Excerpt from my spiritual novel ‘SHASTA: CRITICAL MASS’
Yellowstone tuned in late. He knew the others were speaking but not about him, so he wasn’t really listening. When Shasta said his name he figured he’d missed something and turned his attention to the west. Usually he didn’t miss a trick. He was important, after all was said and done. Not only was he the darling of the human National Parks system–the oldest and first to be protected in 1872 by a trailblazing president no less–recognized as unique. He was also the largest at going on for 3500 square miles, which was quite a lot as humans reckoned. And he could speak. That was always a bonus when dealing with the human race. You said something–they listened.
Thing is, he’d spoken a couple of times before. Quite a while ago now–he couldn’t remember when, exactly–but he knew humans were not on the planet at the time, so it must have been about two million years by their reckoning. And nobody listened at all. He tried again around 640,000 years ago and at that time the woolly mammoths had been very sympathetic. Problem was they had died before they could transmit the importance of his message to Mankind.
When you came right down to it, nobody really appreciated how sensitive he was. How, for their sakes, he was maintaining a low profile because he was aware that what he considered a normal flow humans considered of cataclysmic proportions–if you compared it with the low-level buzz they called conversation. Did they realize how much effort it took to keep this under wraps? Even breathing took concentration.
And he was long overdue. By a human yardstick–roughly 40,000 years. Sure, they wrote nice things about how his volcanic plateau contained the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features on the whole planet, how some of his ash once landed in Louisiana (that was cool), and how wonderfully rich were his wildlife, free to roam anywhere they pleased. They came season after season, year after year to enjoy the hot springs, sulfur pools, geysers and mud volcanoes–not to mention spectacular waterfalls and cold springs and lakes.
Birds now: they appreciated his grandeur and magnificence. Canadian geese and trumpeter swans were regular visitors and showed their gratitude in song. He didn’t want to hurt any of them by sounding off too loudly.
True, early Man round here had been grateful, left gifts to show awe and genuine respect for nature’s beauty and grandeur in the caldera, but indigenous Americans were thin on the ground these days.
Come to think of it, if I didn’t let Old Faithful do his little trick so regularly, they might not pay any attention to me at all. Yellowstone was just the teensiest bit ticked off. Might be time to let out a yawn or something. Well, no. Maybe a little bigger than a yawn. Maybe try a little game like South Sister was playing–pretending you don’t know your own strength, while secretly getting your way. He figured he’d have a think about it and get back to them.
©2006-2012 Marian Youngblood
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