Animal Life on the river Li
then the water buffalo, maybe seven thousand years ago
on the Yangtze river, a Hunter- gatherer decided, instead of running, to entice a she-buffalo to him with soft words and promises.
He dampened her wildness by choosing her most docile calf.
and then her sweetest grandchild (the one who came to him with soft sorrowful eyes and nuzzling mouth) and after that the great grandchild, who lowed as though it dreamt of heaven, and the great, great grandchild who, as a calf, would offer his head to be held.
Later came the indenture of the comorant
- captured and then tethered in line - waiting to hunt but not swallow.
And last came the water fowl - an ambiguous relationship - tamely wild - gamely floating by obliviously and happily,
until it's time for lunch.