Cat Burritos

June 23, 2007 | 17 comments
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God wants us to be mean to animals. This is clearly the take-home point of the lesson I taught last week, which included a discussion about a camel:

This situation is reminiscent of the fable of the camel and his owner who were traveling across the desert sand dunes when a wind storm came up. The traveler quickly set up his tent and moved in, closing the flaps to protect himself from the cutting, grinding sands of the raging storm. The camel was of course left outside, and as the violent wind hurled the sand against his body and into his eyes and nostrils he found it unbearable and finally begged for entrance into the tent.

“There is room only for myself,” said the traveler.

“But may I just get my nose in so I can breathe air not filled with sand?” asked the camel.

“Well, perhaps you could do that,” replied the traveler, and he opened the flap ever so little and the long nose of the camel entered. How comfortable the camel was now! But soon the camel became weary of the smarting sand on his eyes and ears … :

“The wind-driven sand is like a rasp on my head. Could I put just my head in?”

Again, the traveler rationalized that to acquiesce would do him no damage, for the camel’s head could occupy the space at the top of the tent which he himself was not using. So the camel put his head inside and the beast was satisfied again—but for a short while only.

“Just the front quarters,” he begged, and again the traveler relented and soon the camel’s front shoulders and legs were in the tent. Finally, by the same processes of pleading and of yielding, the camel’s torso, his hind quarters and all were in the tent. But now it was too crowded for the two, and the camel kicked the traveler out into the wind and storm.

This story clearly illustrates the danger in being nice to animals. Kindness to animals will lead to bad results; we must be mean or callous instead.

Sure, some animals may seem cute or friendly, what with their puppy-dog eyes or soft snuggly purring or sharp, poison-filled scorpionfish spines. It may seem tempting to be kind to an animal here or there, to listen to their concerns, to empathize a little.

We can’t give in. We have been warned. From now on, our story must go like this:

The camel was of course left outside, and as the violent wind hurled the sand against his body and into his eyes and nostrils he found it unbearable and finally begged for entrance into the tent . . .

. . . This traveler, though, was a smart and righteous Christian fellow. So he wisely replied, “You just need to suck it up and suffer, buddy. And don’t stick your nose in here again, or I’ll hit it with a two-by-four.”

The traveler then slept soundly in his tent, knowing that he was protected from the harsh sand and from the crafty conspiring of his selfish camel.

Better.

I think I’m going to go kick my dog a few times now, just to be sure that I’m on the straight and narrow.

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17 Responses to Cat Burritos

  1. Kaimi Wenger on June 23, 2007 at 2:57 am

    Footnote references:

    [1] Deer are evil.

    [2] Mice are evil.

    [3] Cats are evil.

  2. Jonathan Green on June 23, 2007 at 7:36 am

    Too true, Kaimi! It takes a very perceptive reader to figure out just what the prophets are trying to teach us, because they keep hiding shocking statements about the issues du jour under a thick layer of language about God and love and all that. Once you scrape away all that simplistic religious teaching and grandfatherly advice, though, it’s pretty clear that they’re really advocating radical doctrines on evolution, gender roles, racism, home-schooling, and fluoridation. It is imperative that the Church explicitly embrace these doctrines. (Or was it imperative that the Church formally repudiate them? I forget which, but there was a long thread on one of the blogs not long ago that made it all clear).

    Thanks for posting this. I never wanted a dog, but now I’ll get one so that I can fulfill my religious duty to kick it often.

  3. Russell Arben Fox on June 23, 2007 at 8:41 am

    You have a dog?

  4. Kevin Barney on June 23, 2007 at 9:12 am

    But Kaimi, you knew what the camel was before you let it stick its nose in the tent, so you have no one to blame but yourself.

    Next time, stick the camel in a cool pan of water and then slowly bring it to a boil. That way it won’t jump out and will be boiled alive.

  5. Jesse Harris on June 23, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Squirrels are the real evil. Doesn’t anyone read Dave Barry’s Squirrel Terrorism Watch? Those furry critters are out to kill us all!

  6. Adam Greenwood on June 23, 2007 at 11:26 am

    Don’t kick the dog until its down or it might bite the hand that feeds it, in which case you’ll have to eat its hair.

  7. pgk on June 23, 2007 at 11:30 am

    I wonder how the animals’ versions of this tale goes.

    Migratory birds’ version: “And the human said, ‘My vision at night is not as good as yours. If I don’t have light, I will stumble over stuff and fall and hurt myself. I need just a little light in the dark so that I might see better.’ So the birds said, ‘All right, just a little one but not too much, because if you build big lights those of us who travel great distances at night will become disoriented and perhaps fly to our deaths.’ So man made a little light. And then larger one. And then another. Soon the land was so lit up you could see it from space. Hundreds of thousands of night-flying birds died as, misdirected by the glare and beams, they flew into the lights where they lit towers and tall buildings. . . .”

    Florida wetlands alligators’ version: “And man said to Alligator, ‘I like your home very much — great view — but I can’t live in the water like you do. Can I build a little land out into your water, so that I man may live in this beautiful place like you do?’ And alligator said, ‘That would be all right, but don’t add too much or our home will shrink and then we will have no place to live.’ So man filled in a section of the swamp and built a nice place. But more men came and they wanted to live there, too. Each one filled in a portion of the wetlands. Soon the alligators’ home began to shrink. Alligator went to man. ‘You’re shrinking my home,’ Alligator said. ‘I thought we had a deal.’ ‘You’re right,’ said man. ‘I’ll start limiting our numbers.’ So the men created a medicine that would prevent their women having babies. At first Alligator thought this a good idea, but she-hormones from the medicines began mingling with the waters of the wetlands. As Alligator ate fish and birds that fed there, it began to change him and all Alligators. The shells of their eggs became too thin to protect the precious Alligator lives inside them. Some Alligators that were born were unable to reproduce because they could not say if they were male or female. . . .”

    Evil Deer’s version: “So man said, ‘I want to come live here among the trees and at the foot of the mountain with you, but I will have to cut down a few of your trees.’ And Deer, the most powerful of all the creatures, said, ‘What will you trade for this right?’ And man said, ‘I have the gift of growing things. I will share my food with you and you may walk through my house on your beautiful, slender hooves on your way to the river, where you drink.’ Deer said, ‘Done!’ But in his heart he said, ‘This is a foolish, silly creature, not to define its terms any better than that! I’ve certainly come out on top on this deal.” So man and Deer began to live together in the same place on the land. Man cut down trees and built a beautiful house, surrounding it with tender shrubs and plants with sweet, delectable buds and blossoms. Man also planted seeds that yielded many wonderful fruits and foods of all kinds. From the forest, Deer watched all this being done. Then, when man’s garden and greenery had reached the heights of readiness, Deer smiled. ‘Time to collect on our little deal,’ it said, and smiled a smile that caused birds to burst into the air in terror and the worms began to writhe out of the ground where it stood. …”

  8. Tatiana on June 23, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    And don’t forget not to give a mouse a cookie!

  9. Seth R. on June 23, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    The camel story must, of course, be followed with the cautionary tale of the misguided young indian boy who was soft-in-the-head enough to carry a live rattlesnake off of the high frozen mountain where it would surely have died. After the evil snake bit the boy, it proceeded to lecture the confused young lad:

    “YOU KNEW WHAT I WAS WHEN YOU PICKED ME UP!”

    The moral of the story being that we should all vote for ruthless Republicans who will pass tougher crime laws to try children as adults.

  10. Russell Arben Fox on June 23, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    I’m still trying to do deal with the fact that the Wengers have a dog.

  11. Kaimi Wenger on June 24, 2007 at 12:49 am

    We don’t have a dog. It’s a rhetorical device. :)

  12. Frank McIntyre on June 24, 2007 at 1:06 am

    “We don’t have a dog. It’s a rhetorical device.”

    Shocking. Kaimi has been led to lie by the dog he didn’t even have. Clearly something needs to be done.

  13. spencer on June 25, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    The rattlesnake story was the only teaching that my wife got about “the birds and the bees” from her parents. Yeah, that left a lot to figure out after we got married.

    I had to teach the lesson with the camel, too. I thought the moral was, if you have a talking camel (or any animal really), you should let it sleep inside because, come on, Talking Camel! It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how to make money with that.

  14. Tona on June 26, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Nice one, pgk.

  15. danithew on June 27, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    The prairie dog is evil.

  16. KyleM on June 28, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    You didn’t acutally use the fabel in your lesson, did you? I couldn’t bring myself to do it. If you did, how did you keep a straight face?

  17. Jacob on July 6, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    As a fellow gospel doctrine teacher, I have to add that I usually ignore most of the stories in the manual. As a matter of fact, I usually avoid most of the manual anyway.

    Oh! And we forgot to mention the dangers of Africa, with those evil crocodiles in every waterhole! Maybe we should keep adding to global warming, so those waterholes will disappear, thus vanquishing the dastardly crocs.