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.

I Ain’t Got No Class

 

My husband, Neil, served two terms on our Town Council.  He was good at it, very knowledgeable and well liked.  Unfortunately, he had an opinionated, loud-mouthed wife who never seemed to know when to keep her mouth shut.

A month after being elected for the first time, all of Council and all of the Public Works Department, and all their wives were invited for a nice Christmas dinner at a local hotel.  Dinner included a comedian act in the bar afterwards.  It was a fairly large room of long rectangular shape.  The comedian was situated on a stage at one end and one entire wall consisted of windows with the exit door right in front of the stage.

Neil and I had had a few drinks so when we were saddled with a very UNfunny comedian who didn’t even have the decency to take a break, and droned on for an excruciating one hour and 45 minutes, our eyes were rolling back in our heads and we were suffering buzz kill.  I’d had enough and suggested to Neil that we leave.  Neil agreed but was concerned that we had a long walk of shame through the long bar and had to exit immediately in front of the comedian.  He felt this was rude.  I agreed, but the comedian was starting to sober us up so we decided to risk it.

We grabbed our coats, weaved through all the tables, got to the front and just as we thought we were safe and reaching for the door handle, the comedian boomed through the microphone “WHERE YA GOIN’?!” then jumped off the stage, ran over to me, grabbed my coat off my arm, held it up in a gallant display of chivalry and asked, “Don’t you think I’m funny???”  This was the first laugh he’d received all night but somehow, I felt the laugh was on me.

As I reached my arms into my sleeves I was facing the crowd as I answered, “Sorry.  You’re funny, but I’m hornier”.  As I stared into a room full of drop-jawed, wide-eyed faces, I caught the Mayor’s eye and prayed to God that I hadn’t just said that out loud.  I saw Neil’s short political career flash before my eyes and I started to blame him for dressing me up and taking me out when all of a sudden, the entire place exploded in laughter, applause and cheering.  Get out on a high note, I thought – then I grabbed Neil’s arm and dragged him in one quick flourish out the door.

Once out the door I realized, with horror, that we still had to walk the sidewalk, the length of the windows, still a spectacle.  The comedian, too thick to understand that he was really the butt of the joke, decided to prolong the laughter by running along side the window, banging the glass and yelling, “Where ya going?  Come back!” as the crowd roared and I just walked gracefully onward, blessing them with the Queen’s wave and a big smile.

Well, I managed to get myself out of that one – good thing they had all been drinking – and I was the talk of the town for weeks.  People approached me on the street asking, “Did you really SAY that?” while I answered, “Yes” with a grin.  It didn’t feel right, being proud to admit something like that but who was I to argue with comedy.

Neil and I laughed about it for many years, still do, and it didn’t affect his popularity (what does that say about our town?) so my big mouth never harmed anything … this time.

Posted 662 weeks ago

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