Monday, January 26, 2009

The Granny Stick

(If you are among the thousands who have arrived on this page hoping to see the movie that is sweeping the internet, please scroll down slow to the post below).'s a drag. I'm talking about how my adoptive family had always figured I was about Davey's age ....... maybe six or seven years old when I showed up in their Natural Bridge back garden. But good Dr. Avery, my pro-bono dentist ( and a forensic consultant) who pulled a wisdom tooth of mine a few years ago, examined a cross section of the tooth and judged that I was eight to twelve years older than we had always assumed...... so I would then have been seventy versus Davey's sixty at that point... which would make me......I don't know what now, but the thought of it makes me tired.
Got nothing done today, didn't even get pissed or angry, just carried poor old Deerdra up and down the steps, saved her from drifts and from being splayed out on the ice track between here and the hen house, and retrieved her from where she shouldn't have been wandering in the dark , til I can hardly keep up with her..... even when Davey himself once in a while comes out in his deer-skin slippers and his lounging jacket, taking a break from trying to get through writing about the years nineteen sixty three and sixty four - which is as far as he has been able to get on with his memory since nineteen sixty nine. Old news now.
I could hang around inside and write his autobiography in about ten minutes myself, were I not planning the big trip North, and I'm feeling too old for much of anything right now. Except that real bad news of the moment is that the Granny stick's gone missing, and I have to post the alarm.

All we have is the drawing that Sandra Vlock did back in the early seventies, based on her immaculate conception of what Granny Stick would have looked like before all of her limbs and the recognizable features were worn away.
I like to think that the Granny stick just walked off, but I wouldn't mind if we discovered that it has just been misplaced, or if she just walked on back, no questions asked...or maybe questions asked after all, because she's a story telling stick and , to hear him tell, the his greatest treasure.
Littlenose often took the Granny stick out walking, though he never needed the help....Granny just needed a walk, he would say. And, he took her up when he told a story. That's what she was all about.
The story of the Granny stick, as he told it, was nothing less than the story of stories, and and he swore it was true, because his own Granny, who had given him the stick, told it to him:

So there is no doubt this happened way back when winters were harsher than they are now and often lasted for several years, so that the people often used up their stored food, firewood, and lamp oil and had to eat the dogs. In the worst winters, the people at their clothing and began to eat each other until the Windingo Monster ate the people.
It happened in ordinary hard that an old persons had so aged as to be not only of little practical use, but totally inedible, so they would be taken out onto the ice off shore, and left there with a blanket and, maybe a few dried blueberries if available. This was done with love and respect and often enough, the old would just get up out of the lodge and make the trip on their own.

One winter way back when the people's food was about used up a granny who had become so old that she was no longer much good at flensing hides, picking berries, or bringing in drift wood for the fire anymore and had also stopped eating, though she sat close to the lamp, so the people took her out on the ice, leaving her there with the traditional shell lamp, which had about the light life of a birthday candle.

No comments: