12 October 2008

What animals don't ask of us

1. They don't ask us to name them.
2. They don't ask us to worry about them.
3. They don't ask us to feed them.
4. They don't ask us to miss them.
5. They don't ask us to grieve when they die.
6. They don't ask us to bury them.
7. They don't ask for memorial markers to be installed at the burial spot.

A lot of us do this anyway, for our wild friends as well as our domestic ones.

I don't believe in fairy tales, I don't believe in the so-called "Rainbow Bridge," nor do I believe that we comprise - at least for wild animals - anything but entirely optional encounters in their lives. And I do believe that we the humans are the fortunate ones when our paths cross with theirs, however, if only for brief moments.

One of my favorite poems is "The Heaven of Animals" by James Dickey. It is realistic and it is true for me, except for the part about animals having no souls. I believe, far from being soulless, they are the essence of soul on this planet. When I read that poem, as I often do, I drop the words "no souls" and add "fine souls."

It works for me.

2 comments:

mrinz said...

http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/finnegan.asp

Have you seen this story about a squirrel?

squirrelmama said...

Yes, this story was circulating a while ago, I believe two years ago was when it actually happened. My hope is that Finnegan adjusted at some point to being a "real" squirrel, realizing that dogs are predators (although this momma dog does look motherly and gentle, it could give him the wrong idea about all dogs).
You do have to love Finnegan's baby face!