Costa Rican Lumberjack

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.

The Lioness and The Firefighter’s Wife

The Lioness and The Firefighter’s Wife

by Sandra Sue

PUBLISHED in that old fashioned, not yet obsolete book form by Red Dashboard LLC  in Clarify-Annapurna Magazine 2014 Anthology-Volume I (I gave my copies to Don & Doug)

I got to know the hot shot’s wife from about a year ago when the tragedy took place near Yarnell. That is the one that took the lives of the 19 good men. They died doing what they loved to do, or at minimum had an obligation to do and did it with pride.
My husband and I were the former presidents of the Prescott Lions Club. He was the men’s, I was the Lioness’ President. Our group, like so many others, helped to raise money for the families.
At coffee and cinnamon rolls at a local Prescott eatery, I told the young woman that you can and must go forward for your family. I used my life as an example.
I went to ASU and met my husband, dropped out of school and had my kids in Burbank. We travelled all over the U.S. and had a good life. Then, we divorced in Arizona around 1980.
There was some money from my husband, and we had a house in a place called Ahwatukee. But, it became apparent to me that I must get back to school and get working for my kids and me to have a better life. I enrolled in a business school in Mesa, did work for them while I studied, and earned top marks.
I then found a job at a construction company that makes trusses for roofs. I did well, but found a better job in The City of Tempe working for the Tempe Police. I worked my way up from there into City Hall, and was eventually working for Mayor Harry Mitchell.
I had dropped out of ASU where my aunt, husband, daughter and son all got their degrees, while I ended up helping to run the city where that great university is.
I tell you this young widow and mother, “Go back to school and strive for your children and yourself.” I did this, and I know that you can too. Then come and talk to my daughter and me about getting into the Lionesses and you can help the next woman that needs it.

July 2014

Sandra Sue and her daughter are still in the Lion’s Club. And, Prescott is still home.

Mane Attraction

She was tired of the last second heroics, the mega-naps while she watched the cubs, and the damned hair.  He sleeps all day, wakes up from time to time to do his mane.  Then, the occasional  play swipe or two with the cubs, the angry roar to scatter them again, then back to sleep.  Probably with his damned pride and joy for the world to see.  He will turn over on his back and let it hang out.  I wish one of the cubs would use it as a chew toy.

True, he held the pride together.  He took on all comers, with me helping to lick those wounds and gashes.  He was good behind the acacia tree.  I’m in heat, he’s like a rock.  His piss was pungent enough, to go along with his ass whippings,  scaring off the scrawny bachelors.  He is in his prime.  But, I am going to have to lay the law down.  Me and some of the other girls are going to demand some me time away from the cubs.  We are going to have him pick up the slack and do some stalking.  Even tonight pisses me off.

He got his fill of this zebra, then walks off to roar into the night.  I can hear his tomcat yowls right now.  My sister has the cubs, and I got carcass duty so they can bring the old and young to eat.  Hurry up.  I know those damned hyenas.  Oh shit, I can hear them and those weird laughs.  Oh no!

Out of the dark, she sees their eyes reflect the moonlight.  They surround her and go into attack mode.  She moans and roars to the pride.  She is going to have to fight NOW.  One of them nips her haunches, then darts out.  Near miss.  Someone bites her and runs.  Cut!  She swipes another bitch right in the face and maybe popped an eye.  Another nip and cut.  Her blood starts to trickle, and the smell of that and the zebra innards helps to start the maniac laughter.

Suddenly, leaping like death descending with both arms outstretched he lands on the back of a leg biter.  CRACK, as his full weight and his jaws shut on the backbone.  Done.  He wades into the fray and starts to tackle and bite anything he can grab.  A second goes down, a third.  Fuck this!  They scatter.  The rest of the pride are running towards the scene.  Even cubs and old folks get into the picture.  The hyenas disperse and reform out in the night.

He stands next to her while her sisters lick her wounds.  His hair looks good.  The cubs and old folks start to finish the zebra. She decides to wait a while before making those demands.  He could use a good nap, and maybe she might help him with his mane.