I was recently sent an email with pictures of animals that have “lived the agony of the floods in Queensland and Victoria, Australia.” Three of the pictures intrigued me the most. In one, a monitor lizard clings to a metal barbed-wire fence post. He is in a lake of water. His rear legs are partially submerged. His oval body, front arms, and head remind me of child clinging to a fence, observing something in the distance. Anyone looking at the picture may imagine him is saying, “Oh my gosh, the water! How on earth am I going to get myself out of this one?”
In another picture, there is a wallaby that scrambles onto a woman’s kayak and lies exhausted as the woman straps him in so he does not fall off.
Then, in the final picture, there is a green frog riding on the back of a swimming snake.
Since all I need is a picture to talk to the animals, I will ask these Aussie animals, “What do you have to say about your experience in the flood and why do you think it happened?”
The monitor lizard says, “I did not survive the flood. A human came to rescue me and I did not trust him. I tried to run on the barbed wire but I slipped into the water and eventually I drowned from exhaustion. I am at peace now. I am telling others to climb trees and to trust people. The most remarkable thing about the flood is how fast the water rose and how I felt the earth expanding beneath my body as the water came. I have thought the Gods are mad. I thought them to be mad because people and animals are becoming more disconnected from their source. The toxins we are exposed to are challenging and disrupting our instincts. We are becoming separate from ourselves.”
The wallaby on the kayak says, “I have seen humans before. They have tried to feed us. I have been close to them in the parks. I was never afraid of being a short distance from humans. I could barely swim any farther. I had witnessed two of my family members go under water and not surface. I looked at the human in the boat and I thought ‘She loves me.’ She looked at me the same way my mom looked at me when I got my foot stuck in a crack of a log when I was little. I knew she would help me. People have been more than kind to me. I had water in my lungs and they kept me safe and taught me how to make friends with a new group of wallabies. I am back in the wild now. I think that God couldn’t hold his tears for all the suffering he sees and that is what started the flood. I know that there is suffering because there is a whisper in the wind that tells us that many humans are not kind to each other or the land.”
The frog says, “I was disoriented from all the pounding rain. The water level kept rising. I was on a rock and saw a stick floating in the direction of higher ground. I jumped on it and to my surprise it wiggled. I realized it was a snake. He was exhausted. That is why he was not swimming. When he realized what I was he said to me, ‘I don’t want to see any more death. I will not eat you. I just ate a giant rodent.’ He felt truthful but I didn’t trust him. As soon as I had a chance I jumped off of him and hid in the bushes.”
The snake says, “I had seen so much death. Dead snakes, rodents, and animals much bigger than myself were too easy to find. I did not need to eat a little frog. Strangely I felt secure with his company. As if I had someone to share the nightmare experience with. I was glad I could help him. I want to say humans did this. It couldn’t have been God. I can’t imagine why whatever controls life would want to take so much life at once.”