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Group Two

11 Beetle

12 Bedbug

13 Bloodhound

14 Booby

15 Bookworm

16 Buffalo

17 bumblebee

18 Butterfly

19 Camel

20 Cardinal

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I give thanks, Lord, I am not commonplace,
A common bird of plain and common face,
But rather called to heights that must be served:
To leadership, however undeserved.  

        My whistling prayer makes lower clergy wince
        For in the church a cardinal is a prince,
        Makes territorial claim, like tiger does,
        Like shark does too, and skunk, and walruses.

The robe I proudly wear is fiery red,
To fill all males with reverence and dread,
While females in my entourage wear brown
And keep their glimpses modestly cast down.

        My plea: Lord! top my head's red crest with gold!
        To make me more impressive to behold
        So listeners pay heed to what I say!
        With deep humility -- for this I pray.

May all these prayers I place before you, then,
Not hug the earth like prayers of lowly men,
May mine instead rise up like frankincense!
Your humble servant,
        (signed)  +His Eminence.  

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



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