Interspecies Connections
November 8, 2018

Teton Totem Goes to Bed

It’s pretty easy to see when A Bear Wants to Go to Bed. He looks just like a very sleepy child, so pitiful and vulnerable in his need that you want to carry him up to his bed and tuck him in.

— by Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing — This October is the 7th consecutive year I have led A Walk on the Wild Side: Answering the Call of the Wild, at Earthfire Institute. It is a unique event that brings people and the animals together in shamanic ceremony to co-create a more balanced way of walking together in this world. Once we open sacred space over the land, the time is very rich with many stories of transformation, human and animal. I will share one. At Earthfire we see each animal as an ambassador for their species and treat them with the dignity appropriate to that status. Each year I greet Earthfire Animal Ambassadors who are old friends, and make new ones....

We took Huckleberry Bear Bear for a walk. He sniffed, explored, rustled in the grass. He had a glorious time. Then it happened . . . Huckleberry Bear Bear wanted a nap. Huckleberry Bear Bear found a cozy hole between two big rocks all hidden in some bushes. It was so inviting. Just right. He settled in. He made himself comfortable. He even made a sun-warmed rock into a pillow. What a smart bear! After a while we  tried to bring him home. He didn't want to move. As a matter of fact he refused to budge. We watched the cold rain clouds move closer and the sun begin to set. But Huckleberry Bear Bear is 700 pounds. That is a lot of bear for any human to try to...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Her sleek, incredibly agile body stretches to the limit in her reach for the bottle, for sustenance, for Life. Nugget, an orphaned 5-week old squirrel, wriggles and chitters in rage. It is the wrong nipple! Nothing is coming out! Her communication across species is crystal clear. She is not happy. Realizing my mistake, I change to another nipple with a larger hole. After a suspicious few sucks and initial satisfaction, she settles down to that lovely, even rhythm true to babies of all species; eyes closed, paws gripping and releasing; gripping and releasing, in rhythmic bliss. This, is heaven. This, is the whole universe....

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — First, let it be known that the bears here at Earthfire eat extremely healthy food — buckets and buckets of fresh fruits and vegetables and a bit of high grade dog food to be sure all bases are covered. But every now and then we all need treats. Two wonderful guests asked what they could bring and we said … six cherry pies, one for each bear, with whipped cream. If you are going to do it you might as well do it right! The pies they brought were Marie Callender cherry pies (actually five cherry pies and one berry) which had to be cooked 55 to 65 minutes at 400 degrees to make sure they were properly flaky. (Major Bear in particular appreciates a flaky...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Jean flung the door to the office cabin open in great agitation. “We’re out of water! Call the Water Master!” (It was Sunday afternoon - unlikely to be effective). I asked mildly why we needed to call the Water Master. “Because he just put in a big irrigation system and he is stealing our water! How can you be so calm! I can’t wash the animals or water the trees in all this heat! And I can’t take a shower!” We are on well water, and like old western movies about range wars, there are still ongoing fights about water rights in this high mountain desert. There is little that riles up ranchers more than water rights. In the morning, without...

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