Pickles The Parrot

Clemens On The Twain

My name is Georgi (Clemens) Abbott and I am the author of 4 humorous books (paper and ebook) about my parrot - Pickles The Parrot, Pickles The Parrot Returns, Pickles The Parrot Speaks and Fifty Shades of African Grey. This is where I will blog about anything that comes to mind. It may be about Pickles but it might be about our yard and pond, the environment, wild birds, our small town, nature, fictional stories - who knows? I don't profess to have inherited my great, great, great uncle's writing talent but I certainly inherited the call. The uncle I'm speaking of is Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) - I was born a Clemens.

Roger

(I wrote this story several years ago)

I met a man.  His name is Roger and he’s in my Occupational Rehab class, where I go every day for rehab on my broken ankle.  He’s native, from the Bonaparte Indian Band and lives on the Hat Creek Reservation.  He and I kind of gravitated together and often chat while doing our daily tasks - there are about 15 people in my session.  His injury is a result of being run over by a stagecoach.  I laughed like hell when he told me.  He’s a stagecoach driver for the Hat Creek Guest Ranch and was run over when the horses spooked and took off.  Tore his calf clean off his leg, leaving the bone exposed.

I figure he’s in his late 60’s or early 70’s according to his stories. He’s about 6 feet tall, large (but not fat), with a weathered, kind and friendly face and soft eyes, silver hair, parted in the middle and falling across his shoulders. I don’t think he’s very educated and he often asks me how to spell words when we’re doing our paperwork. Actually, he usually spells it first and asks if he’s correct. He usually is.

Often, while we’re working on our tasks, he just looks over at me and starts to talk about his life. Just little comments, but I ask questions so that I can receive more of the story. He talks fairly matter-of-factly; with no bitterness or anger over the way he and his tribe have been treated over the years. I have a hard time holding back the anger, and especially the tears. I don’t dare show too much emotion, he’s not looking for sympathy.

He told me he never ate at a restaurant until he was 26. He entered a few before then but was always refused service and kicked out the door. While visiting friends in some town near Kelowna, a friend of his invited him to an A&W and Roger said no because he didn’t want to experience that embarrassment again. His friend told him that this place served Indians. He went, reluctantly and nervously, and was surprised to find that nobody bothered them. He said it was the most delicious hamburger he ever ate. His friend had to leave and Roger said he sat there alone for hours, eating and enjoying the people who made conversation with him.

Nearby, he said, was a bar with a sign that said “NO DOGS OR INDIANS”.

When his mother died, he was about 17. His dad followed 6 months later, died of sadness he said. He and his older and younger siblings basically raised themselves with the help of one of his older sisters who was married with children.

All of the children were born at home because native women were not allowed in hospitals.

When his dad was alive, the two of them would ride horseback up and around the hills, just to look around. There were lakes up there then, and lots of creeks that ran through the reservation. Fish aplenty. Hat Creek was about 20 feet deep and now it’s just a trickle. The creeks are all dried up now - the government diverted all the water to the Thompson and Fraser Rivers to drive the natives and the ranchers out. The ranchers left but the natives stuck it out. Actually, he said they were made an offer of relocation to the Stein Valley before the water diversions. The young folks wanted to go but the elders decided to stay put – it was their home, the only home they had all known. He doesn’t fish anymore - there are no fish because there is no water.

I mentioned that I had just recently heard that they didn’t own their homes or land on the reservations and he told me that he had built a very nice house on his reservation but now he was sorry. He tells his kids and grandchildren not to build – that if they stay on the reserve, just plunk down an old trailer.

Apparently, sometime in the 50’s, some sort of flu hit the tribe. He said it lasted forever and they were burying 5 people a week. It was a small tribe, made much smaller by the outbreak.

I asked him if he ever uses feathers for any sort of ceremonial purposes or for his own use. He says he makes native crafts, just for fun, so I asked him if he would like some parrot feathers. He seemed awfully pleased at the offer so I will take some in to him tomorrow.

I hate rehab, but every day I look forward to visiting with him.

Posted 567 weeks ago

Clemens On The Twain

My name is Georgi (Clemens) Abbott and I am the author of 4 humorous books (paper and ebook) about my parrot - Pickles The Parrot, Pickles The Parrot Returns, Pickles The Parrot Speaks and Fifty Shades of African Grey. This is where I will blog about anything that comes to mind. It may be about Pickles but it might be about our yard and pond, the environment, wild birds, our small town, nature, fictional stories - who knows? I don't profess to have inherited my great, great, great uncle's writing talent but I certainly inherited the call. The uncle I'm speaking of is Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) - I was born a Clemens.

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Summer, Finally

Summers are short enough as it is, in this high altitude town we live in, but the long awaited summer has finally arrived this first week of August.  The vegetable gardens are far behind, and we may not get a harvest before the frost come at night.  But in the meantime, the trout are healthy (they love the cooler weather and water) and the pond is looking beautiful in it’s summer foliage.

The view can be seen from our diningroom but mostly we sit outside watching the fish jump and play and rise for flies while dozens of varieties of birds drink and bathe in the waterfall.

Heaven.

Posted 662 weeks ago

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