Creature

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Creature: (n) an animal, especially a non-human

I like animals—but I don’t love them.

This statement in itself is enough to make many people cease reading this article—for loving animals has become the symbol of great humanity, mercy and tenderness. I especially find displeasure in those who allude to the fact that they “love animals more than people.”

We have begun to accept such weirdness.

I guess if I felt that the people who loved animals cared equally for people, I would be very impressed and would want to learn from them how to be more passionate about…what is it they call them?

Oh, yes. Our “fur friends.”

But I feel these folks have decided to be empathetic with animals instead of their fellows, mainly because they can quietly overlord the creatures, while pretending equality.

After all, what’s a dog going to do if you insist you love it, but then make it wait an extra fifteen minutes to go out and pee so you can finish your make-up?

And what is a cat supposed to think when you show up two or three times a day for affection, and any time it wants to come and be close, you’re too busy watching TV?

It’s a strange game—because it is easy to love an animal that is not demanding, and not so easy to love one that requires equality.

I am still working on being kind to the sparrow and all other creatures.

But I will begin by loving those folks who I’m told are most certainly created in God’s image.

 

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Cloven Hoof

Cloven hoof: (n) a divided hoof ascribed to the Devil

I refer to it as “descending theology.”

It begins with a plausible notion and ends in the deepest dumpster of superstition. Let me give you an example:

There is a Creator who made the Universe.

Now, you may not agree with this, but at least the concept itself has some plausibility. In other words, if there were an eternal force, this
Unit would be able to hatch a Universe.

Yet from that point on come descending assertions, affirmations and doctrines about this Creative Force. For instance:

He had a son.

He decided to kill his son on a cross.

He believes in witches.

He had little children murdered because they laughed at a prophet.

You see what I mean? Whereas the original idea may have been feasible, when more and more tales of the bizarre are added, the theology descends into the graveyard of Mount Olympus.

Let me try another one:

There is evil in the world. (All right, I’m with you)

That evil appears to be organized. (Sometimes certainly feels that way.)

The mob boss of evil is named Satan. (You’re losing me…)

Satan is not really human or angelic, but rather, a creature. (Okay. I’m backing out of the room.)

Word has it, he walks on cloven hoofs. (Now I’ve turned and I’m running away very fast.)

If we were able to believe in God without the deterioration of descending theology, which turns everything into R-rated nursery rhymes, we might be able to take the better nature of our Deity and find it inside ourselves–and love one another.

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Centipede

Centipede: (n) a small, predatory, long, thin animal with many legs.

Ignorance can be very appealing and humorous–as long as it’s presented as the stupidity it truly is. Matter of fact, humor is often the
exposure of ignorance.

There are times I pull up a word for this daily essay and decide to study a little further, so that the information I impart to you is tinged with accuracy. (God knows I wouldn’t want to give you fake or faulty facts.)

But on this particular day, I chose NOT to look up anything on the centipede because my ignorant understanding of it is so darling.

Over the years I did not know the difference between a centipede and a millipede, except that one creature touts a hundred legs and the other brags a thousand.

What always tickled my funny-bone was the knowledge that the animal with the hundred legs is quite large and dangerous, while the “slitherer” with a thousand legs is small and fairly harmless.

So much like our world.

When in doubt, when feeling insecure, when confronted with competition–over-advertise. Exaggerate.

The millipede was certainly intimidated by the prowess of the centipede, so it picked a name that immediately had legs to it. A thousand, to be exact.

So over the years, whenever I thought about these beings, I always reminded myself that the one who bragged about the most appendages was actually the weaker.

Huh.

Maybe there’s a lesson there.

 

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Bear

Bear: (n) a heavy wild animal with thick fur and sharp claws which has many varietiesDictionary B

Is the key in knowing what, and then when, or is it more accurate to pursue when, while acquiring what?

Please pardon the philosophical approach.

Is when more important than what, or does what take primary position over when?

Let’s study the bear.

Because even though this creature is known as a lumbering mammoth of fur and flesh with a ravenous appetite, which can be quite dangerous if aggravated, it does spend much of its time sleeping in a cave.

The bear has simply discovered when to be industrious and what to do. The bear has also learned when to be lazy, and what is the best slumber.

I think we are either lazy when we need to be industrious, or industrious when it might be better for us to lay back and hibernate.

Think of it from the bear’s perspective:

  • Spring and summer come along, which have pleasant weather, lots of fish to eat and picnic baskets to poach.
  • Then there’s winter. Even though you have a coat, why use it?

So crawling into a cave, relaxing, realizing that most things are not blooming and that picnic baskets have been put into the closet for better days, you choose to survive this down period by resting instead of fretting.

It’s very ingenious.

It’s probably why the bear has survived the post-dinosaur era until now, with very little sign of disappearing.

So I guess to capsulize this into an easily remembered slogan:

Learn from the bear … and don’t do what you can’t bear.

 

 

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Approachable

dictionary with letter A

Approachable (adj): 1.friendly and easy to talk to 2. able to be reached from a distance.

Ten things:

1. Don’t be dark and mysterious. James Dean is dead and so is the “brooding human.”

2. Value the power of ignorance because it makes you more accessible to other people. There is no such thing as a know-it-all. Such a creature ends up knowing nobody.

3. Laugh. Preferably at yourself instead of others.

4. Don’t feel the need to be the savior of the world. Instead, start filling sandbags to hold back the flood.

5. Don’t be sure. People who are sure have to later lie about either what they believed or about how successful it was.

6. Do not be a respecter of persons. The minute you assume that someone or some group is better than another, you’ve cut yourself off from a large portion of the earth.

7. Don’t talk about God. Live God.

8. Show up in a consistent mood. It doesn’t have to be good–it just has to be predictable so people aren’t wondering whether Jekyll or Hyde will show up at the party.

9. Believe in something. It’s too easy to be cynical. It’s also very lonely.

10. Learn something every day–and be prepared to admit it.

Approachable is when we’re not afraid to be human, but instead, revel in the uncertainty of our humanity.

 

 

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Ant

dictionary with letter A

Ant: (n.) a small insect, often with a stinger, which usually lives in a complex social colony with one or more breeding queens.

I don’t know whether there’s any creature on this planet that has such a diverse range of public perception.

After all, the ant is the symbol of vigilance in our childhood tales, especially when competing with the lethargic and procrastinating grasshopper.

Rumor has it that with great persistence, they can actually move rubber tree plants.

We greatly applaud their colony for its efficiency, wondering why the “hill” in Washington, D.C., can’t pick up some pointers.

Yet we also get really upset when they show up at picnics. They are known to frighten children because of their occasional bad tempers, allegedly leading to stings.

So how it is possible to be considered such a diligent fellow, and then closed out from being welcomed by the picnic crowd?

There’s only one explanation.

They’re black.

Yes. It’s a race issue.

I’m not trying to play the “race tentacle” here, but it seems to me that if the ant were white–aside from being almost invisible, as most white creatures are–he (or it) would be more accepted.

This theory could be easily tested by allowing a black ant and a red ant to arrive at a picnic at the same time. Would we treat the red ant better? Or just move it to the side and let it build a casino?

These are questions that plague my thoughts.

Because if we’re trying to get rid of ants because they’re annoying and interfere with the hygiene of our food at outdoor meals, that is a legitimate concern.

But if there is any color discrimination here, I think we should get to the bottom of it.

(Even though I think an ant has a thorax and not a bottom…)

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Anabaptist

dictionary with letter A

Anabaptist: (n) a radical Protestant sect in the 1520s and 1530s which believed that baptism should be administered only to believing adults.

It’s not so much that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. It’s just that by the time a dog reaches a certain age of maturity, it is always looking for a warm piece of sunshine in which to take a nap.

It is so much easier to teach a young dog which is hopping around with energy, to do something unnecessary, like a trick, because the creature is already predisposed to be active.

When I read this definition of Anabaptist, I immediately noted that their particular goal of profession of faith didn’t last very long. The reason for that is that trying to teach adults to be spiritual is similar to the quandary of pursuing chasing a stick with the old dog.

The people who are most intrigued by God, love, mercy, angels and promises of heaven are young.

Very young.

Perhaps that’s why Jesus told his disciples that we all need to “become like little children.” Otherwise, we’ll have no appetite to learn the new tricks that are available for our spirit.

If you remove Sunday School, Bible school, church camp and youth outings from the average religious organization, you basically end up with traditional worship services once a week … and funerals.

Matter of fact, that is the menu of many congregations in this country.

It is the infusion of youthfulness and the passion associated with it that makes spirituality alive and well. Otherwise, the minute we find a warm place to sleep in the sun, we no longer care about God, the earth and fellow-travelers.

Yes, the Anabaptists made a serious mistake. Merely getting old and sickly does not prepare one for eternity.

It is the introduction of youthful, childlike playing that “draws us nigh unto God.”

 

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