Published 9:02 am Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Perhaps we are related to those creatures that surround us. The similarities seem too evident to dismiss. Which of these best describe a human in your world?

Turtle: Methodical defines their existence. Slow is their mode. Perseverance embeds their character. It takes them longer to reach a destination, but here’s the kicker: They get there. En route, they pass those with more ambition but less fortitude.

Mockingbird: Known to repeat what it hears. One enthusiast noted 32 different mimics in 10 minutes. Be careful what you say around this bird. Is there one where you work?

Opossum: Imposters. Known for “playing dead,” they present something they are not. They guard this false presentation with their life, for it is essential to their existence. Break their arms, break their legs, break the bones in their back, but do not shatter this self-made image.

Bull: I’ve been watching this creature for years. Their life consists of eating, mating and fighting other males (in that order). Know anybody like that?

Groundhog: Never ventures far from home, for there is safety, security and place. Only faces conflict when forced to. If pathway is blocked to his abode he is bewildered.

Mother Cow: Her world revolves around her child. She eats that her offspring may live. Sleeps with one eye closed and one on that calf. Caretaking is her modus operandi, maternal is her name. Between her and her offspring is perilous. Jump off a cliff, wrestle a shark, step in front of a speeding train. All are safer than between mother and child. Discernment, fair play and rationality are cast aside as she turns on you. Beware.

Hog: These animals develop powerful pecking orders. Marks of weakness are seized upon and acted on. Especially in crowds. Cannibalism is not uncommon. Be careful. Who wants to be eaten alive?

Spider: She spends a beautiful web. Alluring. Seductive. No harm in a simple touch, is there? Beckoning utopia becomes paralyzing prison. Strand by strand she envelops her prey until resistance is futile. She has you. For supper that night. Then she waits for another.

Tomcat: Lays around most of the day but comes alive when the sun goes down. Philanderer. Looking for conquest. Never know when he’s staying or leaving. Unpredictable. Not compatible with long-term commitments, so expect no more.

Now, here’s a better question: Which are you?