read an excerpt from Gavin’s Garden

“In Gavin’s Garden you will learn how to see what you don’t expect to find.”

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“Some people argue that Texas is a foreign country, but actually Texas is a ‘State’, one of fifty, of the United States of America.  Gavin, you are a second generation Texas-born Red Kangaroo.  So yes, that makes you a native Texan, and an American.  Our family has roots (like a tree) in our native country, Australia, and we branched out (like a tree) to the State of Texas, in America.  This means that you are an Australian-American, Texas native, Red Kangaroo.”

“WOW!  That’s a lot!  You’re so smart Momma Roo.  Is that why you teach people?  Are people imbeciles?” 

“Well, sometimes, but most people have the ability to learn their whole life through, like we do.”

“But if most people can learn, why do they need animal teachers, Momma Roo?  Can’t they teach each other?”

“People do teach themselves and others many things, but there are some things they need our help with.  People are funny, Gavin.  In order to learn appreciation for anything, they must experience it.  This means, people need to see kangaroos with their own eyes in order to ‘experience’ and ‘appreciate’ our species.  People that appreciate you will do almost anything to keep you within their space, and never forget you.  Sometimes, they even go so far as to protect your ‘roots’, your family in Australia.  But, if people never experience you, even if they have read books and know about your species, they don’t seem to care whether you exist – or not.  You and your species can disappear forever, and those people will never notice that you are gone.  And I warn you, there are people who consider our species a pest, and don’t want us in their space.  These people would prefer we did not exist.  Our job, as Ambassadors, is to teach people about kangaroos.  If they know us, hopefully, they will appreciate us, and like us.”

Momma Roo and Gavin had finally reached their destination.  They hopped around to the back, northwest side of the zoo, which was surrounded by a very tall chain-link perimeter fence that appeared to go on for miles.  The rising sun made the dew on it glow with light.

Momma Roo looked up at the fence, and began sizing it up in her head, “Hmm, let’s see, about twelve feet to the top…. three strands of barbed wire strung on brackets leaning out…okay, no problem.”

Gavin watched and wondered aloud, “Why is appreciation so hard for people to learn?” 

Momma Roo grabbed the chain-link fence and shook it.  “Look at this fence, Gavin.  It was designed and built to keep some things in and other things out.  It ‘controls’ the space inside.  People worry a lot – about their survival.  All of that worry leaves little thought for appreciation.  It usually takes a jolt for them to wake up to it.

Surviving in the wild is very difficult for people, you know.  Just look at them.  They have no fur; most have forgotten which wild plants are eatable, and which are poisonous; or how to find water in a drought, or shelter in a storm.  People have replaced that ability to survive in the wild, with a new one – ‘control’.  For them, survival means control, and they worry themselves sick over it.

Humans are naturally protective and territorial, but sometimes ‘worry’ deforms that normal behavior into “greed” – especially when it comes to space.  Then, they build their fences, like this one around the zoo, and permit only what that they like, and appreciate, inside “their” space.  We hope that they like us, because sometimes all the grass, water, and shade are in that space.”

Mute Music

Read this short excerpt from Gavin’s Garden

taken from Lesson One titled;

Spend a Day at the Zoo