Animals Overcoming

Yesterday, I walked by a fenced yard of terriers.  Immediately four bolted across the grass to bark at me.  A fifth stood well back on its hind legs.  I stopped.  What was there about that dog, a short-haired black terrier, that made him stand erect like a man?  Then I saw.  His front legs were stumps, one half missing and the other three-quarters missing.  I lingered, to see how he would move.  Would he step or hop on his hind legs, or would he hobble on his attenuated limbs?  He did nothing but stand while his companions barked on and on.  And because they barked on and on, I continued on my journey.

Was it in Herriot’s true story, All Creatures Great and Small, where I read about the dog that had lost a front and a back leg?  Herriot, a veterinarian, had expected the dog to flounder about in misery.  Instead later on when he made a call at the farm, he saw the dog trotting about as if it didn’t need the missing legs.

Perhaps less amazing but inspiring was the time I saw the crow with the hairpin leg walking about on the sidewalk as if its leg were straight.  Not the trace of a limp, not a trace of pain.  It became Crookshank in my book, Finnegan’s Quest. 

A couple of months ago, I watched a house finch visit our feeder.  Its upper bill was too short.  Its lower bill was too long, ending in a square tip.  The finch hopped about as if nothing was wrong.  He scooped the seed into his bill and seemed as healthy as his flock mates.  From time to time, he would return.  I hope he survived.

I wish all these creatures well as they adapt and carry on.

 

 

 

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