The Hoarse Whisperer

In this personal essay, David Milo Kirkham recounts his interactions with the animal kingdom. From his early banter with his neighbor’s sheep and his trapping and killing of nuisance skunks in his rural community to his later encounter in the Bavarian Alps with a beautiful red fox, Kirkham both entertains and provokes serious thought about our relationship with God’s other creatures. “Who are the animals?” he asks. “Our relationship to them seems complex. I know some people see it in black and white: kill them, dominate them, or protect them all at any cost. But to me it is complex. They and we share this world. . . . Mine is not a clarion call to animal rights, to treating our dogs like children, or wearing surgical masks like the Jains to avoid swallowing a gnat. Mine is a softer voice, an ambivalent whisper perhaps, suggesting thoughtfulness and respect in how we interact with those other species that share with us this planet.”

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