A QUERULOUS QUAIL'S REQUEST
Hear my voice in the meadow, Mother Nature,
My "bobwhite" is the prayer I sing on high,
I call out optimistically at dawning
To rally all the quail who are nearby.
How we love to feast together in the sunshine,
Finding blessings under every rock and shed,
Till the hunters hear us pray a bit too loudly
And disturb our peace with bullets,
shot, and lead!
Forgive if we're querulous or fretful,
Ill-tempered, cranky, snappish, or high strung,
We regret to seem irascible and grouchy,
We just hate to lose our life when we are young.
Still the wise accept mortality as given,
And the Bible says your life lasts but a day,
So we ask the grace to have more faith and wisdom,
And try not to quail
when hunters come our way.
from the forthcoming book Prayers of 100 Animals A to Z, by William Cleary