One question people ask about heaven is Will my pet be there? My ninth grade religion teacher said, “If that will make you happy, it will be there.” Actually the jury is still out regarding the presence of animals in the afterlife. Because they do not have the same kind of souls that we do, they may not be included. On the other hand, Jesus saved all creation. And St. Francis called on all creation to praise God. We’ll just have to wait and see if Fido, Polly, and Midnight make it to the next world.
Speaking of animals, I recently published a friend’s two delightful books: Prayers from the Animal Kingdom and More Prayers from the Animal Kingdom. With a wry sense of humor, he imagined what various animals might say to their Creator (twenty in each book). They thank him for their skills, bodies, and powers, but also complain a bit. In the process, we are educated about the animals. Lovely art accompanies each prayer.
For your enjoyment, here are two samples:
Prayer of a Hummingbird
God of Beauty,
You are my creator and Lord,
the source of my beauty and speed, my versatility,
Though I cannot smell, I do see farther and hear better than humans.
My memory is phenomenal. Never forgot a flower or feeder I have visited.
And talk about speed, thirty miles an hour on a straight line
and up to fifty miles an hour on a sweet dive.
I truly am one of your gifted creatures.
What I love to do is play helicopter, showing off for kids
by flying up and down, sideways, and back and forth.
Geese, crows, and eagles envy me. Please forgive them.
I also love to play “bear” by hibernating when food is scarce
or when I’m exhausted. Clever, huh?
In my extended family there are 332 varieties (species).
It’s difficult to remember all their names.
I just had a baby brother, and he was the size of a penny.
We called him Charlie.
As for stamina, after getting my passport,
twice last year I traveled 2,000 miles
on my way to Central America.
Uncle Joe calls me a snowbird.
Well, Lord, you did a great job in creating me,
and I am grateful.
All I can say is the Latin phrase I learned in first grade:
Deo gratias, thanks be to God! Amen.
Prayer of a Frog
God of the land and sea,
I pause from my busy life to give you thanks
for my amphibious existence.
I call both land and water home.
(I wish you had made me ambidextrous too.)
While the sun shines, I prefer the land;
when it rains, the water.
Oh, yes, I’m often found on lily pads,
the site of my daily siestas.
Lord, at school I learned some facts of life:
I was once a tadpole; I had no lungs till later in life;
come winter my breathing, heartbeats, and muscles
will all shut down—not good news.
But, come spring, everything will be back to normal.
My teacher, Fanny Frog, reminded us
that when we get together, people call us an army,
not a flock like flighty birds,
not a herd like those dumb cows.
Lord, my Uncle Freddie said that you like diversity.
Must be true, for there are wood frogs, glass frogs, waxy monkey frogs, and in West Africa, a Goliath frog—his name is Fremont, and he’s a foot long and weighs over six pounds.
You may have gone too far in creating the poison dart frogs.
They are hurting our frog reputation.
As for our musical ability, you shortchanged us.
People laugh at our croaking.
You are forgiven.
Amen. And a half alleluia.
The two books are available on Amazon.
• What pets have you enjoyed on earth?