Bear in Mind

Exploring the common minds and emotions of people and other animals and their lives together

For Eden, Together

A shared moment between species.

crabapple
An old crabapple stands rooted
She is tense intention, enduring
At the cusp of fall turn-to-winter,
Yellow green leaves fall first
One by one then
In waves of resignation
They all drop,
But the fruit remains
Red glory against the sky
Witness to her heart.

Every evening, I walk out
To sit and gaze in wonderment at skies unveiling
Then come the deer
Drifting in around the tree
They number twelve
Some are bolder than others
Young, brash
The suspicion that comes with age has yet to descend
The deer wait for apples to fall
But the old tree is possessive.

Tornir
Moved by their stares
I rise, reach for the bamboo pole and
Walking under the fingered canopy
Strike the boughs
As fruit falls to sodden earth
The deer edge near to eat.

I told a scientist, he said:
Fair weather friends
They only hang around because of the food
You know, you shouldn't encourage them
It isn't good
Feeding animals will kill them
Getting close to wildlife is bad
Besides, if they don't fear you
They won't be afraid of hunters.

I turn to
Pick up the pole and
Strike the boughs
Again and again
Until we are showered
With red and gold.
The tree and I smile
We have worked
For Eden, together.

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G.A. Bradshaw, Ph.D., Ph.D. is the author of Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us About Humanity.

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