Lessons From the Animals: Part 3 of 3

As I write this I am tending to a new baby sparrow. I am happy to share that this small visitor has survived his fourth night with me and is doing well. The difference in care between the two birds is a small but reveals something important. Birds need companionship and noise. The bird that died was with me in the bedroom the first night and was fine as a result. However, on the second night I thought he might prefer a quieter place so I left him in another room that was silent and dark. Looking back, I realized that an environment such as this is not natural for birds. Too late. I believed he died of fright.

Last night this was confirmed to me. The first three nights, the sparrow I have now has stayed in my bedroom, perfectly happy to remain in the box I 've provided for him. However, last night he refused to stay in his box. Every time he got out I put him back in it. Then he came out again and went scuttling around in the dark, trying to find me. At first, I thought he was still hungry and I tried to feed him. That was not the problem. The problem was that he/she wanted connection. The little bird determined I was mummy now and the bird wanted to spend the night sleeping right up close to me.

So that is what he did. Of course, I spent a difficult night sleeping flat on my back as I was trying to be careful not to turn over and crush the bird. So the little sparrow slept contentedly against my cheek, or on my chest, or in my hand. This impresseed upon me the fact that LOVE is a universal force, recognized by all beings. It is not just reserved for humans. This little being needed something last night and was very intent on receiving it, but it was not food or drink, or even a comfortable place to sleep. It needed to know someone was there and cared. That can be the difference between life and death, and literally was in the case of these two birds.

This leads me to conclude that even a cursory but open-minded observation of animals shows that there is a much richer depth to their private lives than will ever be revealed in a biology textbook. First Religion, primarily through Judaism and Christianity, taught we were given dominion over the animals. That we are at the top of the pyramid. Then Darwinism reinforced this with alleged scientific evidence for "survival of the fittest;" most noticeably, pointing to us. Now, traditional science seeems to be attempting to perpetrate the myth that animals are just robots who are programmed by instinct. Consequently with this notion we can, without any guilt, treat them as if they were. Humans can put them in line to be turned into hamburgers, perform cloning experiments on them, and shoot them for pleasure. We can perform a whole range of other activities that confirms our deep-seated philosophical belief that these living beings are mere "things" that are apart from our glorious selves.

Please don't buy into a second-hand notion such as this. Take time to comtemplate your own wisdom and , experience the facts firsthand. Renew your heritage and to learn the lessons and heart-warming unfoldments available through the animal kingdom through your own eyes and senses. Do not approach animals as a superior. Instead, approach with the open-hearted wonder of a little child. Take a stand and be willing to learn whatever is there for you to learn. You will open to a world of wonder where you can learn so very much, you most certainly will.

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