In part two of our ‘Animals Learn from Animals’ series, today the subject is leeches, or “bloodsuckers” and how similar leeches are to Thieves with PhDs.
Before we start, a word of caution: Leeches have “conspicuous characteristics and habits that if you only know one kind it is easy to recognize others.”
For a ‘Thieve with a PhD’ being recognized could pose a problem. For those of us who have a single victim and pull in a big enough bloodsucking haul that first time, it’s fine. But for wanton leeches, so successful at their initial rollover they don’t want it to be the last, recognition can be somewhat of a problem.
Even still, there is much to be learned from leeches who, like ‘thieves,’ are “predatory and parasitic” – emphasis on the ‘predatory and parasitic.’
As an aside, TWPhDs should also be aware that there are ‘slugs’ out there which are leeches without ‘suckers,’ “land slugs… have no suckers.” Slugs like leeches are also easy to identify. However, these are ‘softies without shells’ – too slow to catch on – easy to fool, filch and finagle.
By and large, an emulable leech lives in the water, but prefers ‘shallow’ water with a ‘soft mud bottom.’ Ya’ know – wallowing where its shallow and dirty.
Leeches, come in all sizes from ½ inch to 6 inches – the biggies are the American Medicinal Leeches. These leeches exude saliva which when injected into the “wound it makes contains a substance called ‘hirudin’ that prevents clotting of the blood.” Wounding, getting the blood gushing, and preventing clotting is a talent at which leeches excel.
Find a source, latch on, suck away, prevent the cessation of the money flow, encourage ongoing legal cooperation, employ coercion and manipulation, all integral components of a successful bloodletting.
Leeches are built for bloodsucking both coming and going. They sport a “large muscular sucker on the tail end and a smaller one on the head, around the sucking mouth, which, in some kinds, is armed with jaws.”
Like any self-respecting leech, Thieves with PhDs need to be on the look out for family who could stop the bloodletting and be watchful over where all the assets have disappeared to. Thus, leeches require many eyes and a tail sucker that knows what it wants, sees where it is, and knows how to get and keep it.
Leeches are very “sensitive to shadows passing over them, to the slightest vibrations in the water, and to small changes in the flavor of the water about them.”
Take for instance a leech is in the process of looting the life savings of a relative who has next of kin who is distracted. At some point a blood relative like ‘shadows passing over…vibrations and changes in the flavor of the water,’ gets suspicious and starts to probe. What do you do? Address the issue immediately and deal with it in manner worthy of any self-respecting leech.
One of the greatest similarities, or characteristics that thieves and leeches share is: contortion ability.
Thieves with PhDs will become whatever is necessary to financially abuse the elderly and steal inheritances. Kind nephew, caring neighbor, benevolent co-worker, a niece that fills in part time as a daughter. Contortion experts will fake caring, garner sympathy, act like they have no interest in other people’s money and do it while concocting methods to purloin it.
Literal leeches, “stretch out as long and slender as a toothpick one moment, and contract into a tight ball the next.”
Homo sapien leeches also change shape accordingly. They’re the types who you invite over for dinner, when they leave for home you offer them the leftover cheesecake. Guaranteed response: “No…no…no, we couldn’t, we just couldn’t. That’s too much.”
Leeches contort by ‘protesting too much’ then milling around, and with minimal coaxing, under manufactured duress and a nervous giggle, say: ‘Oh, alright. You talked me into it.’
With rapid fire ‘toothpick-to-tight ball’ transformation gluttonous thieves will load up plastic shopping bags with everything they can get their hands on: left over roast beef, mashed potatoes, they pour the gravy right into the bag. For good measure they’ll accept a few rolls of toilet paper to get them through the week and leave with a big ‘taker’ smile on their face weighed down with goodies and a few dollars worth of train fare pressed into a sweaty palm.
Leeches, also “swim with a serpentine movement like miniature eels,” which we all know are snakes. Hello! That’s a characteristic that requires zero comment.
“Leeches mate even though each one has a complete set of male and female organs,” which explains a lot. Gender confusion is a handy tool that can be used to trick relatives with dementia and poor eyesight.
The most successful thieves are nieces called “Sonny,” and nephews called “Honey.” For ‘leeches’ with ATM card-swiping-induced-carpel tunnel syndrome a woman resembling a man, or vice versa, comes in handy on bank withdrawal window videotapes.
Trashy, horny leech parents blood suck off the helpless. Leeches “lay eggs in a horny capsule or cocoon, which is glued to stones, plants or trash.” Some, “leeches use their young to enter the mouths and nostrils of men and beasts to grow and seriously interfere with breathing” and shimmy all the way down into their pocketbook.
As every successful thief is well aware that throwing a youngling into the leech business can usually ensure an even bigger haul, the oldies just open their checkbooks and sign anything if a cute little kiddy can burrow into the ‘mouths and nostrils of men and beasts.’
“A leech may feast on a snail at one meal,” which is sorta kinda like an old elderly relative that isn’t sharp enough to realize they’re dinner, and “suck the blood of a turtle at its next one.” Affectionately called the Turtle and the Heir. A ‘turtle’ is a successor who thinks he or she dwells in a protective shell of familial safely, but is too damned slow, trusting or naive to realize they’re being overtaken and devoured by a leech.
Willing to feed off all types of prey those who dwell in shallow, muddy ponds are all shameless scavengers. A leech favorite is: “the blood and body juices of larger animals,” which is similar to the preferences of those who feed off of the elderly and their rightful beneficiaries.
And so, Thieves with PhDs completes the yet another in a series of animal kingdom tutorials, where lesser beings are used as a mirror for personal reflection and provide a valuable teaching tool.
Thus, a lesson in how leeches instruct those who aspire to be shameless, bloodsucking predators and whose goal is to deplete the ‘bloody’ finances and gore the birthright of slow moving prey just begging to be scavenged.