[Alige Sannayya Nayaka]
Once Kuvempu, his brother-in-law Rathnakara and I, three of us went to the areca garden. Kuvempu was keenly observing the lush grown areca palms and enquiring with us about the kind of nourishment we gave them and several things connected to the farm. After that, we crossed the Tunga Bridge and walked back towards the forest intending to return. Then Ratnakara cried out to us, 'Ho! I forgot the hatchet there. You keep going. I will come back with it' and ran back. Kuvempu called me and said, 'Come here. I will show you a wonderful thing.' He showed me the nests of weaverbirds hanging at the tip of twigs of a thorny tree near the canal and said, 'You see. Man claims that he alone is very intelligent; God has given mental faculties to him alone. You tell me in what way the intelligence of this bird is inferior to the intelligence of man. Look at the place it has built the nest; you will understand its idea. The tree is on the banks of the flowing canal. It has bowed towards the canal. Added to it, it is a thorny tree. The enemy cannot cross the water-filled canal. Even if the enemy crosses it, it has to climb the thorny tree. Even if it climbs the tree, it can't touch the nest. It is because the bird has built its nest on the twig that is as thin as a broomstick. How did that bird think of all these things? Look at the nest it has built. How beautiful it is! See the kind of grass it has used. How thin it is! How could it have fetched that? Is such grass available anywhere? It is difficult. It seems the bird has split the grass-blade lengthwise into pieces of uniform size with its just one beak. How skilled it should be to do that. After that, see the art of weaving it. How amazing and how difficult it is! It has to seam each strand. Push from this side and pull it from the other. It means, this bird knows to not only search for and get the grass but to split it and weave also. It did the carpenter's job as well as the weaver's job. But the nest building is not over with this. In addition to finding a place safe to escape from the enemies, it has so shaped the nest as to protect it from rain and shine and to camouflage from enemies by opening it at the bottom. To get in from the bottom side and to lay eggs there, it contemplated and created a separate room inside. To make such a plan, that bird, can you tell in which engineering college it studied and in which institution it learned its practical skills. You see, man spends much of his lifetime in learning. Much less, he lives the life. But, these birds start living no sooner they emerge from the eggs. With all this, see how lovely this nest is. In what way it is inferior to the artisanship of a sculptor. Man can't learn one form of art fully. These birds hide so many arts in them and this nest is an illustration for the degree of their understanding the art. So how can we say or claim that man is more intelligent than animals?