Today’s Positive Adjective:
Heuristic: involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods
Jane loved studying her favorite primates in their natural habitat. The monkeys were leery of Jane at first, but after a while, they ignored her. As she became more familiar with the troop, she recognized individuals. Breaking a research taboo, she named her new subjects.
Harry was the dominant male, king of his domain he put any potential challenger in their proper place. The top female Jane called Hermione. Hermione was smart, and she carried a small twig with her wherever she went. She used the stick to correct the juveniles and sometimes even Harry.
Little Ginny lived at the bottom rung of the monkey hierarchy. The best and sweetest fruits grew high in the trees and social status determined where the clan members could forage. They relegated Ginny to the forest floor, where she scavenged, hoping her family would drop unwanted tidbits. Ginny’s plight touched Jane’s heart, but the ruled bared Jane from intervening. Jane’s observations led her to believe Ginny was perhaps smarter than the others.
Jane study focused on how they gained new skills. She created an experiment designed to illuminate how they learned and passed the latest technique to the rest of the troop. Jane devised a crate filled with the monkey’s favorite food. They could see it and smell it, but releasing the fruit required learning how to work the dispenser. First in line, Harry jumped on it, trying to crush it, he hit it with a rock before attempting to pry the box apart. When he gave up, it was Hermione’s turn. She waved her wand at the carton, then she tried poking her stick in the hole to wiggle the plastic door open. Failing she conceded and allowed the others to try.
Jane wondered if the puzzle was too difficult as one by one each monkey failed. Finally, Ginny got her shot. Slow and methodical used every heuristic device at her disposal. While she explored, no one bothered her. Ginny spent more time with the box than any of her family members had. She was determined to get her reward.
Ginny worked at the dispenser until a sprinkling of goodies spilled into her palm. She glanced around to see if anyone had noticed, but they had returned to the treetops. With a fistful of food, Ginny waited, making sure the coast was clear before she stuffed every morsel in her mouth. Her hand covered her lips as she chewed.
Ginny watched her family before she manipulated the dispenser again for her second serving. Ginny operated in stealth mode, and Jane knew she would not share her hard-won knowledge with anyone else.
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer