Sunday, August 30, 2009

A chance Encounter

A Chance Encounter
By chance I happened on a Chicago street.
It seemed to beckon me.
There were shops, once bright where neon lights used to be.
I saw shadows there, and faces gaunt and weary.
I heard mournful weeping where they lay in a gutter bed.
Forgotten souls in anguish immersed in the hell of wine.
There were no prayers from their lips but they asked, “You got a dime?
When I reached the end of the street, I just walked away. Adios

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Time Traveler

Time Traveler

A Time to Remember
Where Trails Cross
By Ronnie Powell

Most folks passing through the Ozarks are led more often than not directly to tourist attractions where food, lodging and entertainment are provided at a premium cost. There are also many residents who turn a blind eye to the natural wonders of this unique and beautiful land known as the Ozarks. Once a highland comparable to the present day Rocky Mountains and inhabited by people long since gone where their secrets abound in the remnants of secluded areas, some ageless and are endangered and perhaps will slip into infinity undiscovered and much worse completely destroyed.
Without the past, humans would do little more than mill about each day without collective memories, starting anew with nothing. Without foundation, society would crumble to begin again with the same errors never learning; never achieving culture and never knowing reason, for without the past to learn from our intellect would be little more than the creatures we share this planet with.
Several years ago while floating the Osage Fork River I discovered a cave, a very large opening with a massive overhang jutting out overlooking the river well above the flood plain. The entrance to this cave is at least thirty feet in height and at least sixty feet in width. I have no actual knowledge of how deep it is, but was informed later the cave exceeded ten miles in. I decided to have a look and beached the canoe and what I saw next was startling to say the least. Pot hunters as I shall call them had completely devastated an area in front of the opening digging for prehistory artifact. Three majors excavations were noted, one at least twelve feet deep, shored up in places to prevent it from collapsing. Potsherd lay everywhere around the dig, along with bones of which many were human. The site represented total disregard for the knowledge it once harbored of the past.
Near one side of the entrance a few feet inside the cave was a pile of discarded beer and soft drink cans and other related debris. This very small aspect of the site was the only place I saw that had not been disturbed. Working quickly with the aid of a stout stick and my hands I cleared away most of the debris and found loose dry earth and began excavating it. To my surprise I discovered a layer of stones and several minutes later found beneath them the skeletal remains of a human wrapped in a very thick hide, (buffalo I believe). The deceased lay face up with hands across the chest and most remarkable of all it was near perfectly preserved in a mummy like state. The face was of a man staring up at me through hooded eye lids, the lips drawn tight revealing teeth in a state of remarkable preservation. A large earthen bowl lay upside down on his chest. The huge hands weathered by time appeared claw like, yet strangely beautiful. At his left lay three arrow shafts containing stone points and it was at this aspect of the dig I ceased the excavation. I quickly conducted a rough measurement of the ancient man at or near seven feet in length.
I am reasonably certain the remains were that of a Prehistory Osage Indian. They were gentle folks I’ve read, but in the end when trails crossed their own by people who came like a tidal wave sweeping them aside forcing them to leave their dead behind in a sacred land. The burial sites too are slowly and or have been destroyed from this ancestral land of the Osage.
I sat for a time observing the fellow looking into the vacant eye sockets of a once magnificent human who had lived in a wilderness few today can or will comprehend. There was little of course he could reveal to me, void of life and soul and the rest of the story lay around me in shambles, defiled and in those parting moments I experienced a profound sadness.
I replaced all the stones and earth along with the debris and over the years I have often thought of the giant and if he too became a victim of the pot hunters, cast aside or stolen like the knowledge that was contained there in that lonely secluded place, a wonderful, natural treasure lost forever. Adios

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Elusive Miss Heidi

Beautiful Miss Heidi

Miss Heidi's New House

Hiding Out

An Elusive Miss Heidi

The Elusive Heidi

The journey to save Heidi began July 13, 2009 and it has not been easy for either of us and be assured I am not complaining. I began construction on a house for her a few days ago, but before it was completed a storm arrived in Windyville with torrential rain and high winds. A canvas covered wire cage was her only protection. The storm came in the night and I went to her and began covering it more secure against the wind and rain. Lightening was horrific and I was soon soaked to the skin. The lightening was very frightening to her, but she did not try to escape. Water began running across one side of the floor, but I finally got it all under control.
The next morning early I went out and she lay calmly on her bed unscathed by the storm but a little damp. After our walk together I turned her loose in the yard as I always do and away she went to hide in her hideout. The hideout is located in a corner of the yard, a little brushy area and shady.
Heidi still does not like to be touched and if I persist she will cower and tremble, so I bide my time. She will not come to me, but will meet me halfway by entering the cage for a cheese treat. Yet for of her uncertainty and fear that continues to bother her, she whines when I leave the yard without her. She is untrusting of other people and shows extreme fear if more than one person approaches her.
There have been times more often than not when I call for her to come to me she runs around the house several times before she enters the cage. And now that her house is completed, a very nice place if I may say so I am working on trying to ease her mind and enticing her to go inside. Small pieces of cheese, her favorite treat leads her inside and now she visit the building every hour or so. The building is approximately five feet high, four feet wide and six feet long and allows me to take her inside, shut the door and we sat there while she looks for treats.
Rain is due this evening or in the morning and she must stay in the little house where she will be dry and safe.
Heidi is elusive and would set out in the rains and storms if I allowed her to do so, but all of this will pass and hopefully she will put aside the terrible fear of humans that she possesses. For the most part Heidi is unafraid of other dogs; it is only humans that have mistreated her so. Little by little she is beginning to trust me, but it is a fragile thing that must be dealt with kindly. Those beautiful brown eyes of hers are softening. She is a lovely creature. Adios.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Miss Heidi

Heidi playing with one of her toys

It has been well over a month since Miss Heidi came to live with us and she is slowly, so very slowly learning that we care for her. She has a secret place in the fenced in yard around the house, (her hideout) and is where she spends a lot of each day now that she is untethered most of the time. I think that is where she keeps her bones and a few of the toys we gave her. In someways she is becoming a puppy again, but sadly at least for me she is still very wild and untrusting with us. We keep her in a large cage at night for that is where she wants to be. I take her walking two or three times a day along the road past the house and I think this is helping to calm her down. She crys when I leave the yard and that I believe is a good sign that sometime she will come to me with a lot of coaxing. She sits when I tell her to and offers her right paw for me to shake. But there are times when she is very fearful and runs to her hideout to hide. Heidi is becoming more beautiful with each passing day. Adios.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Saving Miss Heidi

A very elusive Mis Heidi

A very troubled Miss Heidi

Miss Heidi upon her arrival

Saving Miss Heidi

I am not certain whether I believe in fate but it really doesn’t matter. Several months after the passing of Polly Anna, our beloved dog, a friend and a part of the family for over ten years, we decided to find another dog with the help of a no kill center. The fist dog we found was adopted out before we could request her. Then there was Rose, a hound mix, said to be gentle and loving. A red Shepard of mixed breed of a gentle nature was also considered. But in the meantime on July 13, 2009 our youngest daughter e-mailed us that she had located a dog at the pound in a town not far away. She also sent a couple of photographs. The first photo was haunting to say the least, an Australian Shepard of mixed blood. She lay cowering looking directly up at the camera, fear and uncertainty bright in her eyes. That image touched me deeply. My wife and I both agreed to immediately go to her and take her away from the place that would ultimately bring about her demise.
There was never any question about whether or not to adopt Heidi, however; perhaps it would have been wise to do so, for what we found was a creature that had been badly abused, completely untrusting of humans, a cowering, terrified animal that had lost so much in her year of life. She was dirty, thin and wet and was on the top of the list to be euthanized in a couple of days. Only through the compassion of a woman there who posted her photos on line in hope of finding someone to adopt her was she still alive. Three other dogs Heidi was with had already been put down.
“She is a special needs dog,” the woman informed us.
To some people, this information would have prompted a hasty retreat from Heidi, to leave her behind to face her unjust fate alone without ever knowing a gentle hand and loving care.
Heidi was wrestled to the floor and a harness put on her and carried cowering to our car and put in the back seat and me, a stranger got in beside her. Shaking violently she retreated to the far side of the car, terror shinning in her eyes, lay watching me. She vomited spilling the contents of her stomach across the seat and when I reached out to clean up the mess she tried desperately to get away from me. She never tried to bite, never growled or in anyway tried to defend herself. Those beautiful brown eyes of hers never revealed hatred, only fear.
When at last we reached home, I carefully lifted her from the car and whether or not she knew, probably not, Heidi was safe at last. The saving of Heidi was not yet complete, for even as I speak, the process is ongoing and will continue for an indefinite time.
Heidi was treated for worms in her digestive system and heart worms and spayed and that prolonged her wildness a bit, but somewhere back during the year of her life, I believe a woman has mistreated Heidi for she runs away from my wife, but this is slowly changing. She also runs from me, but has begun to trust me more and more. She loves cheese, tiny bits of it is her reward for coming to me. She does not like to be touched on her hips and only tolerates touching her head. She likes to be scratched on her chest and has leaned to shake hands with me, about 40 percent of the time. Today I let her go walking with me outside the yard, of course with a chain around her neck, gently used. It was a touching experience for me, observing her discovering a new world and in her beautiful eyes I saw for the first time a bit of trust and affection for me. Time will still the fear in her hopefully push it back deep in her mind and perhaps let her forget. But I must be patient and understanding of her behavior when she runs or is fearful for no apparent reason. I look forward to the time when she willingly comes and sits down beside me to be petted. Adios