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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Lessons from the Animal Kingdom, Part I 

Years ago I was reading in bed and noticed a moth fluttering around my bedside lamp. Instead of taking my book and crushing the moth against the wall, I spent about 10 minutes trying to capture it, painfully stubbing my toe in the process. Gently cupping the insect in my hands, I carried it outside, careful so the powder (which is actually not powder, but tiny scales) on its wings did not rub off on my hands. I released the moth into the night, saying “Be free, little one!” and felt the warm and pious glow one gets from being gentle to all God’s creatures, even a little moth. I felt practically Jain! I went to bed marveling at the connection that all living things share.

I forgot about my little winged visitor until a few months later when I went to pull out all of my sweaters for winter. Every single one had gaping holes. As I frantically examined my sweaters I noticed that my favorites - the sweaters I treasured most - had suffered the most damage and were now practically lacy with holes. I stifled a scream, because I realized that the voracious offspring of the little moth I had saved were responsible for the destruction of a large part of my wardrobe. Now I am merciless and hunt down and destroy any trespassing moths and have put big blocks of cedar in my sweater drawer.

Coming up next, wasps build a nest in my storm window, and a coworker tries to take over my office space.

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