"If all the animals were to vanish from the earth," said Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, "then men and women would die of a great loneliness of the spirit."

Usually we think of loneliness as a condition of the heart, but the Native American's remark provokes a different sort of consideration. Does the human spirit require animal company?

We have writing challenges on our message board and this week's challenge was for members and guests to write about animals, birds, or insects.

"If all the animals were to vanish from the earth.......

If All the Animals....

By Sharon (ByGolly25@aol.com)

Oh my life would be adrift
Should animal life be gone
To not watch birds flying in
The sky at the break of dawn

No bunnies hopping about
As they enjoy desert day
No Wiley Coyote passing
As he travels path this way

No soft kittens scampering
Or a companionship dog
A tragedy it would be
No hippity-hopping frog

No turtle slowly going
About his business each day
Not an animal or bird
Or fish in the ocean's bay

Should no animal be here
We humans would be gone too
We are animals as well
Though sometimes we have no clue

If All the Animals.....

By Tom (tomWYO@aol.com)

What if all the animals disappeared? Would not the world be in a heck of a mess? No cows for milk, no cheese or any meat to eat. No bacon and eggs, no SOS, no cooing doves or hoot owls.

No one to listen to my woes, for old rover had to go. Wives do not listen, they just tell after the mortgage and bills you have. One thing about an old dog, they lay and listened to your tales of woe. Never once did they interrupt or call you a liar and say you forgot. They just look up at you with a caring face, someone we can confide in, knowing they won’t tell.

No damn cats running about, getting into this and that, stinking up the house and too lazy to mouse and those birds who only make a mess. Gold fish no longer in a bowl, no birds singing on the back fence. Bet soon people would blow up, not having their close friends to comfort them.

Do not think it would be a nice place, but shucks just think of all the money that would be saved? We seem to spend more for pet doctors than ones for us, but shucks, I think I prefer the status quo.

If All the Animals

By Swampetta (SWAMPETTA@aol.com)

We expect the birds singing in the morning light.
Crickets clicking welcoming the night.
Even the bear has his place in the sun.
Raccoons and possums are never done.

Some have dogs and others have cats.
And in the belfry, I just might have bats!
The chickens may feed me for dinner
But a hungry lion sees me as a winner!

If All the Animals...

By Phyllis Ann (Starbird55@comcast.net)

I have a German Shepherd. Since we were privileged with her presence, I have read several books about dogs. I have come to the conclusion that they are a kindred spirit. I missed out on a lot by not having a dog around me until I retired. I wish I had always had a dog. They offer unconditional love, comfort, protection, loyalty and I believe that they contribute to our health and well being.

Ava on Guard Duty

Ava's work ethic is engrained in her breed.
She takes watching very seriously as part of her guarding creed.

All you have to say is "Ava, watch the house", and to her post she goes.
It is as if her duty she knows.

Looking to the left and right and far down the street.
She watches for anything that with her standard does not meet.

You can feel safe when she is watching over you.
Ava is a special dog, one of a few.

My Ava

My Ava is a joy to keep me busy.
She is most cooperative, laid back and seldom in a "tizzy".

We walk down the street and take in the view.
We cook, talk and make whatever we have do.

We live in the moment, Ava and I.
She often lays down, contented, and gives a sigh.

Sometime we go out on the deck, and I brush her coat.
Often, she lays on the couch while I tune in something with the remote.

She sleeps while I read as she never went to first grade.
Ava, the wonderful canine that God sent to me and made.

When Ava and I pass on and wake up to sleep no more,
I want her to rest with me so our spirits together can soar.

Creature Ponderings

By Norma (Twi1ite@sbcglobal.net)

When I am lonely, you comfort me,
Round black eyes so knowing,
Lady Longbody would bring me tea
If only she were made like me.

Nevermind, dear, sage little one,
That one with black velvet ears,
Chosen not random like snow,
Ebony spots as your trend of the year.

When I worry, you worry, too,
Round yourself as a snoring doughnut
Never totally asleep are you,
A slight move, your little head ups.

What is this affection connection.
I know you feel it too.
You look into my eyes,
And grunt little I love yous.


Little ant so tiny and stingy,
Don’t you know your sting gets you killed?
I sweep you off, but you come back,
Can’t you just hide, be still.

But No, you must crawl and bite,
And though I hate with all my might
To squash your tiny body,
I refuse to be your dinner stew.


Once I poisoned a rat,
Picked her up by the tail
Looked at her soft underbelly,

She left behind four babies,
Whose mother never came back with milk,
The babes had died in a box in a hide,
The smell covered the closet with guilt.


I ponder the twists of fate
That made these critters received by man
With love for one on the one hand,
Killing the other, wherever they land.

If All the Animals....

By Cottage Lady (Patience@bresnan.net)


A pewter gray papier-mâché globe
affixed to a beam,
a small honeycomb atop,
intricate and elegant,
only one small entryway,
do they dance and sway
under their disco ball at night
beneath starry strobe lights
and deep purple memories.


A neighbor next door
sprayed his ants,
my own harmless parade
trod the rim of my patio
going about their
industrious ways in a
constant flurry of busyness.
Later today all was quiet,
merely shriveled grains of
sprinkled pepper remain…
it seems poison tends
to spread of its own accord

If All the Animals.....

By Mercedes (writerworks@live.com)

Because I feel connected to something larger than myself, because being around and with animals renews, recharges, calms and strengthens, I believe there is a presence animals offer that man needs for sustenance.

If you look around, you don't see animals forming people zoos where they go to enjoy watching our behavior. They don't gather in the city to be near people or watch us through binoculars. They don't need us (Except to help protect their habitat). Everything they need has little to do with man.

We need them though even though we have spirit too...we largely ignore the power of our spirit, subjugating our best selves to ego manifestations of material stuff.

Animals tweak our spiritual selves...remind us we are of spirit, our higher self, if you want to call it that, our eternal self.

I was never much of an insect person until recently. Many, if you just look at them and don't worry about them crawling under your covers LOL are exquisite. Caterpillars, the neighborhood boys used to squish on the sidewalk...are perfectly designed for their function. I often think God is whimsical and it shows in his creatures. Panda Bears, for example, I will never be convinced their colors are the result of natural selection. Sometimes I think God said, "Oh, that is cute, I will leave it like that." Puffins, Cedar Waxwings

I am getting off the subject. Caterpillar, excruciatingly slow, will eventually find her spot, moving one hump at a time...no hurry. Some are fuzzy, some are not. Some complicated coloring, some their coloring anticipates the color and markings of the butterfly they will become.

Many feet working in unison, like a marching band. No dissonance, only harmonic unison driven forward by some tenacious inner voice or will to live and recreate itself.

And talk about transition. Can you imagination the stress of beginning as a caterpillar and ending up a butterfly? If you think your transformative teen years were tough, think about that metamorphasis! You would want to spend a lot ot time in your room getting used to it, headphones on to shut out the world and buried in a book.

Last of Summer Days (several authors)

Good Morning

Tinges of Fall in the Air (several authors)

That Old Rusted Bucket

I Wonder Sometimes

Lara's Den has free E-cards.
I make them and offer them to our visitors and authors.
Click the button to access the index.

New at Lara's Den. Click the Thumbnail.

And.......for many others, click the index image.

Graphics by Marilyn