Life as a game of chess

Plants and animals are good at defensive and offensive strategy to survive.

Animals and plants play the game of life well.

Animals and plants play the game of life well.

I observe that living things play a game of chess.  The purpose of life is to live, grow and reproduce, the animals and plants need energy for all these purposes.  Living things play either a defensive strategy to conserve energy, or offensive strategy to capture energy.  The animal or plant which fails to obtain and keep its energy is unable to achieve its purposes in life, and may die.

I play my computer at chess.  At level three I win 30 games in a row, I feel good. At level 4 I suffer a shock defeat, my strategy must change to meet the new challenging environment, I win the next two level 4 games.  It is the same for life, all plants and animals evolve their game, to fail to do so is death and extinction.

I sit at a park bench in Colchester Castle Park listening to the live music at the band stand.  For the animal life in Castle Park life is easy, everyone feeds these animals, here strategies evolve, every human watched by squirrel, pigeon and duck, the CIA could never compete against these creatures.

A rustle of a bag, and two squirrels are moving in on me in a flash.  Like an assassin one squirrel engages me, waiting, it gains a peanut.  This squirrel sits next to me enjoying its prize, then turns to me for another, then another.  A crow flies to a railing in front of me.  A few pigeons are circling around me with interest.  These crowd of creatures distract me, a squirrel moves in and shoves its paw into my backpack and extracts some peanuts.  The other squirrel next to me threatens to dive head first into my backpack, I bribe it with more peanuts.  A squirrel launches an attack upon a fellow squirrel, they head off in a chase up a tree, relief, I make a run for it.

I am in Cymbeline Meadows, I stop at the bridge as I witness dozens of swifts dive bombing the river.  The river is swarming with insects, the birds are enjoying a feast.  In the field opposite cows are watching me, today is the first time I have witnessed a galloping cow.  Two cows engage each other in a headbutting contest, I note never to mess with cows.

I take my camera out for the target of my visit, an oak sapling growing in the middle of a field.  The oak sapling chances of growing into an oak tree is low, but this won’t stop it trying to become an oak tree.

Animals and plants play life like a game of chess, and no matter the odds they will play it to win with every trick in the book.  I think I am amongst good teachers in learning to play this game.


12 responses to “Life as a game of chess

  1. This is why I love going out into nature and why I love to learn from nature. I have learnt more from nature than any school that I have ever attended.

  2. I have never had a squirrel grab the food off my person, but many a geese and swan have become aggressive when the food ran out. What saddens me now are the restrictions from feeding the ducks or geese in our town. Each spring they return in larger numbers than the previous autumn which was polluting the lake. To limit the numbers rather than starting to kill them off we are now forbidden to feed them. I guess I understand the reasoning, but it is sad that I can’t enjoy that experience any longer or share it with the little ones.

    Yes, we all need to adapt to survive. Our lives are never static, we must change to fit the needs of the time. My life has gone through many big changes from mother, to single mother (and all that entails) to now being on my own again. I have had to adapt to less physical abilities and still find ways to enjoy and get the fullest from life. Life is a challenge but it can also be as fun as a game, it’s all in our outlook and how we face those challenges.

    • In life circumstances change, and opportunities arise, thus it is the way with chess games, the pieces on the board are always changing. You may get an opportunity to feed water birds with your young in another place, and the restrictions may last only a temporary time.

      To win the game of life is to be mindful to the changing nature of the game, to be open to new strategies and situations, to evolve as the game changes.

  3. Cows head butting? That’s a first for me….

  4. You are right, never mess with a cow… reflects, I married one.

    What a great experience, even though the squirrels did become aggressive, but they were just playing chess, the peanuts were but pawns to be captured.


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