POEM: Conceit of Man

An elephant will never forget.
No car keys to misplace, I’ll bet.
A tiger is fearless, I will confess,
but it’ll never be audited by the IRS.

An owl may be wise; you can tell by the eyes.
But it’s never asked to comment on the size of a girl’s thighs.
Dolphins are smart ones, that much is true.
But, pray tell, who is in whom’s zoo?

In all domains humans think themselves the greatest.
And we are the very best of sadists.
You’ll never see a bonobo bureaucrat,
nor get tech support from a vampire bat.

At masochism, too, we’re none too shabby.
At the karaoke bar, ever see a tabby?
Ever seen a chimp with a nipple ring?
I’ll tell you now, that’s not a thing.

Our narcissism has grown beyond the pale.
One lifetime to the rocket from the sail
will give any species some cerebral swelling.
I’m not saying our’s isn’t a tale worth telling.
Let’s just make sure it doesn’t turn cautionary.
Basking in awesomeness, one forgets to be wary.
Next thing you know, super-smart apes are getting the itch,
or the Alpha Centaurians have made Earth their bitch.

DAILY PHOTO: A Bad Place to be a Guinea Pig

Taken in Arequipa, Peru in July of 2010

Taken in Arequipa, Peru in July of 2010


If you think this guy is eyeballing the camera suspiciously, it may be because it’s a resident of the Peruvian Andes. If you don’t know what I mean, check out this article from the National Geographic (particularly item #2.)

Anywhere else and he’d be someone’s fluffy little pet… or I guess a lab test animal–given the colloquial meaning of “Guinea Pig.” (So, maybe things could be worse than to be a Guinea Pig in Arequipa. One could be a Guinea Pig in the lab’s at Pfizer.)

DAILY PHOTO: The Puppy Who Didn’t Know How Much He Could Chew

Taken in December of 2014 in Budapest in the City Park (Városliget)

Taken in December of 2014 in Budapest in the City Park (Városliget)

I watched this little dog carry this stick across Budapest’s City Park. He set it down once, or maybe twice, to regrip it in its teeth, but otherwise it kept trotting along. The stick was about 1.5 times the dog’s length and about the diameter of a woman’s wrist.

The expression goes, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew,” but I applaud that this puppy was willing to shoot for the stars.




This dog followed us around during our tea plantation walk in Munnar. It was a fine-looking dog with a warm disposition. It seemed quite healthy, except for the fact that it was missing its left eye.

This made me think. If you take in a blind dog, does that make you its seeing eye human?

Eulogy for Sonny

Sonny was a stray who hopped up into my lap one day as I was reading on the back porch. He petted himself against me, and moved in shortly thereafter. He was between kitten and cat then, and so we estimate his age was approaching 12 when he left us.

Being a gruff, introverted stoic, I realize that I am an acquired taste as a friend. I have few non-contextual friends: that is, friends outside of a common endeavor such as a workplace or a school. Not that there’s anything wrong with friendships born of a common workplace or pastime, but Sonny’s out-of-the-blue arrival created a special fondness. That was Sonny’s nature.

He was a little dirty at first. A tiny notch in his ear–one that would be made symmetric later in life, marked him as a fighter as well as a lover. All about the love in the home, but ready to scrap to defend his adopted lair at a moment’s notice.

The books said his breed wasn’t inclined to be lap cats, but—being a cat—Sonny didn’t read much. And, therefore, he would spend hours curled into a torus on my lap, until my legs fell completely asleep and I had to stumble through pins and needles to refresh his throne.

Sonny developed a growth in his head. It was removed and biopsied, and then once more. Though Sonny’s Chi was strong, each time his nemesis grew back with greater ferocity. He fought it quietly and calmly. Making no complaints; demanding no sympathy. He was unflappable.

Sonny was a bundle of virtue: patient, kind, forgiving, strong, and stalwart. If the religions that believe in transmigration of souls are right, Sonny has earned the right to be whatever the hell he pleases in his next life.  He was a Bodhi-cat-va, helping us to eliminate stress and teaching us how to accept upset.

Your gentle head-butts will be missed. Your popcorn bowl conformity will be missed. You, my friend, will be missed.

We never knew where Sonny’s scars and nicks came from, but I imagine it quite like that of Neil Gaiman’s The Price