The Clinging Claw of Attachment


During the animal liberation,
he seemed particularly angry
in the box of many crabs.
Using a pair of tongs to hold him
while snipping off the strings on his claws,
I managed to free one of them.

With the free claw,
he waved it around dangerously,
making it hard to free the other claw.
I put him back into the box,
to let him cool down,
as I picked up another to free.

In the middle of the box,
he continued to wave his claw furiously,
as if saying ‘Me! Me! Me!’
I tried to pick him up again,
but he clung to another crab.
Does he want freedom or think he is going to die?

I put him back into the box again,
to let him cool down,
as I picked up another to free.
When I picked him up later.
He clung to the tongs with the claw,
even after the other claw is freed.

Throughout,
I chanted to sooth him…
‘Amituofo, Amituofo, Amituofo’
He didn’t let go,
though he could let himself go
and go to freedom.

Not wanting to hurt him,
I didn’t shake him off,
but brought him to the water.
Just when he had barely touched the water,
to my shock and probably his,
his clinging claw came off.

But it came off…
not the tongs
but his body!
He had clung so tightly
that his body weight tore it off.
What a lesson on the horror of attachment!

Because he didn’t free himself from attachment,
it didn’t free him from suffering,
and he hurt himself.
Attachment to senseless fear
is senseless, to be feared!
Let go what you should before it is too late!