By Frank Eagle, PhD
Americans celebrate their independence from England every July 4. Animals have decided to celebrate their independence from Americans (and from people in general) every June 2, 5, 9, 14, 17, 18, 19, 22, 24, 27, 28, and 29.
Since we are still in the first year of animal independence, my fellow creatures have yet to agree on what form the celebration should take. In June, the lack of a consensus led to an unseemly anarchy in which many otherwise noble beasts made drunken fools of themselves.
For example, I think we debase our hard-won freedom when inebriated cats invent a drinking game requiring them to “toss back” a shot of vodka each time they see or even hear a bird? Likewise, we abuse our liberty when a school of sunfish drain their lake of water and refill it with beer? Such fish have a ways to go before they can even be called sophomoric.
As an eagle with an innate sense of dignity, I chose to celebrate the Animal Kingdom’s independence in a different way. Alone in my nest, on my back with wings outspread, in the dark of a clear and cool night, I stared at the sky as if it were something far away; but the more I stared the closer it came, or maybe it was I who drew nearer to it. I stared until the sky enveloped me and I had become a part of it. I had become one of the stars I was looking at, floating in a serene and mesmerizing darkness—a darkness twinkling with light.
There was no need of artificial fireworks. An eye-popping natural display was there for all the world to see.