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This event is something I look forward to all year. The pews are crowded with all sorts of animals; dogs do tend to dominate, and this year I didn't see any iguanas or parrots as in years past, but there were also just enough cats to make things 'interesting.' Pastor Grandgeorge, I suspect, would not have an especially difficult time doing stand-up comedy. He has a very entertaining and almost 'show-biz' style which is just right for this kind of thing. I especially liked the notation in the program:
"Please bring your pet (or picture or ashes) to one of the clergy to receive a blessing. If your pet has a name, be sure to tell teh clergyperson the name of your pet. If your pet is shy of strangers or in some way dangerous, please inform the clergy of this fact." Here's the best part: "If your pet creates a mess, don't worry about it. It's all part of God's plan for the universe." How cool is that?
As I said yesterday, I thought it would be nice to have someone carry a likeness of Pale Male for the blessing, and this morning, Nina Gunther volunteered. Nina attends PS 6, and has been deeply affected by the nest removal. When I approached Nina and her mother, Molly, tonight at Central Presbyterian to give Nina the framed photo of Pale Male I brought, she was busy joting notes in a small notebook. The notes will be incorportated into an essay she's writing as part of her attepmt to have the Red Tail hawk made her school's mascot. It is actually Nina and a friend who were holding this sign.
Midway through the service Pastor Grandgeorge read a poem written earlier this afternoon by one of the members of the choir about none other than Pale Male. Right on cue, our own hawk advocate (and future large animal veterinarian) Nina, stood up with the photo of Pale Male raised high up above her head, "Norma Rae" style for the entire congregation to see. Here's a shot of Nina (with framed photo), her mother Molly just behind her, and another of Pale Male's fans, Clair, in the center of the photo as Pale Male receives the blessing. [Click the photo to be taken to a larger version. ]