All Creatures, Great and Small
Hailey, Age 11, Chilliwack, BC

Letís get one thing straight. Sheís a female. Her full name is Princess Tuckier Amelia. But Iím not going to get into how she got that name because that would be a completely different story.

As I lay here, watching her, curled up innocently enough, not to be awakened, occasionally stretching out her paw to me, I think about how helpless and vulnerable she is.  Like for example, just today I was coming around my table and she was resting off to the side and I stepped on her back leg. I didnít even see her there, a mere 8 or 9 pounds. And if she was even smaller, say a Terrier, I might have killed her then and there on the spot.

And I think about how silly she is - uneducated completely, how I am ashamed! She was biting the stem of my sunglasses, as if they had done something absolutely terrible to her. Her paw rests about 2 centimeters away from the sunglasses, her drops of saliva and tiny teeth marks still freshly seen on that poor and innocent stem. Itís just like her, really, poor, innocent, and helpless. I always become scared when sheís outside, and Canadian Geese and eagles and Herons and hawks fly around, calling out. I imagine being them, seeing a small animal in hunting mode, going for a bird. It would be the perfect time to swoop down and eat my cat. But just think, something could be hunting you at that same second, and hunting the animal thatís hunting you and so on. There would be an endless hunt for each other.

So weíre all just so helpless. Tuckerís little pink tongue, white rough and soft spikes on it, licks my nose. One thing I canít imagine is her tongue being devoured by a bird, if they even eat cat tongues.

So think about all the helpless things ó trees, fire, birds, animals, homes, objects ó and even you. You might like to think youíre tough, along with other people and animals, but when push comes to shove, weíre all little and small, innocent and helpless ó so why donít we just al join forces and hands and start helping each other instead of preying on each other. Speaking of preying, yes, we should start praying, change the e to a, itís simple, isnít it? And you donít even have to know how to spell, just sound it out and say it. Because we all know we could use a hand, so when you see someone angry or having a tough time, remember this, and remember ó youíd like someone to do the same to you too. I know you do.

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