My Teacher, The Animal.
The Torah's perspective on animal wisdom in poetry format.
They say people learned how to fight from the beasts,
The tiger, the monkey, the eagle, white crane,
But what if we learned how to think on our feet,
Morality, spirituality, from the birds and the bees?
Many moons ago, Rabbi Yochanan said a great thing,
If the Torah was not given (G-d forbid), we still could be king,
Over our impulses, our souls, a spiritual martial artist,
To be menschlicht, good-hearted, animals can get us started,
To tame the beast within, must observe the beast without,
Lessons in self-improvement, just walkin’ all about,
Crawlin, flyin’, runnin’, swimmin,
Animals are teachers, to keep us winnin,
Some call them game to hunt and eat,
Others, entertainment, to trap and keep,
Some kill the mother, to make a coat for winter,
Others kill the father, prime ribs for dinner.
But there was a time before time,
Before man drowned in himself,
That the creatures of the garden,
Showed us how to perfect ourselves.
God didn’t create us alone,
To make this world Her home,
She gave us teachers,
We gave them their names,
Now, open your eyes, reclaim the same.
From the cat, learn how to be demure and discreet,
From the ant learn, that what you take is what you keep,
From the dove learn, the commitment of love,
From the rooster, serve the hen, then receive thereof.
The dog can teach loyalty, barking happily with three legs,
The lion teaches strength, roar in the morning, awake, I’m not dead,
The leopard is fearless, the deer is swift,
The eagle flies above, their gifts can uplift.
The tortoise, “Slow down, enjoy the sun, sit in the grass awhile”,
The hare, “Hop around, dance, always an excuse to smile,”
The caterpillar, some milk for silk, to others she’s just a pest,
But her wisdom is perseverance, struggle and you can grow wings from your breast.
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