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The Cloven Hoof Creature

I take my dog Max for a walk every evening around my neighborhood.  As the seasons change, I have to change which time of day for walks so Max does not overheat, pant too much, and I don’t get too much sun.  That means the walks have to be right after the sun is going down but before it gets dark.

About a year ago, I had to wait later and later for the walks because of the heat which resulted in the last part of the walk being a little after dusk.  We take the same path every day and I enjoy looking at all the flowers, plants and trees along the way.  We also say hello to all the other people and their doggy owners taking walks.

There is one big tree down at the end of one road where we turn and walk around the loop.  This tree has big trunks, some of which you could climb up on and sit.

I often thought about when I was a kid and climbed up on the big branches of the willow tree in my yard in New Mexico to get away from my Mom and the willow switches she was chasing me with for misbehaving.  The problem was, soon as I did come down from the tree, she would be right back under the tree and get me.   Ah, those special memories.

I got side tracked, let’s get back to the story.  Each time Max and I walked by the tree, Max wanted to sniff the big hoof prints below the tree.  These hoof prints were smunched into the ground as if something very heavy stepped all over.  There is a fence around our community and no one has horses or big dogs so what made the hoof prints?  Every evening I anticipated looking at the ground around the tree to see if new hoof prints had been made.

I seemed to be drawn to that tree every time we walked near the location.  I have never really noticed it until looking at it with the sun down at dusk and seeing the hoof prints.  There almost seemed to be a glow in one area of the tree where the tree limbs came together at the trunk.

As time went on, the glow seem to get stronger and I began to see a little bit of a shape within it.  One day as I looked up at the tree, I was stunned to see what looked like a creature standing within the glow.  It was all hairy and the bottom part looked like haunches of a goat type creature with cloven hoofs.  The head portion was hairy but had a very human aspect to it.  It had a cape hanging around from the back of it.  It shook me up but for some reason it was not scary.  I stood there and stared at it in awe.  It looked out like a specter, ghost or fantasy creature and did not look completely solid.  Then it seemed to disappear.

Now I could not wait until I went on our walks to see the Cloven Hoofed Creature.  Each time the glow was there and then the creature would begin to materialize and stay there for a while only to disappear again.  I began to feel the Cloven Hoofed Creature was a part of my life, something magic and unbelievable.  After about a year, the Creature begin to have a sort of saddened look on it’s face and the glow seemed to be getting dimmer.  One evening the creature extended out its arms as if trying to tell me something, then wrapped itself in the cape and begin to disappear.  Within the next few days, the image was less distinctive and one day it had just disappeared.  The hoof prints were gone and I felt so very sad that this mysterious creature no longer seemed to exist.

I thought and thought about what could have happened.  I thought about the Peter Pan story in which the children were no longer believing in story creatures and this caused them to disappear until the children believed in them again.   Well, I believed so that was not the problem.   I decided to search the Internet for an answer.  I checked several websites.

I had never checked such things as ghosts, specters and spirits, but that is exactly what I did.   I found out a strange fact.  It seems in different parts of the world where cell phone towers have been put up near known haunts and where mysterious sounds and creatures appeared routinely, they had slowly disappeared.  Could this be what happened to the Cloven Hoofed Creature?  Could the signals coming from cell phones affect whatever these beings are?  I checked around our area and sure enough one of those big towers for cell phones had been recently installed outside our neighborhood but within the vicinity of the creature’s tree.

I was sorry my mysterious creature no longer seemed to exist.  It was sad to walk by the tree and not see any hoof prints on the ground.  Then just a month ago, I began to see a little glow in the tree again, just a tiny spark.  I was so excited and each day I hurried on our walk with enthusiasm.  Eventually, there were hoof prints again for Max to smell and the Cloven Hoofed Creature was back in a bright glow.

This made me wonder about the cell tower and phone conclusion.  The next time I drove out of my neighborhood, I checked the cell tower and found it had been removed and set up further down the road.  Could this be the reason the Cloven Hoofed Creature was back?

For now, I am just happy there is something glowing in the trees and smiling down at me.

What does this story have to do with beads or fibers you ask?  We are affected by our surroundings including our environment.  Each time we look at the physical beauty of the world, a flower, sunset, wildlife and ponder the mysteries of life, our bead and fiber work evolves and begins new paths.  When you are out walking where ever you live, look at your surroundings, soak it in, and be happy we are part of such a big world with many natural wonders.

The Beadwrangler
Tampa, November, 2002

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