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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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AN ANTELOPE'S ANTIPHON

When I was young and full of strife,
I would complain about my life,
How I, dear God, unlike wild boars
Or tigers, HATED FIGHTING WARS,
Instead -- in terror or caprice --
I'd run -- like lightning slick with grease,
Escape all fights -- like a gazelle,
As fast as bats fly out of hell.
I felt ashamed to be a shrimp:
In looks a stag, at heart a wimp.

Now I am old, and quite content
To simply be magnificent
At dashing with prodigious bounds,
Outrunning rabbits, steeds or hounds.
My famous leaps of 30 feet
Have kept my skin and bones complete,
A streaking halfback star who glides
Down football fields in just ten strides.
So I give thanks for what I am:
In looks a stag, at heart a lamb.




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

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