A true story.
At the turn of the 21st Century, I received my
Social Security Disability which allowed me
to stop living on the streets and get a place. I
found a furnished room with bath and carport (I had no car), in the Casa Grande
no-tell Motel on Rte 66 (Watson Rd.) in suburban St. Louis. It wasn’t the Days Inn, but it was out of the weather. The rules didn’t allow cooking in the rooms, so I got a small grill and put it in the carport, there to enjoy my grande cuisine; also got a microwave and
small coffee pot.
The motel still exists; it’s
on a business strip, heavily trafficked with a small creek and wooded area in
the rear; probably more like a drainage ditch. I
suspected there were raccoons and possum back there, so, rather than throw away
foods I couldn’t eat, I would place it in a small dish I secured on
a low tree limb. It worked; miraculously, every night, the food disappeared.
What I also began to
notice was raccoon paw prints in my
carport, so I got dry dog food and a
couple of plastic bowls from the dollar store and put it out there and the miracle of miracles, every night the food
disappeared All that remained was soggy
crumbs in the water bowl.
Slowly, as the raccoons and I
got accustomed to each other, I would
leave my room door open while sitting
just inside; there to watch the action. To say
the least, it got interesting. I
had eight regular visitors and a couple of party crashers. I tried getting them to wear name tags, but
they refused to be labeled.
On the perimeter of my
carport was a concrete curb. The side away from my
door had bushes where the raccoons had blazed a trail to the food dishes.
Almost as soon as the sun started going down, they would appear; most heading
towards the food but one occasionally marching right into my door and checking things out. Then one night,
she sat at the top of the curb trying to climb down, but her front paws weren’t
As I watched her
struggle, she would look at me cautiously
as if to say, “Will you harm me?” Using my
walking stick, I put some food on the end and slowly pushed it her way. She
was hungry but couldn’t feed herself. It was then that I noticed that both of
her front arms were broken so I walked closer and put food within her reach.
In the morning, I called a friend who worked with wild
animals and told her the story. That
afternoon, she brought over a trap, and
we set it up. The next morning, there was my little friend waiting patiently,
as if to say, “About damn time you got up!”
We took her to the rescue center vet who operated, repairing
both arms. The vet stated it appeared she had attempted to climb into a
dumpster when the heavy open top flew over and smashed her arms before she
could avoid it. I think the operation took about six hours. When done, the vet
said he wasn’t sure it was going to work, but hoped so. He kept her for a few days
of observation then released her to my friend who would nurse her. She also paid
the $ 6,000.00 vet bill.
Following about four weeks of recovery, she was fit enough
to leave so we took her back home and released her. She stayed close then one
night didn’t come. She was gone for maybe four weeks when she suddenly reappeared
at my door with four little ones in tow. They walked up to me as if to say “Hi, gramps, we’re home.” No fear, no anger
just as if they always belonged.
It was a reminder that Mitakuye Oyasin is real.