I have been inspired to try something. Grandpa White Feather is the “Story Teller” in this family, and I have a story I want to try. So for the next few articles they will be small chapters of a character I’m introducing: “Yinney the Sloth”. We will see if people want the story to continue, or not. The story will also be an analogy for messages of deep meaning for our modern times. I hope you enjoy. I think I could really enjoy developing a whole world around this character. Here we go. (Oh! To fully appreciate what this story shall be, you might want to read the article just previous to this one, “Do No Harm”.)
“Yinney the Sloth”
Yinney was born in the jungles of South America, the Amazon Rain Forest, during a very hot summer. All summers were hot in the Amazon, but as a sloth, he never gave it much thought. Today was just another day of hanging out high in trees while a slight breeze caused the motion of the swaying limb.
He enjoyed the swinging little branch, the gentle movement relaxing and soothing. In this way Yinney could move without moving, and sloths loved that. To move without moving. Such was the life of a sloth. He felt in motion and yet he was wasting no energy.
Everything moves slow for a sloth, very slow. His people were masters at the beauty of slow, a treasure under appreciated by most other peoples. Sloths considered the wasting of energy very rude. “How rude,” they would say, and all would do a slow nod in agreement. One nod would be enough. Two nods a waste.
But today Yinney was on the hunt! Now for a sloth to hunt, the prey must be very slow indeed. As a mater of fact, it is better if the prey cannot move at all. This was true of his hunt today for he was in search of a tree! A very special tree, and they cannot run away.
As vegetarians, sloths really never hunt in the way predators do. Yinney ate leaves. Delicious green leaves. He never had to kill anything! But down below, in the jungle, lived many predators who would love to eat him if they could. It was very dangerous on the ground, his mother had instructed, and this was one reason the tree would be very special, and he would bless the tree with his very own fertilization once it was found.
Yinney’s mother’s name was Minney, and his father was Dinney, but he mostly remembered his mother. She taught him everything a sloth needed to know and now shared her territory with him as he headed out to live his own life in the trees. His mother told him, “Yinney, you must find your special tree within seven days, because you know what happens every seven days!”
“Yes, mother,” he had answered. Yinney knew in seven days he would need to poo. That is a polite way of saying he would need to go to the bathroom. Yinney the sloth would need to poo! And that meant going to the ground, the most dangerous place in the world for a sloth! He knew his time to find a special tree would pass quickly, but he would never hurry or rush, for the beauty of slow was the sacred way of his people.
Minney had warned her son that their territory was the hunting ground of one of the worst bullies around, a jaguar named Jag! And Jag considered a sloth pooing to be easy prey, and indeed they were. She taught her son the bathroom was the most dangerous place, because Jag, and others, were always looking for easy prey. They lived hungry all the time. You could see it in their eyes, never satisfied, always looking for something to kill!
But sloths were peace loving, respected the sacred, and had no weapons to fight. Even those long claws they had were simply to hook tree limbs and hang all day long high in a tree, invisible to the world below. Their claws were for peace, not fighting. There claws were for living in the high places, the refuge of great trees forming a green canopy, a world of its own throughout the Amazon jungle.
“Jag is very strong and fast. He is a great hunter. He has sharp claws and teeth. If he ever finds you, he is a killing machine!” his mother warned.
(As of 1/20/19 this story of Yinney belongs to Don Allen, alias: Grandpa White Feather.)