Hesus Pollero

‘After missing the monster Diamond Back, I was in no mood for any more excitement but how wrong I was to think so. I had just god back to a steady pace on the uneven ground when my throat was squeezed half shut by a piece of forked wood. And a heavy boot was pressing my tail into the sand.’ ‘Hola pequeña serpiente, I mean little snake he he he.’ Said Hesus (Jesus in Spanish). ‘I nod my head Si, I speak no Spanish senior.’ I said ‘Are you going to kill me? I have to get to a Saguaro tonight.’ I say with a plea. ‘Perdóname pequeña serpiente, mil perdones a ti, oh sorry, sorry. Forgive me little snake, a thousand pardons to you. This is my first time to speak to a snake, he he.’ Said Hesus. ‘I am going to find five little beaks, their mother sent me as her dying wish. Do you know of a big old grandfather Saguaro?’ I asked while squirming under the stick. ‘Oh, yes little snake is just north of the three peaks about a mile from here.’ Hesus grins in the dark with a toothy smile. The next thing I know I am in the hands of Hesus and moving toward the mountains. The stinky vole is in his hand as well and not so pleasant a companion. ‘Hey Hesus the vole it stinks.’ I say. ‘Mil perdones, a thousand pardons, what is your name?’ Hesus says. ‘My name is Long Fang, because my fangs are longer than they should be. It makes it hard for me to travel and other things.’ I say in turn. ‘Are you taking me to the Saguaro?’ I ask. ‘Yes Long Fang I wait all night long for someone who has not shown up. So taking you on your way helps pass the night away. Besides I can lift you high up into the Saguaro, but owls perch higher than I am tall.’ Hesus tells me. I finally stop wiggling in Hesus’ hands. What a view! All the things I cannot see on my belly! Now I see the Saguaro, it is so big in the moonlight. Arms stick out from all sides of the cactus, but in the shadow below the bottom arms is a deep hole. Hesus lifts me high in his hands but I still have to slither between the needles for several feet before I 1

reach the hole, ah I mean perch. I stick my head into the perch and see five fluffy little owls all huddled together on the deep side of the cactus. 'Ssso that is my trip here, I wonder if Hesusss is still waiting for me?' Long Fang makes a round trip like a Cho cho train around the inside wall. Then sticks his head out the perch. 'Hesus you still there?' Long Fang hisses as loud as he can. From way out in the dark Hesus answers. 'Si Wedgie I think we are all here, eh compañeros?' Hesus has many friends down in the dark. 'HESUS you called me Wedgie! That is just mean and a little sad as that is what One Eye called me.' Oh, am I in for it now the little beaks can hear everyone down of the ground laughing and howling. My skin gets hot from embarrassment. 'Hesus who is down there with you?' I asked. 'Here is Brother Rook, the El Lobos; Madre Gris and pup Jorge (Hoar hey), a little bat with big ears Miss Coqueta who says she is a vampire. Me Hesus I am loco beyond imagination, talking snakes, wolves, bats and probably owls. This is not something I can talk about at the Cantina!' said Hesus with a shaky voice. Clearly, the fact that all around him Hesus has experienced conversations with non-humans had finally sunk in. He began to look glassy eyed. Then something began to happen on the desert floor. ‘I have seen many things since being a member of the Hiss n Rattle band, but tonight I am looking a man thing nine feet tall. He is Tohno O’odham but much bigger.’ I say to the owls. ‘Hesus’ he roars. Everyone looks at him startled as he points to Hesus. ‘Tonight you become what you truly are! Every time you come into O’odham territory you become Coyote, when you leave you become Hesus again.’ I didn’t know where to look as I saw Hesus melt into a coyote and the Tohno O’odham become a jaguar with a low growl that shook the desert floor. ‘I am now a dog,’ whined Hesus as he laid back his ears and tucked his tail between his legs. The jaguar spoke in a low rumble. ‘I am I’itoi (e e too) creator god of the Tohno O’ldham, each year when you are ready to go back to Oaxaca come to me Hesus and I will make you a two again.’ I’itoi rumbled like a giant rock fall.

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‘Wwwhere, where do you live, I’itoi?’ whined Hesus. ‘My home is the cave near the top of Baboquivari Peak; bring an offering to the entrance of the cave. I will respond when I am ready.’ I’itoi declared. Then I’itoi changed into a coatimundi a small animal with a thick long tail stuck into the air. ‘I change into whatever shape that pleases me in my land’ I’itoi said and trotted off with his tail in the air. Everyone was afraid to breath, so much was happening one thing after another. I saw the big Grey Wolf dash into the dark in the direction of the coatimundi. I heard a chattering sound which Madre Gris later told me was I’itoi in the form of a Ringtail desert cat. When she came back Madre Gris told us I’itoi had granted her sanctuary with Coqoueta in the mine and that he had made an entrance for her and the cub. ‘Wedgie (ok, I give up everyone is calling me that) it is time for some deep sleep!’ I look at the Cinco Piquitos, and they all nod their heads with half closed eyes. I form a coil around the feet and bellies of the Piquitos. I no longer think or wonder what is happening to the crowd outside on the desert floor. I hear noises in the night, a wolf howl, a squeal prey? Also a bunch of hooting not coming from inside the Saguaro, perhaps there are other owls near by. I dream of One Eye my happy go lucky friend who I will not see for a long time. I also dream of the strange death of Donnetta Elf Owl, why did she attack One Eye? The Piquitos are having a restless night too, they peep, hoot and cry in their sleep. Tomorrow has to be a better day!

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