In Kenya, it seems the male topi antelope is a bit of a trickster. According to a study reported today in The New York Times, the topi pretends that a predator is nearby in order to convince a female topi to stick around. A female in heat, by the way. When he sees her about to take off, he does what he does when a real cougar or lion is around…stands guard, looks out, makes a certain sound. The female doesn’t risk it and stays, long enough for the male to have a romp. It appears to the researchers that since she mates with many males, this has happened before. They think that perhaps, she’s weighing the odds.
Women weigh the odds sometimes, maybe not when death is perched on one side of the scale. Convenience, perhaps, money, kids, status, fear. But they weigh them. And I know a few men who know this. Graduates of the Topi School of Relationship Building. In a real crisis, though, I’d rather have the four-legged deceiver in place to protect me. That is, if I needed help.