THE LOVE OF HUGH MANATEE
Behold, this manatee named Hugh,
Cries out in prayer, God of the Sea,
Though thickly skinned and seldom seen,
Still I'm endangered as can be.
For food I dive down deep
And now and then come up
But oil spills can spoil
And boat propellers can mean
Who cares about my unsafe life?
Who cares about Hugh Manatee?
Sure, "Love your neighbor as yourself,"
But who says "THAT applies to ME!"
To love my neighbor as myself
The first one I must love
So I have made my lifelong
To learn to love Hugh Manatee.
I love my coat, gray-black and slick,
My broad round tail that gives control,
I'm proud to be a swimming ace
Who never harms a living soul.
Be with me, God of All that
And hear my strong and humble
That human hearts throughout
Soon learn to love Hugh Manatee.
from the forthcoming book Prayers of 100 Animals A to Z, by William Cleary