It does if it’s The Child. Let’s back up and start from the beginning.
The subject of hyenas came up at a party a few years ago and a spirited discussion blossomed between my friends. We were all agreed on one solid fact about hyenas: we hated them. The central theme of the discussion was each friend’s theory on why this was, seeing as none of us had so much as seen one, let alone experience any wrongdoing via hyena. The jovial (read: loud) nature of our conversation attracted strangers, one who offered his opinion. Normally I would be suspect of outside opinions, but his introduction heralded him as a “professor of anthropology” so I made an exception and yielded the floor. Actual scholarship, as opposed to our assumed scholarship, is a rare treat in one of these discussions.
He said that early man (pre-monolith) was not only in direct competition with the hyena for resources, but sometimes in direct digestion. Surely, he hypothesized, it was some evolutionary memory we were feeling. He informed us that having never been within ten miles of one he, “hated the little devils.” Coarse language for a man of letters such as himself, but no doubt lending credence to his theorem.
Today in the park while playing nicely with friends, The Child froze in mid-frolic and loudly announced, “I’m have to poop.” While I looked for a suitable pooping location, The Child’s base instinct took control. Millions of years of evolutionary memory kicked into gear as she shed her pants and ran away, calling back, “I’m a use this tree, Dad.”
Where did she get this idea? I’ve stated before that this child has been within my eyesight for nearly every day of her life. Although my memory isn’t all that great, I feel like I’d remember one of us pooping on a tree. She’s potty trained to the point where she only needs diapers for sleeping. The rest of the time it’s a toilet or the lilac bush ( I recognize the similarity, but that was a bush and this was a tree – world of difference). The whole process was natural to The Child and I was maybe a little too proud of her. Proud also of her hyena hating ancestors for bequeathing the knowledge of naturally occurring places of ease.
After we had said goodbye to our friends – shared some cookies, pulled some hair, hugs and kisses all around – we got into the car and off we went. I though I’d test the evolutionary memory theory a bit further and ask her how she felt about hyenas.
“Hyenas! That’d be bad! They’re very far away and locked. Not. In. My. Bed. Stop, you hyenas!”
I couldn’t have put it better myself.