Ron Singer

The Lazy Animals

Not just the obvious –lazy dog, wallowing hog, eponymous sloth-- but the porcupine who gnawed our porch three nights running, instead of sticking to the trees, with their tough bark and other stuff. (I’m told they’re after the glue, but never mind.) It took a bucket of water on his head to convince this fussy eater to waddle off into the woods.

Not just the porcupine, renowned for neither sloth nor (like the beaver) industry. Consider the honeybee, watchword for busy-ness. Myriads of workers buzz all over the place, signaling each other via the bee telegraph as to the exact location of the nectar. Meanwhile, back at the hive, the big fat queen sits on her stinger, dropping eggs, while she waits for dinner to be served.

Then, there are the human queens, not the working kind, the Catherine’s and Elizabeth’s (both “Great”), but the purely decorative, noted not for production, but consumption: rich cakes, wines, emeralds, rubies, silk, cloth of gold. And not just queens, it’s monarchs I mean (human beings, not butterflies).

Far below these kings and queens, you come upon those watchwords for sloth, recipients of public aid. Here, too, there are distinctions to be made. For every welfare queen, for every other cheat, there are legions of single moms, and of the unemployable and the un-and-underemployed, struggling to make ends meet.

So, when it comes to laziness, why not lose the clichés (sluggish surrogates for thought)? Be careful not to cast the first stone at humans or other animals, or you could find yourself sweeping up the shards from a glass house, and then, from the ground up, laboring to build a new one. Casting stones… building glass houses… wasting energy.

Ron Singer © 2014