepathy between dogs and their
owners. If you have any incidences of this, contact him at his
www.sheldrake.org. He has written a book called,
Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: And Other
Unexplained Powers of Animals. He has written a number of
other books as well. Rupert Sheldrake is a widely respected and
published plant biologist and physiologist.
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