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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bow's Easter Egg Hunt

The weather has been very strange lately. On Good Friday, after Bow had gone to bed, Sword and I drove to the local feed store to get two baby chicks, and we dropped by WalMart for Easter supplies. But when we had almost finished shopping, alarms went off, and we were ushered with all the other shoppers and employees to stand by the meat wall, because there was a tornado expected. Sword was worried about the two baby chicks left alone in the car, but when they finally released us, everything was fine. Our car and the chicks were undamaged.

Then yesterday afternoon there was a shower of hail, about the size of gumballs that went on for about ten minutes. And it has been raining almost all the time, all weekend long. But this morning, when it was time for our Easter egg hunt, the weather was clear, and things went off without a hitch. Here is some footage of Bow and his eggs.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fifth Spring in the Pens

This is our fifth spring in the pens. Four years, five springs. We have adjusted well to this new lifestyle, and now it doesn't even seem strange. Every spring the dogwood blooms, and Bow and I can see it through the grid of the outer pen.
We might long to step outside, but we never do. The grass grows green, and the flowers bloom even if they are just weeds, and chickens cackle and the wind blows.
Will it ever be possible to make new friends, whether chimpanzees or humans? Only time will tell. But for now, Bow is content with the small circle of friends he already has. "Don't let a new guy come," he tells me.

"Because you like Lawrence?"

"Yes."

So everything remains safe and familiar, and nothing changes, except the seasons.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Card from Grandma

Yesterday Lawrence came in to sit with Bow, and I went to pick up the mail. Among other things, there was an envelope addressed to Bow.

When I came back for lunch, I let Bow open the envelope. Inside was a card.
Bow and I read the card. He examined it from every angle.
Then, when Lawrence came after lunch to relieve me, I showed the card to Lawrence and explained that Bow's grandmother had sent it. I told Lawrence I'd be really happy if Bow could tell him what Bow's grandmother had written to him in Hebrew. (Lawrence does not know Hebrew.)

After I had gone, Lawrence asked Bow what was in the card from grandma. At first, Bow was reluctant to answer. He even tried spelling nonsense words. But eventually, he did tell Lawrence that Grandma had said "hello". 

I was hoping for a verbatim translation, which would have been: "Bow, hello, from Grandma." But the answer he gave is pretty close.

Here is the video of the conversation between Lawrence and Bow:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

There are always bananas

There has not been anything very remarkable to write about concerning Bow. The past week has been uneventful, except that a couple of nice reviews of my books came out. One was of When Sword Met Bow and the other was for Ping and the Snirkelly People.

In our experiments with Bow and filming using computer video capture, Lawrence and I have found that if we put the computer on the other side of the glass, Bow's pointing at letters is easier to see, but if we put the computer on Bow's side of the glass, it is easier to see Bow's expression and to hear what the human with Bow is saying.

The nice thing about this development is that Bow has allowed us to film him with the computer on his side of the glass. He has a lot of self control, and does not destroy the computer.

 Here is a very small bit of footage of Bow enjoying his banana tonight at dinner.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Footage from Wednesday

For whatever reason, today it was easy to upload the footage I described in yesterday's blog. It took less than ten minutes, whereas a snippet of ten seconds had taken an hour before. So here is the footage that Bow reacted so strongly to when Lawrence was viewing it.

The video is of very low quality. The audio is too low. But for whatever it is worth, here it is.