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Group Five

41 Goat

42 Grasshopper

43 Hawk

44 Hen

45 Hermit crab

46 Herring

47 Hummingbird

48 Ibex

49 Inchworm

50 Jackal

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O Mighty Sea in whom we live and swim,
I ask a hearing in your holy sight,
The plight of baby herring is my groan:
How we get named "sardines!"  It isn't right!
        It's a disgrace in every supermarket,
        There tins of "sardines" pile up by the ton,
        Yet in the tins are twenty one-odd species
        Of different kinds of creatures named as one.

And that one name does not name any fishes!
There's no "sardine" in your transcendent plan,
And herring all resent the implication
That we were born to squeeze into a can.
        Where taste is in the oil, not in the contents,
        And oil is far more costly than the fish!
        Oh, mighty God, remove this great dishonor
        Do hear our prayer, & grant us what we wish!

For we are born, like every other creature,
To glorify your great and holy name,
And as your name is precious to your honor,
Don't be surprised your children feel the same.  

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



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