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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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Small is beautiful, they say,
Creator, do you feel that way?
You've made hummingbirds so wee!
Some of us small as a bumble bee,
With eggs the size of navy beans,
And nests too small to fit sardines!

Wing-speed's the boast you'll hear from us,
At 70 flaps per second plus,
So fast most eyes can't even see,
But not, quick-eyed God, too fast for thee:
(Your Spirit's wings are hardly less;
Seventy times seven at least, I'd guess.)

Rainbows of fiery reds and greens,
Yellows and orange in glittering sheens
Color our coat with a sparkling hue,
Though we're too fast for a steady view,
Darting the deep-throated flowers among,
Sipping their sweets with our straw-centered tongue.

Your love for us helps build our worth
Since 400 kinds you've created on earth,
In heaven, we know you will need us perforce
Since heavenly choirs can use hummers, of course,
So, God, how about a small standing ovation
For the tiniest squirt of a bird in creation?

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



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