Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Native American Gods Stage a Comeback
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Aren't these the most outstanding gods you've ever seen? We think so.
These are California condors. They were worshipped by the Native Americans, who called them "Thunderbirds."
Not surprisingly, Thunderbirds fell on hard times in the twentieth century and almost found themselves extinct. You know the drill. Progress of man and all that. (Note the non-inclusive language.)
But good news, all you buzzard-worshippers! The state of California must have confidence that the Thunderbird population is on the rise! Poised gracefully on the "tails" side of the new California issue quarter is none other than a Thunderbird! OOOOOO-weeeee! Some bored Native American gods are rejoicing!
And I join them in their happiness. Who can doubt the mystical powers of vultures? In this the Native Americans make us look like religious toddlers.
Vultures soar great distances with minimum energy output.
They can live to be 100 or more years old. Think how wise they get.
They keep the country clean.
They rarely harm any living thing and vastly prefer their meals to be dead or nearly so.
They are loving, attentive parents who spend a long time raising chicks.
You can do a lot worse than to worship a Thunderbird. Or even the more modest turkey vulture, my personal favorite in the crowded bird totem field. I can't think of a more pleasant way to spend an afternoon than to be soaking in the healing waters of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, watching the turkey vultures soaring over the ridge tops. Kinda makes St. Peter's Square seem ... well ... square.
If you find yourself with a handful of pocket change, and one of the quarters is the new issue featuring California, think of me. I've offered my daughters, the Heir and the Spare, fifty cents for every California quarter they find. Sorry, can't tender that offer to my wide legion of fans here. Besides, you need your money, don't you? If not, drop it in the poor box.
One last thing. If you worship Thunderbirds, there's not a lot of competition for the best seat in the choir loft. It's called "giving your business to the bored gods."
ANNE, WHO LOVES BUZZARDS