The Zoo

Butler reunion Sept. 2017

Sunday was zoo day for me. I went to the Oregon Zoo where a giraffe found something delectable on a tree. I found the green canopy, the ferns, the moss, and the huge trees delectable, because I spend most of my time in the desert. Green is good for your eyes and your soul is what I feel every time I’m in the Pacific Northwest. There I am reminded what rain can do to a landscape.

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Migrate

Drafting

Certain birds can fly 7000 miles nonstop to reach a different place to live for part of the year. Yet people cannot migrate to a better place with such ease. They are tied to land, houses, jobs. If a house is in a flood plain, destined to be under water because of rising oceans, people cannot just flap away like birds. Free range humans don’t exist anymore.

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The Wildlife

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Even in the city we are surrounded by wildlife. I can walk outside my door and find rabbits, roadrunners, coyotes, Cooper’s hawks, ducks and who knows what else doing their thing in my neighborhood. It’s the tiny wildlife that bother me. The ants, the spiders, the lizards, the beetles and all the other little critters than come inside my house. I love them outside, but inside – not so much.

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The Birds

The birds, the birds make such a concert outside my window. Something too tiny to see is chirping, chirping. The doves are warming up for the day. A woodpecker pounds away on a power pole. The roadrunners bark occasionally. Above the wet grass the cliff swallows circle and dive in silence. Breakfast is better than singing.

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Mad

I used to love terrifying movies. Remember the one about the mad dog Cujo? That little kid trapped by a rabid dog? These days horror stories don’t have the appeal they used to have. Why?

Do you outgrow the need to feel terror at make believe? Modern life is a horror in itself, but plenty of younger people are still avidly watching horror films. Let’s take a survey: how many older people still enjoy horror films?

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Sad

The sad eyes of the burros broke her heart. She refused to ride atop one to get up the cliff. No, she would find another way and not mistreat a burro in the process. Since riding a burro was a favorite thing to do there, and many tourists did it, her protest probably went unnoticed in the grand scheme of things. But I remembered it because it helped me understand how sensitive she was to the inner lives of animals.

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Crawfish

Her rattletrap Ford died in Austin, Texas on July 9, 1975. She wandered the bars on 6th Street until she found a fellow musician willing to loan a couch to crash on for a few days. Her new friend took her to a spot down by the river where a waiter dumped a bucket of crawfish on a piece of butcher paper in the middle of their table. She stared at the mess. She was supposed to eat that?

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Cats

I admire cats. Their independence. Their self-sufficiency. Of course if you have one confined to your house, they want to be fed. But if they got out the door one day, dinner wouldn’t be hard to find for them. As a pet, they aren’t demanding.

I don’t want one – don’t get me a cat – but I admire them.

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Dogs

My position on dogs is not a popular one. I know they are loyal and friendly. I guess I don’t need a lot of loyal and friendly, because I find dogs pretty uninteresting. They take a lot of work – the kind of work I’d rather not give. I’m glad you love you dog like one of your children. Good for you. But I don’t want a fur child.

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Grasshopper

We called her Grasshopper because she outpaced us by two. She’d get where we were going, look around, come back to fetch us and go again with the slowpokes. She’d rush off on side trips to see things we’d miss and rejoin us down the path a few minutes later. I was convinced she had twice as much fun as anyone else.

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