Space Monkeys and Sacastic Squirrels

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about contradictions. Ideas which conflict.

The world is full of them, you know. Life too. It is when the contradiction occurs on a personal level, that we stop and take notice. I struggle with some of these.

A good is example is this…..

Some call me crazy… but I like to talk to the animals.

When I was young, I was mesmerized by that ever-so-intelligent-and-proper Dr. Doolittle. (I know now it was Rex Harrison). But back then, when I was five or so…..he WAS Dr. Doolittle.

I would marvel at his extraordinary abilities to converse with the four-leggeds and beyond.

And I would say to myself, at that very young age….”Gosh dern it Polly. One day, you are going to grow up, find a nice top hat, and talk to the animals… just like Dr. D.”

Well, what do you know. I never acquired the top hat… but I talk with animals a lot.

Why… just today, I asked a squirrel to show me his nuts… and he DID.  But not the kind I was asking about.  I meant acorns… and such.

I also prattled with a rabbit, two birds, a sleepy fish… and of course….

…. three dogs and one cat. And they always talk back.  It is just that…. well… sometimes I can’t understand what THEY are saying.

So what brought about all of this? Well, it is “Enos the Chimp.” Enos flew into space on board Mercury Atlas 5 on this day (November 29) in the year 1961. He completed his first orbit in 1 hour and 28.5 minutes. It was a big, Space-And-Monkey-American first. A space pioneer. According to observers, Enos jumped for joy and ran around the deck of the recovery ship enthusiastically shaking the hands of his rescuers. At any rate, he laid the road map for John Glenn, who would be the first American to orbit the earth… about 4 months later.

I just read today that Enos got sick the very next year and died. He didn’t get a Hero’s Tribute, or burial, or anything like that. Instead…. he was subjected to extensive study at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology after his death. Enos’s body is assumed to have been unceremoniously discarded after the examinations were completed.

And there you have it. This news made me immensely sad.

Yes, I read all of this while I was eating dinner. Roasted turkey and vegetables.
There in lies the contradiction. I am sure that turkey was killed in a slaughterhouse. It could have been a Tom, or a Gertrude… a turkey with a family… and one who experienced turkey feelings and emotions. Who’s to say not?

I KNOW our dazzling dogs have feelings. So does our curmudgeony cat.  Why not a turkey or a cow?

Yes, I love to eat meat… but at the same time…. I felt terrible about Enos the Chimp, dying that way.  Contradiction.

It tells me that there is a lot of GRAY in life. Yes, all you people out there that say life is all in black & white… it is either this way or that way… and NO WAY can it be both. Well, I am guessing it can. Yes I think there is gray.  Battleships full of gray.  Podiums full of gray.

And if you are the “Black & White” Sort of a Person… I simply say…

You better not throw crayons if you live in a non-washable walled house.

Well, I don’t think that is quite the original phrase but you get the picture.  I guess sometimes we have to live with those contradictions.  We have to loiter in those gray areas.  Sometimes it is called Compromise, other times it is known as Justification.

Yep.  I am lingering in the grayness of middle-ground.  Because…..  at this point…..  I don’t see me giving up cheeseburgers.   Sorry Enos.

“Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth.”   – Blaise Pascal

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