Pigeons and Superstitions
‘Tut tut tut tut’
‘Why are you laughing Lulu?’ I asked, Lulu, my parrot to explain.
‘There you go again. I knew that you will wear your favourite shirt and trousers today.’
‘Right, that’s my favourite shirt. And trousers. But how did you guess?’
‘You are superstitious! It shows, quite literally.
‘You have such a pejorative tone! That is not fair. I consider 13 as my lucky number, unlike many others.
‘That’s because you were born on 31st’ Lulu said laughing. ‘It nevertheless qualifies as superstition.’
‘Ok, Ok I am superstitious. I once went to my school’s exam hall thinking that I was going to write the history paper, but I had to write Maths paper! I had got the exam timetable wrong.’
‘So did those lucky pens help?’ Lulu said laughing.
‘Will you please stop laughing? I actually did not-too-badly in Maths. I am sure that some things bring luck.’ I continued, ‘Even Napoleon used to ask his advisors before appointing a General for a battle from among two or three competent candidates, “Who will bring me luck?”’
‘Oh, these are stories spun by superstitious people like you.’ Lulu said.
‘Take a look, People keep a small Ganesha on the dashboard of their car, I have also done it.’
‘It was given by the car dealer to you. He made a neat profit selling your car.’ Lulu laughed fluttering his wings.
‘You are coming down so heavily on these innocuous practices, not understanding my feelings. What happens in the world of birds? Don’t they have superstitious birds? Do you know that B.F. Skinner, the famous behavioural scientist, concluded that pigeons showed superstitious behaviour?’
‘Yes, I have read about it. Some pigeons go round, some make swing like movements. Poets among you think that it is wooing and cooing, but Skinner thought they are asking for food. Perhaps pigeons must have had difficult time controlling their laughter.
‘So what is it?’
‘Let it be a research subject for human beings! They will get the right answer if they wear their lucky shirt and trousers during research, and talisman!
so are we saying that there is nothing called 'luck' or 'stars' up there ?
And does the experiment on pigeons not point towards the 'conditioning' taught in OB ?
Just that pigeons will never know that it's not because of their actions and Human if put in the same condition will know that they are being conditioned,right ?
I dont know if Pigeons are superstitious or not, but they sure are very diligent. In my balcony, they leave out the cleared space and unfailingly deposit their droppings on my plants..
now that was a hilarious post…enjoyed reading it…superstitions – well, when it comes to exams, we all are superstitious na…counting the exam roll number digits, pens etc…I used to do a very gross thing u know…suppose the denim that i am wearing on the first day of exams, and my paper goes well, then i will wear the same denim for all the papers without washing it even once..
@ Nu: you are likely to be labled 'Blogger no. 1'! 🙂
Enjoyed reading yor observations.
@ G: Birds are indeed very intelligent, isn't Lulu one such bird?
@ Neha: Thanks for your encouraging words.
We all are superstitious in one way or the other. Nice post. 🙂
YAY and I think I would be the 1st one to be labeled like this 😉 Wat say 🙂
@Neha: LOL on unwashed denim for all the papers… 🙂 but it really was the case..as kids we were superstitious,i guess !!
Superstitions have a way of life and living. Standing tall over and above logic and such else.
That pigeons are on this trip, was a flight of fancy for me ! But interesting. If this man Skinner is saying this… it must sure be something.
Nice witty take on superstitions. Although I try to be as logical as possible, even I plenty of superstitious blind spots.
Lol! Lulu is getting more and more witty with every appearance in your posts!
Thanks a ton, Nu, Chandrika, Kavi, Sucharita, and Manju
I am indeed superstitious, I don't want to be but the fact is that I am!
Thanks for your words of encouragement.
@Manju: Lulu is a very intelligent bird, after all hsi gets a bird's eye view of everything!!
This is my first visit to your blog site.
Very interesting. Will come back.