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I know it’s wrong and stupid to anthropomorphize animals, although we do it with our dog all the time. But is it all that wrong to feel their pain?

We have a mallard and his mate who have been hanging around our neighborhood for a couple of weeks, landing in the wet grass and finding things to eat in backyards when they’re not swimming around in one of the nearby ponds.

Everywhere he went, she went. They were always together. But something happened. I don’t know what, but she has disappeared. Maybe she was run over by a car, or killed by a bobcat or coyote, or maybe she just flew off with a better-looking beau.

But he obviously misses here. For the past few days, he has been wandering around the neighborhood on foot, calling for her. It almost makes me want to give him a hug and let him know how badly I feel for him. But that would be really stupid. It would scare the hell out of him and make him suffer even more than he already is.

Even as I write this, I know how silly it is. Let’s face it, if I was killed tomorrow, jumping over motorcycles in a school bus, he’s not going to feel compelled to let Carmela know that he feels her pain.

Still, as a believer in true love, it makes me sad to watch him.

George Lee Cunningham

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