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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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This cobra creeps before thy face,
Great God, from my safe night-time place,
        My basket home,
My Muslim fakir master snores
Exhausted from his daily chores,
        And I can roam.

A darkness animal am I,
Awake all night, so that is why
        I snooze by day,
And when I hear him tune his flute
I come out dreaming, charmed and cute
        And start to sway.

But, Holy God, I feel the need
To now confess my phony creed:
        It's all an act!
We both know people won't be harmed:
I'm half asleep, I'm hardly " charmed!"
        That is our pact.

It isn't his flute's melody!
His swaying hypnotizes me
        To bend and roll,
I'm seldom in a biting mood,
And never learned to chew my food.
        (I eat it whole. . .
        . . .the way my cousin pythons may:
        We first will paralyze our prey,
                Then take it in
        By just unhooking both our jaws
        Then swallow it -- head, tail and paws:
                Bones, meat and skin.)

So now that I've confessed my lie,
I pray we are a snake and guy
        That you'll redeem,
And any karma we have earned  
Will from our souls be cleanly burned,
        Our fondest dream.

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



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