EARTHFIRE STORIES

Human-Animal Connections
February 24, 2017

I am Bluebell

She was carrying a flat dress box. I opened it. Inside lay a very intriguing work of art. Inscribed on the first leaf of this handmade “book” was the statement: “I...

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We received an urgent call – could we take in a sweet fox who had been someone’s pet and now was abandoned? He had been living alone in a locked cabin with food being thrown in sporadically, and the situation was no longer tenable. The exterminator was scheduled for the next day so he needed a home immediately. Many considerations. . .  we had no room – but it was life or death. We could try to put him in with our foxes Feather and Lightfoot and hope they got along. We would have to get permits as he was in Wyoming and he would be coming across state lines. Could we get them quickly enough? The laws had recently changed in Idaho and everyone in all the relevant offices were still...

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Stardance is a wolf, black, with yellow piercing eyes. She is the epitome of our mental picture of an evil wolf. In actual fact she is a charming clown. When you approach, she flops on her back, paws waving, belly up for the scratching. Should you want her to go somewhere or stop something at your request she resists by flopping again, going completely limp so whatever part of her you try to touch eludes your grasp. She delights and excels in this. The only recourse is to pick her up wholesale and fling her, limp, tongue lolling in good humor, across your shoulders to carry her back to wherever you want her to go — or out of whatever mischief you have found her in. It is impossible...

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Cucumber was wilted. It was different this time. After her two near-death experiences during which she worked her way into becoming a House Wolf, she thrived on her special status. When her status became threatened because another sick animal required special care and occupied our tiny living room, she learned how to manipulate us through pretend near-death experiences. But now she is older –going on her 14th year, and the wilting felt different. As if she were defeated. The cause of the problem was two-fold. First Firefly, a tiny little black fox-rescue from a fur farm ousted her because she needed intensive care, but we could at least move her out each day so Cucumber could come...

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Relationships are funny things. They change in unexpected ways, especially over time. This is apparently just as true for coyotes as people. When Pimpernel first met Skitter they were both very young. Pimpernel essentially saved Skitter’s life, snapping him out of terror and depression and giving him the will to live. Hence the name Pimpernel, named after the Scarlett Pimpernel, the Zorro of the French Revolution, because she rushed in there to save him. Or at least that was the effect of her rushing over to dominate him because he decided to live. For a good while the relationship was one of domination on her part and adoration on his. They both lived in our cabin, she for illness, he...

Firefly had been exquisite. She is now a bedraggled little mess but we hope she will soon be exquisite again. She was not her usual vibrant feisty self last month. She spent most of her time hiding in her box. We waited a couple of days to see if it was temporary but when we saw her shaking, that was it. Poor Wamaka had to go back outside. He wasn’t ready. He didn’t want to. He had adapted just fine to the attention and warmth and being in the center of things. He and Cucumber had reached an accommodation. He loved the meditations. He had fallen in love with Talkeetna who came in each after Cucumber went back out. Not to mention the help being indoors in winter gave him physically....

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