One of my favorite stories from Jane Goodall’s book In the Shadow of Man was the story of Mike.
Mike was a small, low-ranking male who was continually threatened and attacked by higher ranking chimpanzees until the day he discovered a pair of empty kerosene cans at the research camp. By banging the cans together, Mike’s displays made a sound that none of the other chimpanzees had heard before. Imagine hearing the clashing and booming of metal on metal, when even the toughest chimpanzees were stuck shaking branches and throwing rocks. Mike may not have had the size and strength of Goliath or David Graybeard but he was clever – clever enough to rise to alpha male and remain there for six years after his first kerosene can display.
I see a lot of Mike in Jamie. While Jamie is by no means small, she clearly knows how to use objects in her displays to her advantage. While Burrito runs around clapping his hands, Jamie shows him how it’s done.