I Knew It! or, the True Nature of Geese Revealed

I’m reading a book about a guy who read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica (The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, by A.J. Jacobs), and I stumbled upon a fact that interests me. Jacobs read in the Britannica that it is believed that geese were used as guard animals by the ancient Egyptians. This makes complete sense to me. I have had multiple run-ins and near attacks with these beasties, and a more territorial, foul-tempered, and violent animal I have yet to encounter. (This is good news—I’d much rather brave some foul-tempered fowl than, say, a mother bear just out of hibernation with both protecting her cubs and finding a good meal to break a winter’s fast on the brain.) What I really want to know, however, is how the ancient Egyptians convinced the geese to protect/guard/not harm even a small portion of humanity. I know for a fact that bribery does not work. Then, they can explain to me the pyramids. I highly doubt that wooly mammoths were involved, as depicted in the oh-so-historically accurate 10,000 B.C.

As for Know-It-All, it’s a highly entertaining book. I’ve been reading it on my lunch break and annoying my co-workers by giggling randomly all week!


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