EARTHFIRE STORIES

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Jean walked into the office. “Tanaka isn’t feeling good….” Jean never says that for anything mild. Last time he said that, the wolf died. Tanaka is a gorgeous, sweet, loving, three year-old wolf. In a panic we put him in the back of the Subaru. I petted and reassured him as Jean drove us all to Maura, our vet. Meanwhile she obligingly cleared her day’s appointments. On the ride over he hung his head over the front seat to be closer to us for reassurance. Tanaka the wolf on the way to vet, not feeling very well at all What could be wrong with a healthy three year-old suddenly taken desperately ill? He was coughing, hunched over in...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — In many places the robin is the harbinger of spring. Here it is when we first see a bright-eyed fuzzy little thing poking its head up above the snow, looking around, apparently in disgust because it shortly disappears. But then a few hours later we see it racing across the snow to disappear in the wood pile. It is a Richardson’s ground squirrel. Soon they are a major fact of our existence, soft gray-brown furry little bodies racing around, popping up from holes in all kinds of unexpected places. LIFE has returned with a capital L. They are wherever you look, darting about in a short excited burst of life before they disappear again underground for seven...

Profile of coyote standing in tall grass

— 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....

Coyote standing against dark background with crossed legs

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — I don’t want to write this because if I do it means she’s gone. I didn’t want to bury her for the same reason. Sometimes, with some animals, you just can’t bear it and Faerytale is one of them. How can you love a coyote so much? Be touched so deeply by her spirit. Her courageous delicate sensitive feminine terrified spirit? Sometimes you have an animal being that is so beautiful, vulnerable, brave that she just breaks your heart. Faerytale was like that. I ached with love for her. She touched everyone who met her, from large tough football players* to troubled teenagers, to everyone. For myself, she would never let me touch her but she did feel...

— by Susan Eirich, PhD — My brilliant, nearly Nobel-winning scientist father, was flummoxed by a squirrel. Squirrels are not to be taken lightly because they are small and common. We humans make that mistake often.  No matter what contraptions my father set up to foil them, they always got into the bird feeder. His frustration, and my mother’s mischievous delight in it, is a vivid childhood memory. Squirrels are so remarkable that the BBC committed its resources to doing a full hour-long documentary, where they set up an impossible obstacle course in the trees – and lost. Nugget the squirrel came to us as a five-day-old rescue having fallen out of her nest. She was found...

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