Monday, November 26, 2012

A Turkey Story

It was early evening as I walked out the Kokopelli doors and onto the wide, iron-red porch of Twin Rocks Trading Post. The day had gone quickly, and I hoped to savor the golden autumn sunset before closing the store. In Bluff, fall generally stretches into late November and, at times, early December. In our small, well-protected high-desert river valley we are blessed with four distinct seasons, and this is my favorite.
Flying Turkey

Like overprotective guardians, at this time of the year the gnarled and twisted limbs of our cottonwood trees stubbornly cling to their bright yellow leaves. Eventually a frosty north wind dips into our sheltered cove and tears the foliage from their grasp. Not today however. With just a hint of crispness, the circulating current of air was mild, exhilarating and unusually refreshing. Breathing deeply, I sat on the sunbathed concrete steps and looked south. Backlit by the rosy red cliffs, the cottonwoods with their heavily textured trunks and bouquets of yellow were lit up with an intensely rich glow. The slanting sunlight filtered through the semitransparent leaves and put on a light show that dazzled my visual senses.

At times like these, I tend to go "mind-blind"; my brain blocks the stress of everyday life and allows the pleasure sensors free reign. As I sat there thinking of nothing at all, I sensed movement to my right. Near the layered and stacked base of the Twin Rocks, something had flushed a Merriam turkey and the wild thing was beating a hasty retreat. The bird was flying at a high rate of speed about ten feet off the ground, diagonally across the parking lot. It was a large, full-bodied turkey with heavy plumage, so I guessed it was a tom. Its head was bright red and stretched out, far ahead of its much larger body. The dispersed sunlight washed over the bird, highlighting its mostly dark brown plumage. The white tipped tail feathers pointed straight back, looking like the rear of a lighted rocket. I could hear the turkey's wings beating furiously, and in a flash the creature was across the highway, through the Jones hayfield and into the undergrowth bordering the river.

After a time my mind reset and I remembered how the Navajo view turkeys as a savior of sorts. When the people were forced from the previous world by Water Creature's great flood, it was Turkey who was forward thinking. Making his way to the granary, Turkey carefully arrayed a pair of each seed type on his feathers. Thus burdened, Turkey proceeded to the growing reed; the escape route provided by two men who eventually becomes the Sun and the Moon. The foaming waters lapped at Turkey's tail-feathers as he scurried along, staining them forever white. This would serve as a constant reminder of his heroism. Because of his heavy load, Turkey was the last into the reed, narrowly making his escape. The seeds Turkey exported allowed the Navajo people to grow and prosper after emerging into this world. Turkey had saved the day and ensured their future.

As I sat on the steps, the sun dipped lower on the horizon and the shadows grew longer. Taking a deep breath, I sighed contentedly to myself. It was time to head north, up the highway to my warm, comfortable home and family, thus ensuring my own future. Life is good at the base of the Twin Rocks, good indeed.

With warm regards,
Barry, Steve, Priscilla and Danny; The Team

Great New Items! This week's selection of Native American art!
Our TnT's purchased new treasures! Check out Traders in Training!

Enjoy artwork from our many collector friends in Living with the Art!

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