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The Weasel Who Befriended The Moon (Based upon a Hopi Tale)
Beneath the purple aster and tall grass
On the sloping summer dry groundmass
A pile of rocks lay hidden from the highway
Where the young road runners love to play.
Behind an entrance covered by vervain
Inside the cool and shady stone domain
A weasel wakens just before the sunset
And stretching with his paws begins to pet
And clean his reddish-brown fur short and bristly
With all the skill and care of some old time beauty.
The deep blue twilight calls him out to hunt
Across the hill to catch the stray rodent.
But that night as he rested by a cactus
And gazed up past a Madrone like a cumulus
Obscuring the Milky Way he thought how stars
Up in the sky country so clear and far
Are never lonely, twinkle always happy
All grouped together like a tribe or family.
But who would talk to him or who would care
If any given day he's disappear?
There in the still of night his chattering chirr
With energy puffed out all of his fur;
For that's what weasels do when they decide
And half-measures are just things they can't abide.
The other weasels only wanted to fight
To guard the patch of land they prowl at night.
He couldn't speak to them or to the scorpion
Who like tarantulas just drove him on.
And when careful crept up to the town
None of the people walking there would look down.
Some of the dogs ran him into the sewers
Where mangy dirty rats shrieked like monsters.
He went back to his home feeling crestfallen
And twisted without sleeping long past dawn.
But he would not give-up and the next night
Again he felt inspired by the starlight.
He knew to stay away from the coyote
Who stirs up trouble and is very tricky.
The lynx would like to take him home for dinner,
The only problem being he'd feed him to his daughter!
The honey ants all working were too busy
And what the toads kept croaking was just crazy.
The Gila Monster acted like a real jerk
The rattlesnake just answered with a smirk.
The only ones who gave him any hope
Were a few of the Pronghorn Antelope
But like the badger they were just too flighty
So once again he went home feeling lonely.
The third night brought his sadness no relief.
His loneliness blew him like a dead leaf.
But weasels are strong-willed and don't give-in
To the prickly whispers of depression.
He followed old trails looking for the sheep
On lands where white men drive their noisy jeeps
When he noticed that the moon, high and pale,
Always seemed to be on his same trail.
He called out to her but he got no answer
Save the same white light from the moon mother.
He saw how full she was there with the star clan
Who flash their fiery languages unknown to man.
"My tiny voice and not be heard up there
So far above me in the windy air."
He slept that day thinking about this problem
Which seemed to him to be a giant chasm.
The fourth night found for him a new direction;
He skipped the weasel way up to a canyon
Along the rocky cliffs he wove through shadows
That reach up from the unseen floor below.
Above the moon rolled with the stars and clouds
That lay thin like Katchina Ladders in shrouds
Of silken black to guard their mystery
From those outside their Sky Kiva's society.
He shouted, "I would like to talk to you."
Then heard the same come from the infinite blue.
His squealing chirr buzzed in excitement soft
And then he climbed a poplar to be aloft.
"What do you like?" he happy called out
And heard another the very same thing shout.
He yelled, "I would like to be your friend."
Then heard those very words back to him bend.
And so began a nightly conversation
Whose balm healed all his heavy lead depression.
'Sun, eat' is something I have heard the Hopi
Say, so why not give the moon a gift from me?
So then he asked, "What do you like to eat?"
Rejoiced to find that both liked the same meat.
Next night he caught some plump Kangaroo Rats
And to bring them close to moon's own habitat
He climbed a tall pine and took up the six
Rats and careful placed them in some sticks
There on the tallest branches of the tree
And told the moon dressed in her gray clouds pearly.
When he returned to that tree the next night
He found a gift that filled him with delight:
There mother moon had left six rats for him
Which he ate there in the twilight dim
And spent there many more nights with the moon
Their feelings always happily in tune.
-© Copyright Santiago del Dardano Turann
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