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Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

What’s he doing, daddy?

What’s who doing, little bit?

That bee.

Oh, he’s collecting pollen from that corn stalk.

Why does he do that? Doesn’t the plant need it?

The plant does need it and so does the bee.

But how can they both use it? The plant can’t keep the bee off.

No, the plant wants the bee to take its pollen.

I don’t want someone to take my toys.

No, I suppose not. But the bee takes the pollen back to the hive for food for other bees.

That’s nice. But what about the plant?

The plant needs some of the pollen to move from one place to another so it will grow properly.

But if the bee takes it, how will that happen?

As the bee moves around on the plant, some of the pollen moves around too and gets in the right place.

Oh, so since the plant doesn’t have any fingers, the bee does that?

Right.

And so the plant doesn’t care if the bee takes what’s left over.

No, I don’t think the plant cares about leftovers.

But if the plant was stingy and didn’t let the bee come over, it wouldn’t grow, would it?

No, it wouldn’t.

But since it’s not stingy, the bee gets to eat and so do we.

That’s right.

And there’s enough here that we can even have leftovers.

Good thing the plant shared, huh?

Yeah, and I’ll share my corn with you.

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Perched

Not chirping

Blue not blending

With all the green, like usual.

 

Sitting

Not flitting

Focused, not a blur

Darting from shrub to tree.

 

But what are you focused on?

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Peeking out,

Timid in the dewy dark.

A light, a rattle—a dark shape slinks by

Then stretches and sits and ponders a toad.

 

The light comes now

People go: doors and quick steps,

Hollers and kisses.

A light-induced bravery stiffens the neck—

Petals unfold.

 

The slinker pants behind the cedar;

Moisture sucked from leaves and dirt:

Hanging about between earth and sky,

A weight on the foreheads of little ones

Melting back inside.

The deep colors recede, head droops.

 

Beating down now, white hot

A slow simmer with head bowed low.

Then a shadow passes—

A brief respite, like a snow cone—

The postman makes his rounds.

 

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Trapped

I’m going to get it when I get home. Momma told me not to take a short cut through the yard.

“Keep to the trees, son. Keep to the trees.”

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times. She just doesn’t understand my generation. We like to feel the grass on our feet. We don’t mind climbing a chain link fence or two. And running across the roof of the garage: well, she just wouldn’t understand.

Now I’m in for it. They’ve got me trapped. I can live with this animal against animal thing: I can out wait that dumb cat, but now there’s a two-leg involved in the whole deal. Cat on one side, two leg on the other. I hope momma doesn’t see me like this. I bet, I just bet, if I make a break for it, the cat and the two leg will collide going after me.

Wait, ah, here’s my chance. The two leg is going to consult with the cat. Idiot. That cat doesn’t have clue how to get me off the wall. Uh oh. The two leg is picking the cat up. What’s he going to do? I bet he’s going to throw the cat on me to knock me off the wall. Now’s my chance. If I just leap over the porch, I’m home free. No way that cat can beat me to the tree. Dumb cat. Dumb two leg.

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Daddy?

Yes, Sunshine?

The bird in that nest could fly to the moon.

Don’t you think that’s a long way off?

No, look, they’re just that far away.

They do look close, but what would a bird do on the moon?

Silly Daddy, bring back moon rocks.

Oh, and why does a bird need moon rocks?

So her eggs won’t be lonely.

But isn’t she sitting with her eggs?

Yes—but—and—so a snake won’t get her eggs.

Will he be tricked by the hard rocks?

Of course, Daddy!

She’d go all the way to the moon to keep her babies safe from snakes?

She loves her babies, Daddy!

She must.

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Did the bird notice how close she was to the moon? Just flutter across a twig or two and fly—      

I suppose she wasn’t mislead by dormant branches and perspective—like me.

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Daddy!

[from the other room] Yes, Sweetie?

They’re playing checkers.

Do you want to play, too?

I don’t think they will let me, Daddy.

Tell your sisters to let you play when they finish.

No—

Why not; I thought you wanted to play?

It’s not my sisters.

Oh, do you want me to play with you?

No, Daddy. I mean yes, Daddy, but—

Well, tell them it will be our turn next.

I can’t tell them that.

Why not, Sweetie?

I don’t think they’ll finish.

Why not?

Silly Daddy, they don’t know how to play.

Your sisters know how to play checkers, Sweetie.

It’s not my sisters playing, Daddy.

[coming into the room] Oh, I see. Who do you suppose will win?

Daddy, cats can’t play checkers.

Well, it sure looks like they’re trying.

But they can’t play checkers.

Why not, Sweetie?

Because, Daddy, they can’t put on a crown.

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