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Group Three

21 Cat

22 Centipede

23 Chicken

24 Cicada

25 Cobra

26 Cockroach

27 Cow

28 Cricket

29 Daddy Longlegs

30 Dinosaur

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I hope, dear God, my monkish chant
        gives pleasure to your ear,
I sing it for your joy alone
        though others sometimes hear --
Young females perk up at my call
        -- though I'd hoped You'd come near --
And smile at my sweet psalmody,
        so celibate and sincere.

I try then to get lost in song
        and hide my private sound,
Hid perfectly within the long
        close phrases of a round,
Forget all care of private voice
        in mystic joy profound,
Sing sexlessly, or be content
        to hum in the background.

But yearning creeps into my voice
        between the covering trees,
And love calls fill the lofty vaults
        and leafy canopies,
Behold! our psalms brings virgins near,
        and love-struck devotees!
It may be time to end our chant
        for other harmonies. #

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



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