It’s so different with the animals now, and embarrassing to remember how we used to treat them. A lot of people did beat themselves up about it at first, but it’s silly to refuse to forgive yourself when the animals themselves are forgiving you and wanting to be friends.
And we can communicate with them now. Telepathy’s still a bit new to us, but we can usually get the gist of what they’re saying.
The animals we used to call ‘domestic’ are gradually becoming independent. The sheep and cows and chickens aren’t quite there yet, but the pigs took off and got on with their lives more or less straight away. The goats could have done so too, but found it much more fun to stick around the humans. And now we’ve come to an agreement about not eating the roses, most people love having them around – they’re such comedians!
None of these animals are neutered any more, of course. The nature spirits have been teaching them to control their fertility, so their numbers are dwindling and they don’t have young very often. When they do, it’s exciting for everyone, and schools from miles around bring their children to see the baby animals.
Cats and dogs still live with humans, though there’s no ownership as such – it’s just a friendly association.
There’s a beautiful black cat that lives in my house. I didn’t give him a name at first, because I thought it would be like saying I own him when I don’t – but he advised me to loosen up about the whole thing. So now I call him Bryn, because it’s like one of the sounds he makes.
He knows how to order the food he likes from the replicator, and how to get the door to open so he can get in and out. Sometimes he sleeps on my bed, though he always asks first, and never when my partner is here. And he sings when he’s happy – beautifully. In fact, we often sing together.
The cats, rats, stoats, weasels, etc. have come to an agreement – at national level – on what they will eat and what they won’t. Native birds are a complete no-no, of course. They’re allowed to take any introduced species for food, but they’re gradually becoming vegetarian. And that’s happening all over the world, even with the big cats and the reptiles – and us humans too! As our bodies change, our instincts and tastes are changing. And as we stop eating each other, there are more and more cross-species friendships. A fantail has made friends with Bryn, and they play for hours in the bush.
Most of the species that are living in ecologies where they don’t belong have agreed to let their numbers dwindle, and in another decade they’ll be gone. And as ecologies recover, indigenous populations are booming.
It turned out that the Galactics had been keeping a gene-pool of endangered animals and plants for centuries. So as the land recovers, we’re re-introducing the species we had thought were extinct. Including – to my joy – the Dodo!
© Sue J Davis 2015
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