"You're Nothing But An Animal...!@#%?!"

True. We’re all animals. But of all the species in the animal kingdom, we’re the only one who kills its own so wantonly, and who despoils its own habitat so recklessly. We’re also the only one who blushes (and as Mark Twain added “who should.”)

But right now I’m thinking less about the animals in the jungle, and more about the ones right here in my own backyard. Most of them are regulars, and so I’ve given them names. What they call me is another matter:

* Take Squeaky the Squirrel. He’s one of the few all-black ones. In OUR world he might feel different and out of place. But not here. He proudly joins — usually beats — the others in getting to all the feed first. When I watch Squeaky, he makes “different” look “distinguished.” Go, Squeaky, go…

* Then there’s Buttercup the Rabbit. Fat little gal who never bothers anyone, but who others bother on a regular basis. Buttercup makes me reflect a little on how people — including me — tend to be so damn aggressive. They call it ambition, but Buttercup and I still call it aggression. Stick to your guns, Buttercup…

* One of my favorites is Enrico the spectacular red Cardinal. He’s here only part of the year, but when he struts his feathery stuff, I can’t help smiling. And is singing — quiet but quality. Really love Enrico, because he brings beauty to my world without asking anything in return…

* Can’t ignore Freddy the Raccoon. Naturally he’s only out at night, but watching his furry waddle through my grass, he makes me realize that slow and steady is often better than speedy and spectacular. I mean, no matter how I lock the garbage cans at night, by morning Freddy has figured it out. I hate the mess, pal, but do admire the persistence…

And now, my fellow animals, what do you have to say for yourselves..??

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