Thus every beast by some glad spell, in the stable dark was glad to tell of the gift they gave Emmanuel, the gift they gave Emmanuel. “The Friendly Beasts,” 12th-century France, current English words, Robert Davis, 1920’s.
(additional appreciation – Italian crèche-maker, British professor)
Aslan, make me a creature of your peace.
When I watch monarchs rest on a flower,
let me oppose tear gas against your migrating humans.
When I watch trout sparkle, let me speak up
for clean water on reservations and cities like Flint.
When I watch a wolf cull the deer herd,
let me speak this truth –
civilian assault weapons only bring
violent, senseless death.
When I watch a beagle play, let me pray
for animals so amiable they can be tortured
for cosmetic experimentation.
When I watch … nest-building,
remind me of homeless children,
squirrel gathering — of hungry ones,
meerkat social grooming —
that there are children ashamed
of their clothes in school.
When I watch monkey tricks,
help me make a sad child laugh.
Christ who taught the beauty of birds
and told a parable about the kindness of dogs,
let me seek wisdom from creatures around me —
learning from cats to console,
from ancient turtles to slowly understand,
from dogs to love unconditionally.
for it is in shaking the chicken feed
or hanging the suet,
caring for a horse with curry comb, hoof pick,
before warming my cold fingers,
observing penguins parent
and dolphins play,
that I am renewed to work again
for justice and peace.