Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Smallest of These ...

The Diatom pipeline is beginning to run dry. As of this moment, there are only 3 more. Today is the first day I have begun without working on one in progress or starting a new one. It's been a month and 22 designs. Is my life becoming my own again?

Pets: those of us who share our lives with them are thereby enriched. Some there are who treat their pets as mere possessions, of no more account than a small appliance; I cannot help but feel that such people display a deplorable lack of compassion and are, to a degree, bereft of true spirituality. When I was very young, I suppose that I thought that way; my defense is that I was very young. It is no way to treat another living creature, especially the ones we have chosen to be our companions.

I have had a variety of pets through the years; the first, when I was a 'tweener, was a black puppy. It was so young that we had to provide for its bed a small clock,the sound of which was supposed to mimic its mother's heartbeat. I was not privy to the discussions between my parents, but within a short time the puppy quietly disappeared, and I got the distinct impression that my mother was very relieved.

One animal that touched my family the most was a sparrow hatchling that had fallen from its nest, which I had brought home to my mother, with tears coursing down my cheeks, imploring her to please help me save the poor little creature. I have nothing but respect for both my mother and father, who wholeheartedly entered into the effort (my mother actually brought herself to cut up worms to feed the baby bird, perhaps not realizing that sparrows are primarily seed eaters. Of course, it was so small that it was nearly impossible to determine what type of bird it was.)

The rescue was a spectacular success; the day my parents took the now-grown bird into the back yard and released it was an emotional one. Peeper, as we had named it, was reluctant to leave, and lived in our back yard for some months. Eventually he found a mate; they, and soon their offspring, entertained us with their antics. Peeper and his family would gradually go on to explore the wider world, but they would continue to return regularly, and the whole family were happy to accept seeds from our outstretched hands.

We have shared our lives with small amphibians, many fish, a cat (which, sadly, we had to relinquish to friends; we had a parakeet at the time, and it became too much to handle. We allowed the parakeet to freely come and go from its cage, and the cat got too frisky.)

We have had a number of parakeets to keep us company along the way; after our last one died, we agreed that we were becoming too old ourselves to adequately care for aging birds, so we switched to mice. They are relatively low-maintenance, and their caperings and antics are constantly amusing.

We have learned a lot from sharing our lives with these loving companions; I have mentioned before that animals display emotions and personalities, each individual animal unique in some fashion; God created them just as HESHE created us, and surely imbued them with souls, equivalent to those which HESHE has given to us.

Life, all life, is supremely precious. Please value it.


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