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Group Two

61 Mayfly

62 Meadowlark

63 Microbe

64 Monkey

65 Mosquito

66 Mourning dove

67 Newt

68 Nuthatch

69 Octopus

70 Ostrich

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Please explain, dear God of Light,
Why it's so hard to know what's right,
Why it's so tough for birds like me
To crack the nuts of mystery.

Yes, I am famous from my youth
For heady searches for the truth,
Chestnut or acorn, none's too tough,
If I just smack it hard enough.

Using my bill for a hatchet blade,
Wham! and it's cracked, its wealth displayed,
Yes, but meanwhile my head's in pain,
Eyes that won't focus, neck with a sprain.

Why, when the thirst for wisdom wakes,
Knowledge such bloody entrance makes?
Why hide the truth that life should teach
Under a shell, so out of reach?

Nuthatches ask - but Silence reigns,
All we can do is bruise our brains,
Bashing our beaks through hull and husk,
Hunting sweet wisdom, dawn to dusk.

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



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