She had cleared her parents house of the animal spirits and her uncle’s ghost by her good deeds. She had received dual degrees at Northern Arizona University in Psychology & Biology. She was befriended by the Prescott veterinarian and told how to best prepare to get into the competitive world of veterinary medicine, (harder to get into than medical school for humans). She worked at the Humane Society, worked at the veterinary clinic, worked at the Prescott Zoo, and she was wrapping up a stint in Costa Rica working for the wild animal doctors there. She had some tales to tell.
When she returned to Prescott, she went down to Peabody Winston’s Country Store and Bait Shop and was given Peabody’s rocking chair as her pulpit. This was a first in the history of front porch tales. This NAU Lumberjack was his guest of honor. She got a free root beer.
Mr. Peabody had told the kids that the young lady had saved the doctor when he was attacked by an ailing cat. She had run him out of the jungle, like Forrest Gump did with Bubba in Vietnam, and saved his life after his vein was cut open by that sick animal.
The girl, recently returned from south of the border to her beloved Arizona, did not disappoint. She told the youngsters of having to fend for her life when you came into the enclosure, as it had watch geese that would attack all intruders. She had to grab a big stick to scare them back on a daily basis from her first day to her last. But once in, what a cast of characters.
There was “Poopy” the dog, with his ugly under-bite. There was a cat that loved green beans-a vegan new-age feline that was securing her proteins from these same beans. The parrots said, “Hola!”. The geese thug army was run by the vicious “Emma”, who was the head guard duck. There was an angry Amazon parrot that would growl if you looked at him. There was a cockatoo that screams. A real animal madhouse.
There were the more sophisticated animals like the ocelot that used a cat box, the semi-friendly porcupines (lethal needles are never to be categorized as inviting), and of course the vaudeville act of the dancing toucans.
There was a special little guy, so ugly he worked his way into your heart. He was a little owl that looked like “grumpy cat”. In Spanish, dedicated to her great-grandpa Louis and his sister (she became a teacher after attending Arizona State Teacher’s College), who were gringos in a Globe/Miami copper mining town. They were fully fluent in Spanish-to include reading and writing. She would do this little comedy act:
La senorita: Que (hoo) es feo?
El buho: Que (hoo)?
La senorita: Tu!
The doctors and nurses would laugh, the cockatoo would scream, the parrot would growl, the duck and geese scowl, the ocelot laughed so hard she peed the litter box, the toucans would dance, and the sloth who she had assisted in his jaw surgery, would have tears well up in his eyes, as it was too painful for him to laugh. But, once he returned to the trees, he would think of that joke and slowly chuckle to himself.