Friday, 27 July 2007

Are Newts the Wisest Beings?

I found newts in my pond. They don't talk much so I read up on them in order to understand them better. They are cold-blooded - a feature which always seems to put other animals at a distance from humans. But I read that being cold-blooded gives you the advantage that you do not need to eat so often; in other words, you do not need to spend so much of your time searching for food.

This gave me a wonderful image of these ancient creatures, sitting motionless at the bottom of ponds, not needing to eat much and having all that time to think instead. If you watch a newt for a while it is not the most exciting spectacle in the world. They don't move a lot - very little entertainment value. And yet, when you realise that evolution has given them all this free time with no shopping to do, no jostling at the newt supermarket, just the occasional tadpole swimming lucklessly past, you see them in an entirely new light.

Now when you see a soft green newt sitting motionless at the bottom of the pond you wonder what he is thinking about. Maybe newts have all the answers. They have been around on earth for so long, with nothing to do, that they must have cracked the mysteries of existence. Mustn't they?

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