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Group One

51 Jellyfish

52 Junebug

53 Kangaroo

54 Kitty

55 Ladybug

56 Lemming

57 Louse

58 Lovebug

59 Maggot

60 Manatee

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O Holy Ocean, Womb of Life,
God of the Bounding Main,
Hear this confession of my faults
And take away my stain.

        You'll never put me on your list
        Of saints and heroines,
        Of creatures tough and firm and sure --
        Not me, I'm full of sins.

A Jellyfish! All gush and squish,
No sense of wrong or right,
First, one inch wide, then, with the tide
I grow huge overnight.

        I have no backbone, and no guts,
        No vigor of the will,
        I vacillate with every wave,
        Un-firm and volatile.

What's that?  YOU LOVE ME AS I AM?
"A great transparent wonder?"
"Your tentacles all spark with strength?"
No, God!  I'm just a blunder!
        A gutless freak! A floating joke!
        Not fish! Not made of Jelly!
YOU LOVE ME STILL?  Don't hate my shape?
Don't find me gross and smelly?

PRAISE GOD, ye ocean freaks and flukes,
Ye frightening creations!
The Love who made us loves us still,
Despite our reputations!

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



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