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Group Four

81 Spider

82 Starfish

83 Stinkbug

84 Swallow

85 Termite

86 Tick

87 Toad

88 Turkey

89 Turtle

90 Unicorn

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Unclean! Unclean! Great tenderhearted God,
Do not come near, we are an outcast race,
        The lepers of the insect world, the worst,
        Afflicted, feared and covered with disgrace!
        For we have lost control of our exhaust,
        And when we PANIC, somehow it lets loose,
                A noxious, putrid, foul and horrid stink,
                A loathsome, vile and straight-from-hell-ish juice.
                        Have mercy on yourself, Exalted Sovereign,
                        And stay away from this, our last resort,
                                Although we wish to link with other creatures,
                                Yet only with each other dare consort.
Whatís that? Whatís that? You like our pungent odor?
You cooked it up on your computer screen?
        Diversity was what you hankered after?
        To teach that nothing created is unclean?
        Youíve made us clowns, then, Harlequin of Heaven?
        To make folks grin instead of cry in grief?
                Then give us grace to take ourselves more lightly,
                Contented to provide comic relief.
                        Eternal Clown! Great Ocean of Surprises!
                        Your sense of humor strengthens us to cope.
                                While all our smiles be edged around with sadness,
                                Still all our griefs have wistful tints of hope.
All right, come here where stinkbugs bow in worship,
Where red and blue and green clown-creatures crawl.
        Your Presence will improve our low self-image -
        Be careful! Donít cause PANIC in us all!

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



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