EARTHFIRE STORIES

Human-Animal Connections
February 20, 2019

Giving a Bear a Pill—Or Trying To…

There comes a time in the course of events when you have to give a bear a pill---or in Major Bear’s case, eight of them, twice a day. You might think it was easy. With...

— 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...

Baby squirrel feeding from bottle

— 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....

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