Posts filed under ‘.animals’

How Hummingbird Got Fire

A Rumsien Ohlone Story as told by Linda Yamane

Once, a very long time ago, something happened to the world. The ocean rose up higher and higher, covering the land little by little, rising up and up until nearly everything was covered over with water.
Eagle, Hummingbird, Crow, Raven, and Hawk were together on a mountain top, looking out at the world and seeing how it had been destroyed. After many days, Eagle had an idea and used his magic, and help from Hawk, to dry up the waters.
By this time, the five friends were hungry. There was food to be found, but they needed fire to cook with. Eagle knew the one place where fire could be found, and sent his little nephew Hummingbird to get fire from the Badger People underground. But the Badger people refused to share their fire and sent Hummingbird away.
When Hummingbird returned, Eagle was very angry and sent him back.
This time, the Badger People saw Hummingbird coming and said, “Cover the fire!” They hid their fire by covering it over with a deer skin. But the deer skin had a hole in it, where an arrow had gone through, and Hummingbird reached in with his long narrow beak. He took out a hot ember and carried it away. But before he could put it safely into his armpit, it flamed, turning his throat brilliant red.
That is why Hummingbird has a red throat, and that’s how there came to be fire in the world again.


January 8, 2021 at 1:08 pm Leave a comment

Octopus’s Garden

By Ringo Starr
Illustrated by Ben Cort

I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade
He’d let us in, knows where we’ve been
In his octopus’ garden in the shade

I’d ask my friends to come and see
An octopus’ garden with me
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade.

We would be warm below the storm
In our little hideaway beneath the waves
Resting our head on the sea bed
In an octopus’ garden near a cave

We would sing and dance around
Because we know we can’t be found
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade

We would shout and swim about
The coral that lies beneath the waves
(Lies beneath the ocean waves)
Oh what joy for every girl and boy
Knowing they’re happy and they’re safe
(Happy and they’re safe)

We would be so happy you and me
No one there to tell us what to do
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden with you.


January 7, 2021 at 1:07 am Leave a comment

Pussy Can Sit by the Fire

by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

PUSSY can sit by the fire and sing,
Pussy can climb a tree,
Or play with a silly old cork and string
To ‘muse herself, not me.
But I like Binkie my dog, because
He knows how to behave;
So, Binkie’s the same as the First Friend was,
And I am the Man in the Cave.

Pussy will play man-Friday till
It’s time to wet her paw
And make her walk on the window-sill
(For the footprint Crusoe saw);
Then she fluffles her tail and mews,
And scratches and won’t attend.
But Binkie will play whatever I choose,
And he is my true First Friend!

Pussy will rub my knees with her head
Pretending she loves me hard;
But the very minute I go to my bed
Pussy runs out in the yard,
And there she stays till the morning-light;
So I know it is only pretend;
But Binkie, he snores at my feet all night,
And he is my Firstest Friend!


November 16, 2020 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Gâteau Gato

October 7, 2020 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment


by Grace Nichols

From Everybody got a Gift

Lying on the sofa
all curled and meek
but in my furry-fuzzy head
there’s a rapping beat.
Gonna rap while I’m napping
and looking sweet
gonna rap while I’m padding
on the balls of my feet

Gonna rap on my head
gonna rap on my tail
gonna rap on my
you know where.
So wave your paws in the air
like you just don’t care
with nine lives to spare
gimme five right here.

Well, they say that we cats
are killed by curiosity,
but does the moggie mind?
No, I’ve got suavity.
When I get to heaven
gonna rap with Macavity,
gonna find his hidden paw
and clear up that mystery.

Nap it up
scratch it up
the knack is free
fur it up
purr it up
yes that’s me.

The meanest cat-rapper you’ll ever see.
Number one of the street-sound galaxy.


October 3, 2020 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Make Way for Ducklings


September 13, 2020 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Do You Love Me?

by Robert Wrigley

She’s twelve and she’s asking the dog,
who does, but who speaks
in tongues, whose feints and gyrations
are themselves parts of speech.

They’re o­n the back porch
and I don’t really mean to be taking this in
but o­nce I’ve heard I can’t stop listening. Again
and again she asks, and the good dog

sits and wiggles, leaps and licks.
Imagine never asking. Imagine why:
so sure you wouldn’t dare, or couldn’t care
less. I wonder if the dog’s guileless brown eyes

can lie, if the perfect canine lack of abstractions
might not be a bit like the picture books
she “read” as a child, before her parents’ lips
shaped the daily miracle of speech

and kisses, and the words were not lead
and weighed o­nly air, and did not mean
so meanly. “Do you love me?” she says
and says, until the dog, sensing perhaps

its own awful speechlessness, tries to bolt,
but she holds it by the collar and will not
let go, until, having come closer,
I hear the rest of it. I hear it all.

She’s got the dog’s furry jowls in her hands,
she’s speaking precisely
into its laid back, quivering ears:
“Say it,” she hisses, “Say it to me.”


September 4, 2020 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment


by Jane Kenyon

The dog has cleaned his bowl
and his reward is a biscuit,
which I put in his mouth
like a priest offering the host.

I can’t bear that trusting face!
He asks for bread, expects
bread, and I in my power
might have given him a stone.


September 2, 2020 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

The Sweetness of Dogs

Happy National Dog Day!
Dog Songs
by Mary Oliver

What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. It’s full tonight.
So we go

and the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think about
time and space, makes me take
measure of myself: one iota
pondering heaven. Thus we sit, myself

thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s
perfect beauty and also, oh! how rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up
into my face. As though I were just as wonderful
as the perfect moon.


August 26, 2020 at 3:25 pm Leave a comment

Suffrage Cat

Meet Suffrage Cat! . pdf

Suffrage Cat is part of the National Park Service’s celebration of the 19th Amendment. 2020 marks the centennial (100th anniversary) of the amendment! It was an important addition to our constitution as it recognized women’s voting rights. Suffrage means the right to vote in political elections.
Did you know that the cat was a symbol of the women’s suffrage movement?
In April of 1916, suffragists Nell Richardson and Alice Burke started a cross-country road trip. Setting out from New York, these two women stopped in cities and towns across America to talk about the importance of women’s suffrage. Along the way, the women adopted a cat that became their unofficial mascot. The cat became a symbol of suffrage!
Find a new adventure with Suffrage Cat! Print this feline out and add your own artist touch with crayons, markers, or other fun decorations. Take your new friend to visit a National Park or a National Historic Site. Get a picture of you and your new buddy.

Women’s Suffrage and the Cat


August 19, 2020 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

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