You've probably tried it - to feed a wild animal in nature. Mostly you'll have to just leave some food, but sometimes they're so keen that they'll come real close. You can see that they don't quite trust what will happen, so they're a bit careful how close they get. In case intentions weren't entirely straight. Well, aren't we like that?
Some years ago I experienced this whilst in Florida with my husband. We were sat in a diner having a cup of coffee when an old lady quietly came over and placed a small gift on my side of the table and asked if I would like a gift? There was absolutely nothing threathening about her, but I was surprised by this sudden kindness, so I was frankly a bit speechless. I did in all honesty feel a bit suspicious why a stranger would walk up to me and give me a gift. My husband could feel my predicament, so he actually asked her what it was. And then she started chattering about how she loved taking photos of the local wildlife and how she loved for visitors to have a little memory to bring home. It was a pack of 6 handmade cards with pictures and envelopes. And she was the sweetest thing! I couldn't believe my initial mistrust, but on the other hand, who hasn't tried being in a foreign country where you suddenly get something stuck in your hand - seeemingly for free - but then it turns out it comes at a price.
I found the act of this old lady so inspirational because it's an act that contributes to replacing suspicion with a pleasant surprise and trust. If this kind of trust spread among humans, animals would probably begin to trust human intentions more freely. I try myself in small ways to place pleasant surprises (in one way or another) and in my experience there's no end to how someone wants to thank you. And it's not about the expectancy of the thanks in return, but the fact that it opens somone mind to the seemingly impossible. It's got a tremendous ripple effect!
As for the cards from the old lady I remember one in particular... it was an image of a pelican. I was absolutely fascinated by it because of their peculiar beak. You'd think it's designed for having breakfast, lunch and dinner in one mouthful, LOL!
This image though is by photographer Don Baccus.
Other image© digitalcitizen.com