Back Short Stories

Instinct Looked at Man

     Instinct looked at Man, and shook its head sadly. It felt the presence of others, and turned to greet them.

     "What's wrong?" asked Thought.

     "You seem down," opined Free Will.

     Instinct smiled softly, and shook its head.

     "I think you guys have really done it now," Instinct said. "You've given Man too much of yourselves, and he has managed to almost completely rule me out."

     "Nonsense," Thought laughed. "I mean, look at them. Oh, sure, they like to think they're above you, but that's not the case."

     "You think?" Instinct asked hopefully.

     "Sure," said Free Will. "Consider the evidence."

     "Like what?"

     "Sex, for instance. Humans like to think that they are primarily attracted to intelligence and personality."


"So," Free Will continued, "why is it that intelligent and personable people are often alone, but large breasted females rarely want for company?"

     "Human males receive their sexual attractions primarily from you, Instinct!" Thought joined in. "Large breasts mean a plentiful supply of milk for a new-born infant. Large hips mean easier birthing, and a greater likelihood of the child's survival. Men may claim to want a woman who can make them laugh, but they usually pick one who has a greater likelihood of delivering a successful birth."

     "I hadn't thought of it like that," Instinct mused. "What about women? They're usually attracted to non-physical aspects of men, aren't they?"

     "Oh, I'm sure women would like to think they are above you," Free Will laughed, "but look at the evidence. Women are instinctively attracted to strength, as a strong man is better able to protect them and their potential children from harm."

     "But in today's modern world, threats from forces of nature are not as severe, therefore a male's strength is irrelevant," said Instinct.

     "Physical strength, perhaps," said Free Will.

     "Although that cannot be ruled out," mused Thought. "Many women are still attracted to strong males. Male body builders rarely want for female company."

     "However, strength in the modern world is measured by power," continued Free Will. "Powerful males today are those ones best able to provide for a wife and family. Money and power are powerful instinctual attracting agents for the modern female."

     "That would explain why women are attracted to men with expensive cars!" Instinct snapped his fingers. "I'd always wondered about that."

     "And Instinct plays a large role in more than just sex," said Thought. "Take for instance male urination."

     "Beg pardon?" asked Free Will and Instinct in unison.

     "A bit of an indelicate subject, I'm sure," said Thought, "but please bear with me. When a human male is in the outdoors, and feels the need to urinate, where does he normally go?"

     "A tree or a bush, I suppose," said Free Will.

     "And if he's urinating against a house wall, does he do so at the middle?" asked Thought.

     "No," said Free Will, "he usually goes near the corner."

     "And where," Thought continued, "do animals go to urinate?"

     "Trees, bushes, corners of buildings too, I guess," said Free Will doubtfully. "But I fail to see the -"

     "They're marking territory!" Instinct shouted suddenly! "An instinctual response! Although the human males are completely unaware of it, they are marking their territory!"

     "Human males are notoriously territorial," Free Will mused. "Look at their lives: fences, keep out signs, borders, wars -"

     "All an instinctual response to the desire to carve out and maintain territory," Thought smiled.

     "To what end?" asked Free Will.

     "Sexual reproduction again, I'm afraid," said Instinct. "Males with territory are more sexually attractive to females."

     "They do seem to spend a great deal of time pursuing that subject, don't they?" asked Free Will.

     "Indeed," said Thought. "Sex and violence are two of the most dominating instinctual factors driving human lives."

     "And I thought I was largely irrelevant," Instinct smiled. "And here I am, as busy as ever!"

     "Of course, I'm working on them," said Thought. "Perhaps someday, humans will be able to recognize and over-ride many of your instinctual commands."

     "Maybe someday," Instinct laughed, "but I rather doubt it."


© 1998 by Garry J. Sled