Can you remember some of your first encounters with animals?
I remember a man living in the basement of our apartment block when I was about 4 or 5 years old. He was a sailor and had a parrot. One day my family was invited in to see his parrot. I simply couldn't believe it's colors and was in complete awe of it. Then I remember another day, about the same age, where my whole family was frantically running around because there was a mouse in the hallway. I think I couldn't figure why all these big people (my family) was running around like that because of a tiny little thing like the mouse.
And then there was Bambi... well, maybe it wasn't a real life encounter, but oh dear, the effect that ending had on me! Truly, I can still recall (with the whole accompanying physical sensation) the overwhelming feeling of grief, and I'm sure you recall how magnified feelings were at that tender age. Maybe it's a direct result of watching Bambi, but even today I can hardly think of anything more tender than a fawn.
Anyway... I have many more memories, but what strikes me is how much these encounters really stirred internal feelings... both sadness, awe, delight, apprehension, respect, joy and a magical sense of sweetness. And they are all intact. Today I wish that each child growing up may have these kinds of feelings instilled in them about dealing with all living things - especially over those things which we humans have dominion. What an important lesson to learn.
Picture ©Walt Disney