Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Roger has started volunteering at the local Habitat for Humanity. He's doing their books. It's fairly complicated stuff-- they have a large second hand furniture store, and they carry the mortgages on the houses they've built here. And there are all those non-profit rules on record keeping. So, he's been concentrating on that. I'm sure he'll do a post on it eventually. He was planning on doing some kind of post for today, but he's been busy with spreadsheets and Quickbooks. I am filling in. I don't have much to say. So, I'm just going to post a poem I found a while back that I was very moved by. The first time I read it out loud to Roger I found I couldn't read it all the way through without crying.
North Island Laughing Owl

The Animals Are Leaving
by Charles Harper Webb

One by one, like guests at a late party,
They shake our hands and step into the dark:
Arabian ostrich; Long-eared kit fox; Mysterious starling.

One by one, like sheep counted to close our eyes,
They leap the fence and disappear into the woods:
Atlas bear; Passenger pigeon; North Island laughing owl;
Great auk; Dodo; Eastern wapiti; Badlands bighorn sheep.

One by one, like grade school friends,
They move away and fade out of our memory:
Portuguese ibex; Blue buck; Auroch; Oregon bison;
Spanish imperial eagle; Japanese wolf; Hawksbill
Sea turtle; Cape lion; Heath hen; Raiatea thrush.

One by one, like children at a fire drill, they march outside,
And keep marching, though teachers cry, "Come back!"
Waved albatross; White-bearded spider monkey;
Pygmy chimpanzee; Australian night parrot;
Turquoise parakeet; Indian cheetah; Korean tiger;
Eastern harbor seal; Ceylon elephant; Great Indian rhinoceros.

One by one, like actors after a play that ran for years
And wowed the world, they link their hands and bow
Before the curtain falls.

We just learned that the Black Rhinoceros may have gone extinct. Quite recently. The report was in July National Geographic. We say their names out loud and wave good bye. Good bye.

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