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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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THE PLEA OF A DEVOUT ARMADILLO

Look down, dear God, see what I did?
I heard You coming - so I hid!
Forgive me for my fear of woe,
But life is full of war, you know.

My friends and I all dress like tanks,
Thick armor plates protect our flanks,
When fox or badger start a brawl,
We roll up like an iron ball.

In trying times our worst nightmare
Would be to give in to despair.
Your word, that "purpose" fills the world
Avoids the need to live encurled.

The truth is, God, your care and word
Assure us pain is not absurd,
And give us hope, when hope seems gone,
For standing fast and holding on.

But armadillos often have
No choice, short of being bit in half,
To hide awhile, till we discern
That God shares in our worst concern.

So though I wear this coat of steel,
I know, God, that your care is real,
Your love built into all our fates
Is safer far than armored plates.




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

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