1. Animals

Before God created people,
he made animals,
unnamed and marvelous,
that sheltered the weak.
What later would be called
the leviathan
had fins so large
they hid the sun,
and eyes that lit up the sea.
It swallowed only fish
that leaped into its mouth,
spouted water
to frighten sharks,
and shed skins
to cover the poor.
The ziz, ruler of birds,
foresaw battle
sand sang with angels;
its eggs, when broken,
flooded cities
sand crushed cedars.
There were gentle dolphins,
fireproof salamanders,
shining ravens,
sly foxes, and unicorns
that cured the sick.
They showed us how to live;
best of all, the grasshopper
that trilled all summer long
before it died.