"Simon came to life in stages, slowly, unfurling like one of those slow-motion videos of buds opening in the spring." The opening line of chapter five finds one tenacious donkey pretty much returning from the dead. The author, Jon Katz, rescued and cared for Simon despite the overwhelming odds against recovery. And despite the horrors of his condition and the herculean amount of effort needed to keep him alive from day to day. I know a few superheroes like that in the world, including the folks who rescued Pongo.
You've heard these types of stories before, dear reader, so I won't stand on the soapbox of animal rescue today. But how about human rescue? In this book, Katz proposes we find the same amount of compassion for the folks who put these animals into distress as we do for the animals themselves. WHAT? Wait! You might be wondering what the heck Katz is thinking here. And I was, too. Until he wrote about all of the organizations, people, programs and energy available for animals who need rescuing. And then compared that with the national organization for humans who need rescuing. Oh. Right. There isn't one. We see a lost dog on the street and we bring him home, give him shelter and look for his family. If we can't find them, odds are we take him in or find someone else who will. But when we see a lost or homeless person...well, it isn't the same response, is it? I know, it isn't that simple. But maybe it could be. If we felt the same amount of compassion for people.
I haven't finished the book yet, but already I know it will be one I keep in my collection. And not just because it is about a donkey. This gem of a book reminds us of something we all have in common in America - both the left and the right - we agree that animals should not be abused or neglected. So maybe, just maybe, if we start with something we all agree on, we can take baby steps forward until we find common ground about people, too. Just saying.
Now if you've got a lazy afternoon and want to enjoy some nostalgia, here is the Muppet version of the Musicians of Bremen. :)
5/7/2018 08:53:14 am
Jen!!! Hee haw hee haw—love that little donkey in its sweet spot at the top! I've just added "Saving Simon" to my to-read list. I've just watched 7+ minutes of "The Muppet Musicians of Bremen." Good morning! Thank you for a haul of goods … that I didn't even have to steal from a train!
5/7/2018 09:19:43 am
Ha! No train thievery on a Monday morning! There isn't a better way to start a weekday morning than with a dose of Muppets!
5/7/2018 12:34:38 pm
Just sent the film to my grand-kids, now in the Philippines. I will also watch it. Love your take! Rooster seems a bit flustered, but he's holding out OK! Today I tried whimsical art but came out with a sad face :(
5/7/2018 05:07:04 pm
Carol! Sad faces do happen in whimsical art - and that's ok! Just like my flustered rooster, ha ha! Grand-kids in the Philippines! I hope they like muppets...I find them irresistible!
5/19/2018 05:37:08 pm
Hey Jen, I surely do love this post. I am unfamiliar with the book Saving Simon, but am gonna look it up. I couldn't agree more that we need to find more compassion for people, and agreeing and connecting in regards to rescuing, caring for and protecting animals is like a whole bunch of steps in the compassion direction so it ought to be the next natural thing to extend that compassion to caring for people. Definitely not simple or easy, but surely doable if we decide to give it our best shot. Meanwhile, Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island are staples in my own movie collection. Rizo to Gonzo "Thank you for making me a part of this" and Clueless to Long John "You're beautiful, you're precious" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2zKftTJ1wo are frequently quoted by my youngest daughter and myself in our version of correct context, usually to my husband or our other daughter! lol Thanks for the link to the Bremen Musicians... I'm playing it now while I paint. :)
5/20/2018 09:40:50 am
Chris! I am not surprised you are a muppet fan! They are all sweetness and humor - the good stuff that keeps our magical art mojo childlike and curious! Compassion for other humans is so hard, because we can be really nasty. But I think the world needs it now more than ever.
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