My seventh-grade English teacher was a wise old woman who loved Edgar Allan Poe. She walked with a slight hunch. Like the teenagers we were, we whispered in the hallways about how she probably lived in a haunted house. On the days that we weren’t reading Poe or being forced to memorize Shakespeare, we had a peculiar task: watching an eagle family via webcam. Over the course of the semester, we witnessed the mother sitting on her precious eggs, the scruffy babies emerging, and then absorbed all the life lessons a mother eagle imparts to her young before they leave the nest. To this day, I cannot think of a single reason why this eagle family was relevant to my English class. Maybe it was slightly more educational than showing a movie, which is what all the substitute teachers did. But I suspect Mrs. Jones just really liked eagles. Whether or not you have a soft spot for eagles, I’ll bet you feel affection for some sort of nonhuman creatures. Self-quarantine has taught me that I, for one, am a sucker for baby bears and for penguins let loose at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium . As we face the prospect […]


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