Jamie has always held a dominant position in her group but she’s generally not what one would consider a leader. Leaders don’t scream and throw fits when they don’t get their way or harbor grudges for days only to attack without provocation (see: Missing Toe, Jody). Jamie’s drive to be on top is fueled by a deep insecurity and the mantle of leader never quite fits.
Until she steps out onto the hill.
Once she crosses the threshold of the raceway, she emerges as someone else entirely. She supports her friends when they are scared or anxious. She bears the burden, often single-handedly, or protecting her home and family. It’s a version of Jamie almost unseen within the confines of the greenhouse and playroom walls, where petty squabbles for food puzzles and attention from humans dominate.
So many examples of leadership in our own species are born from moments or situations that are larger than ourselves. Perhaps it is just as true for Jamie. Outside, there are cows to supervise, snakes to kill, and boundaries to patrol. There’s a vast and constantly changing horizon. The world is bigger out there and it requires cooperation and teamwork to manage. And a team needs a leader.
Once the outside world is sufficiently conquered, however, she calls dibs on all the raisin boards. Touch one and she will scream.