I Like Wild Things, Dogs and Elves

1. Imago: An image of something or someone formed in childhood and persisting in later life: plural: imagines or imagoes.

2. Elves: plural noun, a group of beings with magical powers and supernatural beauty, ambivalent towards everyday people and capable of either helping or hindering them.

3.Faeries: plural noun, synonymous with Pixies, Brownies, Nymphs, Sprites or Fays. Diminutive ethereal creatures deemed to be malicious in nature. A surprise! Webster Dictionary also defined them as adult male homosexuals; so much for political correctness.

I have challenged myself to write something that is not political. It seems that my daughter is every bit my protagonist being she is the ultimate critic of my blog posts. We have what most people would call, quite lively discussions, about an assortment of topics and I always come away sort of angry. I am not irate with my daughter in so much that I feel chagrined about someone not agreeing with me. I am the proverbial grumpy old man. I am cantankerous, irascible, and opinionated. I preach like a Pentecostal Preacher about all the things that upset my sense of dignified propriety. I expound exponentially on any subject that I feel some modicum of righteous indignation about. It is who I am and I refuse to be repentant.

In my title I mention what I like, but these are not the only things that make me smile ( ironic satire does most times). My wife accuses me of being a pessimist, seeing a glass of water as half empty instead of half full. She is absolutely correct! I spent 30 years of my adult working life trying to foresee what would go wrong next(catch 22) so how can I be glib about anything without questioning or being suspicious? Upon reflection I have come to the conclusion that I really don’t like people (mankind) very much. I do like small children and their innocent naivety. I also see this in my dogs, in that there is no deceit or alterative motives in their behavior. It is only when children grow into knowledge and manipulation and become self-serving adults that I become disenchanted with mankind.

I stated that I like wild things and you can see that in me, I think? I feel that one must be a steward of what one has dominion over. I realize that I have some obsessive compulsive behaviors in that my yard and garden are manicured and I spend an exorbitant amount of time grooming and seeking perfection. That is why I watch the British TV serials because of the English gardens, cottages and villages and British propriety.

I plant things that aid Mother Nature like bee friendly flowers. It gladdens my heart to see honey bees working my flowers. I believe I got these characteristics from my mother who raised bees as did a long line of my ancestors. I plant flowers of all sorts along with vines and all sorts of green things (Citrus) so as to attract butterflies and bees. Again I will stop what I am doing to gaze upon the beauty of an iridescent winged butterfly flitting amongst my flowers. To ponder on this is to say nature makes me smile whereas the world of mankind doesn’t.

I hang hummingbird feeders in my backyard and I also plant trumpet flowers so as to attract them on their way up from Mexico. One of my biggest pleasures is to wake up and stare out my window and see these buzzing, lightning fast birds, dipping and pirouetting about my feeders and flowers. I often have to refill my feeders and there have been times when they were like bumblebees swarming about me as I rehung them (the bird whisperer) waiting upon their ruby red repast. There is just something about the sun shining thru a jar of hummingbird nectar that causes me to pause and again smile inwardly.

I also have a twelve room Purple Martin House in my backyard and I eagerly await the end of March or early April to catch the first sight of their scouts arriving. Soon thereafter a pair will show up and then another and then all the single males make their appearances. You have never heard such a rancorous uproar such as when all these tiny black (not purple) birds vie for an apartment in my house. They can almost be deafening in their calamitous haranguing. To see them hanging on the wind with effortless ease as they catch flying insects. To see them fly by and dip (sip) water from my bird baths. I smile as I notice all the sticks and twigs around the base of the house because they were too big to get thru the bird holes in the house. Building nests and raising young as all of nature does. Spring time is such a wonderful time to be observant.

I buy 50 pounds of chicken scratch (corn) at a time to feed my chickens. At present I only have three chickens, two roosters and one hen. I have had as many as eight and had too many eggs to deal with. I gave the eggs away to everyone in the neighborhood. These chickens are Bantam and only weight about a pound so I have a lot of predation, mainly from domesticated house cats catching my chicks and young birds. My dogs and I aren’t very cat friendly as we have spied them on my wall stalking my birds. My birds also include about a hundred birds of other varieties. I have all the multiple doves types show up along with the Kiskadees, Mountain Jays, Cardinals and Grackle’s. I smile as I remember my bird bath crowded to the max with English Sparrows taking a bath at the same time. I often see exotic birds passing thru as I sit in my recliner watching the TV and my bird bath equally.

I mentioned my two Yellow Labradors and I love them very much. They are my children in every sense of the word. They are pure and innocent and truly man’s best friend and ally. They are loyal and honest, no deceit or back stabbing, no gossiping or slander. They lay at my feet and follow me everywhere, bathroom, frig, mailbox, etc. Their greatest exhilaration is to load up in my truck and go on an errand like to the bank drive thru. One Lab sleeps with my wife and the other one with me. They have their routine and I swear they wear Timex watches because they know exactly when their feeding time is and will remind me if I’m late, busy or forget. When my wife goes somewhere, they know something isn’t right and they both climb up into my recliner with me as if I’m their security blanket. I once read this question: if there was a fire and you could save an unknown person or your dog, which would you save? In most instances I think I would save my dog. My dogs are my family just like my wife, children and grandchildren. I have and will mourn the passing of a pet as I would any human. Yea! I like dogs!

We now come to the last one and that is the Elves. Of course they are fictional or are they? Now I sound iffy but I have a romantic classical adoration (imago) and appreciation of the idea of Elves. Elves are slender, lithe creatures with pointed ears and silken hair. They are robed in silks and live in harmony with all of nature. There are forest elves, mountain elves and oceanic elves that dwell in abodes that correspond with their surroundings. To me they are more perfect creatures than mankind will ever be. They are portrayed as being wiser and more beautiful than humans, with sharper senses and perceptions. They are said to be gifted in magic, mentally sharp and lovers of nature, art and song and are often skilled archers. Might we become like them one day if we can survive ourselves and avoid extermination.

They live for 1000 years and have one offspring thus not overpopulating their worlds. They only harvest what they need to exist. They pursue harmony with music, poetry, artistry, craftsmanship and seem always to be wiser and more in control than mortal humans. Of course they would have enemies which is the very nature of duality: For good there must always be evil. I like that they employ magic such as protecting their homeland and in the crafts of making things like Elven swords like we see in the movies. Is it magic or just the technology of the future?

The Elves are snobby and aloof from their neighbors: the humans, dwarves, gnomes and beastly retinue. I greatly enjoyed J.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of The Rings Trilogy “and “Silmarillion,” I read these novels in 1970 or thereabouts, long before they made a movie of them. The recent movie, Avatar, is similar to what I daydream or fantasize as being idyllic and in a symbiotic relationship with all of Mother Nature.

The stories of Elves originated in the Germanic, Scandinavian and Scottish traditional folklore. They are often referred to as divinities of light. They have always been seen as a supernaturally powerful people who live invisibly alongside rural people. Peter Pan’s Tinkerbell and the movie “Elf” are not what I consider reliable Elves nor Santa’s little helpers. The Elves in the “Lord of the Rings” is more to my liking.

Faeries are of a different ilk in that they are deemed to be malicious in nature. Recently in Iceland, the government decided to divert a road around these boulders because they were deemed to be the abode of Faeries. It’s really true! So even modern people attempt to avoid the malice of these Imps. It is said church bells, St John’s Wort and four leaf clovers ward (protect) you from their malicious deeds. Of course I am being facetious but then again I am a hopeless romantic.

O, weary hearts! O, slumbering eyes!

O, drooping souls, whose destinies

Are fraught with fear and pain,

Yea shall be loved again!

No one is so accursed by fate,

No one so utterly desolate

But some heart, though unknown,

Responds unto his own.

Responds,-as if with unseen wings

A breath from heaven had touched its strings

And whispers, in its song,

“Where hast thou stayed so long?”

Fragment of poem “Endymion” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow