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Pay(ing) Attention To The Other Animals

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A character in one of my novels, Mother Ursula, always refers to the other animals on Earth as the other animals. She is well aware that homo sapiens sapiens are but animals with pretensions – and the Grace of God. She fits in right well in the chapters set in Africa, where the other animals come to the fore. It is the author’s observation that the other animals still hold more sway in Africa than elsewhere on our benighted planet.

So, I pay attention to the other animals.

During a walk in the neighbourhood, a right old rumpus erupted in a parking lot to my left. A man was having a frantic time keeping his dog in check. The dog was on a leash, and actually pulling the man. They were in the middle of the empty parking lot, and I could see nothing to make the dog so agitated. The dog was straining mightily, but it was obvious that, if he broke free, he was not coming for me. He was wishing to get free to dash into an adjoining back yard. I carefully went on my way.

About five minutes later I turned onto another street. Now, I fully understand that the phrase “Can not believe my eyes” is not literal. We say it when we see something extraordinary. However, that was the phrase that immediately came to mind, even as I was seeing what I was seeing.

Part way along the street, an albino deer was standing in the middle of the road. There was not a patch of colour on the animal other than white. Head, body, legs. Looking right at me. Calmly. It stood stock still. Not a twitch.

Well, I did the same. Not a movement. It was about three houses along the street. Blessedly there was no traffic. No walkers. And I at least now knew why the dog had been so agitated. Perhaps it could not trust its senses, either.

The albino deer didn’t move. After three or four minutes, I wondered if it was ill. Somehow stunned. Dealing with some sort of trauma. Regardless, I knew it was not safe for the albino deer to keep standing in the middle of a street. I started to – very slowly – walk toward it.

And it didn’t move.

I went closer and it still didn’t move. I wondered if deer could be rabid. Was its mind gone? Was I in danger? I was not going to confront a hefty deer. I stopped.

About a couple of minutes after I stopped, two fawns came trotting between two houses. Seemingly not a care in the world. They were of a normal deer colour. The albino deer turned and started to trot toward a swath of bushes and trees on the other side of the road. The fawns quickly followed. Exit three deer, as if responding to stage directions.

Those other animals, eh?

 

[Image] http://i.pinimg.com/736x/a2/da/0e/a2da0ee76b4b8d0e8dca30f7f86e93cf.jpg

Happy Earth Day

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Happy Earth Day!
Except
(If I may intrude
With the slightest touch
Of a cat’s paw)

 

The Earth is NOT happy.
The earth has not been happy
For
Oh, let’s say,
Two hundred (200) years,
Give or take..
Two hundred years ago
(Give or take)
Is when Humans started
Fucking up the place
Big Time
(No cat’s paw here)
And all this is known,
And all this is getting worse.
(Everybody knows)
(That’s how it goes)
Leonard Cohen knew.
Though there might be
(Right now)
Just the slightest
Smile
On the face
Of the Earth.
For the air is getting better.
The water is getting clearer.
And animals
(Yes, Homo sapiens sapiens included)
Breathe a little easier.
Do we thank
The killer virus
For shutting down
The killer economy?
Or
Will we,
In celebration,
Have a killer flight
On a killer air plane?
Or
Take a killer cruise
On a killer
Cruise ship?
That cat’s paw
Has claws.

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