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Animalhood – a story for T

October 29, 2008

We moved to a new neighborhood, but this one is a little different than the City where you were born. Now we live in an animalhood. Our neighbors are farms and woods and pastures and ponds.

Maybe before breakfast we can walk down that wide dirt road to see the horses. We’ll pick an apple from the tree next to their fence and hand it to one and watch and listen as he eats it in two great, chomping bites.

And after we have our snack we can go the other way, down past the chickens and hens to visit the goats and sheep. They live at the farm where we picked our pumpkin to carve for Halloween.

Do you think we should walk down that other road and visit the cows after lunch? We’ll take the dirt road next to the Old Meeting House and follow it up around the bend to where the cows and kitties and the new puppy roam about and moo at me and you.

Before dinner we’ll take a stroll up to Turtle Pond, where you and Grandpa let the turtle go back into the water after inspecting him and making sure he was OK. You carried him up there to the pond in a seashell and let him slide back into the water from the long grass on the side of the road.

After dinner we’ll take our dog out for a walk down into the field and do our best to find the moon up through the clouds. And if we’re lucky and the clouds move away, and the sky opens up, we’ll see all the stars and then you can do your best to count them like you always do. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5….

And when you’re finally tucked safely back into your bed, breathing your long, sleeping-breaths, and dreaming about all our animal neighbors, it’s time for me to smile and remember all those animal neighbors too, as I watch the fox dancing and bounding ouside the window in our field.

I wish you were awake to see him with me. I wonder if I should wake you up to see this fox, the animal you’ve only read about and never seen before. But then as fast as he came into the field, he’s gone. Bounding down the deer’s trail and disappearing into the woods and onto a new mission.

How lucky we are to live in our animalhood, where nearly every neighbor brings that wonder-filling smile to your face – the best part of my day again and again and again.

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