Is “Mr. Pants” a Buddhist Monk?

A Buddhist Chick?

A Buddhist Chick?

One of Bessie’s chicks has notably long legs and is bigger than all the rest. A friend and I immediately pegged this baby as, horror of horrors, a rooster! I only say “horrors” because all ten chicks I bought were supposed to be hens, which is what I wanted because of the eggs. I have nothing against roosters as a general category of worthy beings, and I have had some admirable ones. But roosters can also be downright NASTY! So I just thought I’d avoid the whole ‘nasty’ thing by buying all female chicks.

Within hours of venturing into the enlarged chicken yard I had erected days after the chicks’ arrival, this little guy figured out that he could quite easily scale the “chick barrier” we had put up along the bottom of the fence and pop out into the real world whenever he wanted, in order to fulfill his exploratory nature and expanding soul (?? this is where the questions come in).  And he could pop back in just as easily, whenever his mother called or I was in the yard offering culinary delights. He really knew what he was doing and went about it with a will!

At first I was alarmed, picturing him as an appetizer for a watchful owl or hawk or one of the coyotes that lurk around the property awaiting their next meal. I thought he was lost and had gotten out by accident. Ha, ha. He proved me so wrong in the next moment when he went to his ingress/egress point and popped back through the fence to join his family.       . . . the laugh is on me, apparently. I quit worrying, and my friend and I dubbed him “Mr. Smarty Pants,”  “Mr. Pants” for short.

After a few days of this my friend asked me, “Leta, how can a baby chicken not even two weeks old be this smart and aware? I mean, um, do you think animals, um,  can be reincarnations of advanced spirits, and stuff like that?”

Aha. Therein lies the question. Some people still don’t think animals even have souls. Needless to say, my answer to that question is a given:  YES! But, in answer to my friend I simply told her what I believe:

Buddhists believe that humans can choose to reincarnate as animals, and Buddhism is a very ancient religion. So who am I to say yes or no to my friend’s question? And yes, I often observe animals who seem to be advanced beyond all possibility. But I never make a judgment about why unless the animal itself tells me firsthand that he or she is an incarnated being, a great master in a past life for example. Then I take them at their word, and listen hard, and enjoy whatever teachings they may have to impart. (And I have learned a lot from these occasional interludes, believe me.)

So is “Mr. Pants” an advanced spirit or not? Is he a rooster or not? As to the second question only time will tell. As to the first, maybe we’ll have a talk with him in a few months when he is grown and see if he imparts any deep, soulful wisdom or if he just crows his head off like his feathery counterparts.

By the way, my friend also felt that little Frida, our new puppy, exhibits the same characteristics of advancement as “Mr. Pants.” We shall see.

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