hunterbadbear at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 6 13:12:50 MDT 2004
Some things don't really change.
Horrors sweep Earth.
There are other things, of course. A person can still look up at the Sun
and Sky and listen to the Wind. Good folks still try to Save the World.
And then there are unusual friends.
Eight people -- six family members plus two very close connections -- live
in our Idaho home. BTW, it's hard to be a [Catholic] Saint with a family
this size. Several of us are hikers, but Maria and I are consistently so.
Last night, for the first time in a long long spell, I dreamt of
rattlesnakes. This morning, in front of most of the family entourage, I
said I thought it likely Maria and I could see rattlers. Right after that,
I speculated that maybe we should take our snakebite kit -- but it's
temporarily disappeared. On our way into the Hills, I once again mentioned
And, coming back, There He Was! It was the biggest rattlesnake I've seen in
decades -- a huge Great Basin type, maybe four or five feet long at least
and a very thick body. Tan coloration with dark checkerboard designs.
Camped right by the trail in the sage and wildflowers and wild grass, he did
his noisy rattling thing -- lots of rattles -- and Maria, yelling a warning,
and Hunter [Shelty] split to the other side of our path with the speed of a
grassfire propelled by 50 mph winds. I froze. Actually, I like rattlers --
at a reasonable distance. As I noted in an article in Against the Current
[January/February 2001], Rattlers and I are Ishmaelites. We have to stick
This was too big to be the rattler in my ATC piece -- which we saw again a
year or so later. But this could easily be Big Daddy [or, I suppose, Big
As I do, I spoke softly to the impressive entity with the sharp, sharp black
eyes. It calmed. And then, telepathically, I added something. "You know,
Baby," said I, "I've got Lupus, SLE. Scary as pure Hell. And, if you were
to bite me, you just might wind up joining me."
The rattler did look thoughtful, then genuinely compassionate. We bid it
Adios, promising that -- as usual -- we would tell no neighbors [nice as
they are] where it was camped.
And we can always use these buddies in the service of the Revolution.
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR] Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage, on the
game trails, in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples, and on the
high windy ridges -- and they dance from within the very essence of our own
inner being. They do this especially when the bright night moon shines down
on the clean white snow that covers the valley and its surroundings. Then
it is as bright as day -- but in an always soft and mysterious and
remembering way. [Hunter Bear]
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