Boys and Sticks

In terms of interesting behavior, sheer numbers and sightings, Humans (Homo sapiens) rank right up there with Camp Salmen’s wildlife. These closely observed creatures have many interesting traits, especially the taking up of sticks, notably by the young males of the species but often times the older ones do this as well.

 

It is almost inevitable that after a long, busy day in the park several discarded sections of woody tree branches are usually found randomly discarded on lawns and in and around the Main Pavilion and parking lot. These range in size and description from large (up to 150 cm) “hiking staffs,” some with extensive wear, to small piles of crumbled up twigs left like religious offerings in the playground area.

Whole family units of the species have been observed dutifully arming themselves with these objects in preparation for hiking excursions on the park's trails. One theory is that there is some sort of genetically transmitted peculiarity that necessitates the use of sticks to assist in physical balance and support. Another theory is these "walking sticks" allow the user to augment their legs with a third mode of propulsion provided by their arms so they can more easily struggle back to the car. Yet another theory is the leader or father unit of this group may use the stick as a sort of herding tool, perhaps gently prodding family members to stay in line.

Boys seem to favor selecting sticks that mimic a standard broadsword in both length and mode of operation. They are often observed using the device to thrash the air and even use it on park vegetation, however, they are rarely observed using these tools to harm each other. Child psychologists imagine this behavior is all about play fighting. Like tiger cubs rolling around together and nipping one another, it partially allows the subject to fulfill gender roles without actually doing-in one’s playmate.

These phenomena remain unexplained to park staff who toss the sticks into the surrounding brush at the end of the day so the next batch of park guests can fulfill this mysterious desire and attain this personal accomplishment for themselves.

Last modified on Saturday, 05 September 2015 17:43

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