Other Histories

Animal Rescue

My friend shared a secret about how she rights herself when the humans in her life irritate or disappoint; it’s this: she takes a walk in a near-by park. She explained:

I love to walk up to the shores of the streams and ponds to frogs squeaking and tossing themselves from the shore out into the water. I love the ones that don’t jump, that lay as still as they can with just their eyes peeking above the swamp. The bullfrogs were in full chorus the other night with their croaking. They sounded like cows. We also caught a great glimpse of the bison. We watched great blue heron fishing. Saw some nice gold finches among the tall grasses. The day was overcast and just edging the thermometer to 80. 

I’m charmed by the notion of the animals busying themselves with setting an outside stage that includes a soundtrack of squeaks and croaks and bellows which comes together in a splendid and soothing alfresco chorale. In my mind’s eye my friend crosses a threshold into the animal world, shakes off the people-residue and basks in the simple pleasure provided by the bullfrogs and bison and all other near-by creatures. It is as if they conspire to create the just-right surrounding for her.

Maybe they do. Perhaps they conspire.

I loved the animal story my friend shared. I replied with something like this:

I get your frogs. I like the birds. They take my mind off the monumental heap of work that does not inspire or invigorate me. 

I can identify one particular neighborhood crow that I call Boss. Every morning Boss flies to the tallest limbs of the neighborhood Doug Firs and begins to preach from his high pulpit.   

I like to think Boss and I have a relationship. I do know each morning I look forward to catching the glint of his obsidian feathers fliting purposely from tree to tree. He postures just enough that I notice him. His cranky and overly-loud voice gives me sufficient pause so I can now nod in recognition. If asked, I would tell you that Boss sends a daily corvid benediction just for me as I climb into the car for a long commute to the office.

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