Why do I complain?

It's a shame, especially when I see God's creatures deal with their fragile lives without anger. Take the deer, their little fawn and me.

I complain when I need to take the stairs for lack of an elevator. They transverse barbed wire fences, ditches, speeding cars and highways without voice.

Yet at times there is the scream of a metal predator's screeching tires. Then often follows a deafening silence.

I complain about too many people at the stores and neighborhoods. The deer peacefully do their best to shop between farms, ranches, streets and lanes.

We complain when it gets cold and we need winter coats and stacks of firewood. They have one coat for rain, sleet and snow yet they walk gracefully and elegantly no matter the weather.

We rightfully worry about our children's school lunches, playground safety and supervision. Yet the deer family must cross busy multi-laned roads just to get a refreshing drink from river or pond. Often they must nurse cuts and abrasions from rusty barbed wire.

When winter comes, we pull down jars of canned goods and bags of frozen treats. Our stately friends do their best to scratch through snow to find a patch of grass, or reach twigs to fill the gnawing in their stomachs. In times of desperation they chance a nibble on some remote hay stack.

At night I switch on my electric blanket before I crawl into bed to snuggle beneath downy blankets. We lock our doors knowing we live in a friendly community complete with trusted law enforcement.

Our beautiful deer friends desperately search out a stand of trees. There they hope to spend the night. A night without fear of death or danger from wild or domestic animals and the elements.

In this Thanksgiving season, let us give thanks for creatures such as these to teach of the blessing that have been bestowed upon us. Let us be mindful before we complain of inconveniences. Help us instead to think of the other 'dear,' those two-legged dear ones living in our town and community that may be forgotten and need our help and friendship.

— Michael Frank Munsey, Victor