Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Goat, Fiction or Fantasy?

Years of questing for animals has proved both fulfilling and rewarding. We have for the most part been successful and pleased with the end result of all our quests; however, one mystical creature has gone to great lengths to avoid us. Time and time again we head for the mountains with the hollow promise of a sighting of the elusive Mountain Goat. Year after year we put all of our passion and resources into these fruitless quests but every time we come up short. Always one step behind, always one day too late. Never quite far enough, never the right spot. These quests (if you will) seem dry and depressing but in all truth it is what drives us, what gives us the strength to rise every morning, what keeps our minds sharp and our hearts alive. This hope, this dream taught us to love and showed us what it means to fear. Never have man and beast been further apart yet so entwined. Every day we crawl from our bed our bodies weak and  usless our hearts about to burst but then like thunder on a dark clear night it cuts to our very souls... "This is it! This is why we struggle on! If not for them then why?! Shall we not continue in the journey that will ultimately be our destruction yet give us the peace we seek from the bitter quilt we sew?" And so it goes in life, day by day by day by day...

My friend with tiny feet

It was late... not too late really just a little late. Well late enough for it to be dark I suppose but hardly time to be feeling drowsy. Nothing about tonight was special... or so I thought for in fact tonight I would encounter the best friend a man could ever have. As I was out walking I noticed something big (wombo even!) fluttering wildly out of control in my peripheral vision. Having decent peripheral vision (a fact I don't often brag about) I quickly assessed what the creature was and after gaining my composure began to pursue it. Being alone without any form of backup I knew I would only have one shot at this and failure in this sort of instance is far from excusable in my circles. I crouched, poised, every muscle in my body tensed (except a few I suppose because quite frankly there are certain muscles that just add nothing to a good crouch). I took off my shirt knowing that it was my only tool and could very well be the difference between success and failure at this point. In one epic heave I threw my body forward encompassing the beast in my trusty tank top. Sweat, glistening off my back in the moonlight, I wrestled the beautiful and terrible creature to the ground and let out a dominant cry of victory like only men know how. There I lay frozen, not sure what to do next knowing that the battle was only half over. Finally with all the caution an accountant can muster I loosed my grip on my shirt. Peeking into the small opening I had made I looked on longingly at my trophy. There, restlessly trapped in the folds was not only a moth but the biggest moth I had ever laid eyes on! I hurried back to my room and without hesitation took the majestic wonder out of his enclosure loosing him on my forearm to explore me. He stood, perfectly still, his tiny moth heart pounding faster (I am quite sure) than a moth heartbeat generally does. We looked into each other's eyes and found a friendship truer than most. Then, in a flash, he fluttered off of my arm only to land on my bare back. I could feel his tiny feet dancing all over the fleshy expanse as he chased from mole to mole with a spring in his step. I was for the first time in my life, truly happy. However I was filled with a great sadness at the knowledge that this could never last. 

(moths have very short life spans and cannot eat after they emerge from their cocoon. their only purpose at this stage of development is to reproduce and to deprive my brother of the night of this glory would be treacherous)

I walked out to the balcony, took one last longing look at him and watched as he spread his massive wings (obscuring the two hands I was holding him with). He took flight and as quickly as it had begun it was over. With a mighty fist pump and a wild cry I saw him off; back into the night, back into the wild, back where he belonged! 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Seal Pursuit

The waves came crashing over the front of our raft; we dug our paddles deep beneath the surface of the water. The air was cold, but the sun warmed our backs as we made our way out into the kelp field. We had long been searching for the beautiful creature that swam in the bays near the Seattle shoreline. As we surveyed the surrounding waters, the small head of a harbor seal surfaced; its glowing eyes made contact with mine and then it dove beneath the waves. “Stroke, stroke!!!” he called to me, we battled with all our might in pursuit of the majestic seal. The sun was setting as we continued our chase, sweat glistening on our backs.