We have squirrels in the backyard. They are fascinating to watch. One of the reasons is that they appear to have ‘fun’. We put small foam footballs near a location where we feed them sunflower seeds – and the squirrels play with the balls. Really. They toss them, and roll with them, they bite them and scamper about as if they were playing some squirrel game with them.
Cats and kittens will play with a puff ball, or mouse toy, for hours it seems.
Dogs and puppies will play with toys, with or without you, until they’re exhausted.
I’ve seen horses kick about a soccer ball, parrots fiddle with strings and toys.
And I got to wonder, are they having fun?
Fun: enjoyment, amusement, lighthearted pleasure.
Fun appears to be the result of an activity that has nothing to do with survival, or mating, or preparation for battle, or migration, or social hierarchy establishment.
Fun appears to be the result of an activity that is performed solely for entertainment. For the shear joy of it, lighthearted pleasure.
Are these squirrels tumbling about for the pure lighthearted pleasure of it?
I kind of hope so.