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Group One

1 Alligator

2 Anemone

3 Ant

4 Antelope

5 Aphid

6 Armadillo

7 Badger

8 Bat

9 Bear

10 Beaver

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With your permission, God of Deepest Mystery,
Let alligators list their worst complaints:
Why do you scare the world with dreadful creatures?
Don't you feel bad when some scared Gator faints?
Our jaws curve up as if we're always placid:
Not true!  we're patient souls but hardly Saints.

For instance, must there be such horrid creatures
As HUMMINGBIRDS within this peaceful place?
They flap their wings at 60 times a second,
A frightful, wild, unworldly, ghastly pace.
O God, that gives a normal creature nightmares
And makes a gator's heart a basket case.

Next, GOLDFISH! How they scare us half to death
The way they flash and glisten in the sun,
Their beauty shocking, grizzly, horrifying,
Too awesome to exist, they daze and stun
Poor alligators, aren't prepared to witness
Such spooky, dazzling, strange phenomenon.

But worst of all, on banks of darkening rivers
We're frightened by the sight of DUCKLINGS there,
Who quack and peep and chirp their horrid whispers
And fill our hearts with dread and deep despair.
Great God, why is your world so wild and ruthless,
While we so long for quiet time for prayer. . .

. . .Some quiet time to have a peaceful supper,
A zebra or a lion or a boar,
Then warm our crusty backside in the sunshine
While we digest that healthful snack, and snore
And dream of those sweet dinosaur companions
We played with peacefully in days of yore.  

from the forthcoming book Prayers of 100 Animals A to Z, by William Cleary



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