Animal Man salutes all the life around him!
Animal Man wakes up and brews his coffee. He uses a K-Cup, adds in 60mL of full-fat milk, and lets it sit for 3 minutes before drinking it. He closes his eyes as he sips for the most concentrated gustatory and olfactory experience possible.
He fills the empty cup with water from the tap and leaves it in the sink; he will finish washing it later.
Animal Man takes out a teal yoga mat from his closet, unrolls it next to his bed, and begins his morning stretches. He’s done this every day for the last 38 years. He’s been able to reach his toes for the last 35.
It is 7:02 AM and Animal Man still has some time before he has to get to work. He gets dressed anyway and fills a messenger bag with the few slim files he needs to bring that day. He washes his coffee cup fully, leaving it out to dry, and puts on his socks, shoes, and hat. Animal Man leaves his house and walks to the corner of his street.
A bird flits out from one of the trees and disappears back into the leaves again.
“Good morning, little bird.” Animal Man listens to hear whether the little bird is making any birdcalls. “What kind are you? No matter, I like you already. Have a good day.”
Animal Man keeps on walking, making strides and turning corners past stores that are open, still opening, or not opened yet. He checks his watch; he has time to walk all the way to work if he wants today. He arrives at a newsstand, and, being old-school like he is, asks the newsman for today’s paper. He’s looking at all the other bright colored plastic and paper displayed when he sees a black, furry lump with green eyes in between two of the shelves.
“Oh, did I greet you yet today, cat? I’m sorry to have forgotten my manners; hello to you.”
The cat doesn’t stir from between the shelves, and the newsman hands Animal Man the paper. Animal Man thanks the newsman. “Bye-bye now,” Animal Man says to the cat.
There is a park on the way to Animal Man’s work and Animal Man still has plenty of time. He enters a route through the park, and immediately sees a squirrel scurry up a tree.
He keeps walking, greeting each bird that appears. In the park, he reaches a small stream where there are fish swimming.
“Good morning fish. The water is clear today, you should have a good time enjoying that.” They wriggle around, heeding him only in the brief glances that fish do. Animal Man waits to watch them for awhile before getting up to get going again. “Bye-bye fishies. I’d better get going.” He exits the park, and continues on his way.
Animal Man imagines some of the creatures know he is talking to them, and that they have things to say to him too. He notices that the animals he meets are rarely aggressive, and even if they seem so, it just takes a little patience and trust to make the loudest-barking dog or most snarly cat calm down and feel safe enough to carry on peacefully. He feels he treats the animals well, and so they treat him well in return.
Humans, on the other hand, are a bit more complicated. Humans do not always respond well to even simple hellos, and somehow may bark even louder or become more snarly even when approached with a calm manner and a trusting disposition. But Animal Man does not want to give up on even these humans, so he feels saying hello to the animals gives him good practice and enough patience for any kind of human he may meet. Besides, the not-snarly humans tend to give even more satisfying answers to his greetings than even the nicest pigeons. You see, Animal Man loves animals and greets them everywhere he goes, but still, his favorite animals of any are humans after all.