Of the Family: Family, Genus: Parentiae, the Dad is something everyone has but sadly many of the species are ephemeral in nature and extreme shy creatures vary rarely making an appearance. Those who are bolder have been examined in detail and certain behavioural traits are really quite remarkable.
The Dad is a migratory animal spending time in four distinct habitats (sometimes rendered in decreasing order of hostility); the home, a workplace, the pub and the golf course. In each habitat there behavious is markedly different.
In his nest the Dad prefers to hibernate. Nest or Den building and repair activities are often undertaken under duress from his partner. He would prefer to sleep, eat and keep a close eye out for predators (he receives his information about threats to his way of life from the television and responds with a fantastic, often colourful display of plumage). His reactions towards his offspring is unpredictable - at times he may be attentive in attempting to teach or instruct them. At others the same needy behaviour from the cubs illicts a bellow of frustration. However, from observation of a particular silverback alpha male in a positive mood we derived the following information was passed to one of the cubs:
How to make a pool ball spin backwards after it is struck
Baiting a hook
Watching out for women
Making a proper cup of tea
Holding 50p pieces between the knuckles to use as a weapon
Mowing the lawn
How to throw someone over your shoulder
Catching a firmly struck cricket ball
Downing a pint
Cheating at Monopoly
Tieing a double windsor
All of vital informationis preparing the young Dad to take on a brood of his own and establish himself in a pride in the workplace.
At a certain age a young cub leaves his first habitat and enters two distinctly different environments (usually oscillating between each) the pub and the workplace.
Work is the main source of obtaining food for his brood. He exchanges his contribution of energy in various group activities in return for a share of the kill. Increasingly, as we observe prides in this habitat, females have taken part in hunting activities and may even take a lead role in the labour. This is an indication of an environmental impact upon such groups causing an adaptation in bahviour. The differences between the female in the home and those in other habitats can be confusing for the young Dad. He may clearly not want a second brood with a different female but will still attempt to mate with one if the opportunity arises. The workplace is a behavioural dichotomy, a fine balance between co-operation between individuals and competition within the hierarchy that can cause great distress.
This is were we see the Dad at play. Generally speaking the habitat is an extension of the competitive and the co-operative urges to their conclusion in order to reconcile the confusion instilled by the workplace.
The Golf Course:
here is where the Alpha male obtains complete isolation from members of his brood and can interact with other significant Dads on a nominally equal footing.