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The Walk is Part of The Gift

by Mike Pedde

The weatherman was calling for a big snowstorm today, so I thought it'd be a great opportunity to go for a long walk.  We needed some groceries, and we also put out the last of the bird seed this morning for the squirrels.  The squirrels and I have a pact: every morning I put sunflower seeds on the ground for them and they stay out of the feeder.  I try to keep up my end of the bargain, and they, for the most part keep theirs.  I mean, if you were that hungry and there was food you could reach that someone asked you not to touch, what would you do?  I don't really mind them being in the feeder, I just object to their using their incisors to modify it.

Anyway, I donned my mukluks and capote, put my pack on my back, grabbed the toboggan and trudged off.  I figured I'd go for groceries first since that would mean I'd have to carry them to and from the feed  store, and considering the way my body works, I thought it best to head off before lunch, especially since I
didn't have much for breakfast.  This should illustrate that a man can be both very intelligent and extremely stupid at the same time.

Made it to the feed store without much ado; it has to be a couple of kilometres from the house.  O'course, at that point I had to put the fifty pound bag of seeds on the toboggan and tow it back.  It seemed like a good idea at the start.  I knew I should have put more wax on the bottom of the toboggan...  and it would have helped if they'd stop putting sand on the roadway too - really slows one down!  I considered heading off across the TransCanada Trail and cutting off through the woods to our place, but there's still more work to be done on our trail.

The trip alternates up and down hill, but none of them were steep enough that I could sit on the toboggan and hang on - tried that but didn't go anywhere.  No one around to pull me either.  I had to stop twice on the way for a banana and a couple of cherry tomatoes (no, not together) as I neglected to bring water with
me.  You'd think I've spent most of my life in the bush or something. 

As I rounded the final bend onto George Street, there were a couple of chickadees in a tree in front of one of the houses.  I looked over and asked "I could use some help you know!"  It was amazing!  All of a sudden it felt as if two of them had landed on my shoulders, sunk their feet into my wool coat, and were flapping like mad.  Made the going a lot easier.  And then, why I didn't think of it before I don't know, I called on one of my spirit wolves to help. Between the four of us we made it up the last hill to the driveway.  The going was so easy at one point I thought the seed bag had fallen off.  The driveway is mostly downhill, so I thanked them and let them go on their way.  The wolf had to go back to the school to help Marcia get home in the storm, and the little ones went back to feeding.

Wondering why anyone would be crazy enough to go out into a snowstorm to buy essentials for the woman he loves, the ones he cares for outside and himself? The answer is below:

An old Cree woman decided one day to present a priest she knew and loved with a sample of her embroidery.  She left the house early, and began her journey to the town far away.  The ground was hard and her feet were sore, but she continued on her quest.

As the day progressed, the sun beat down on her and baked her skin.  The stones on the path cut her feet, and by the time she arrived at her destination, she was exhausted, her lips were cracked, and her feet were bleeding.  Nonetheless, when the priest answered the door she held her embroidery up with great pride.

The priest's eyes were filled with tears as he took the delicate embroidery from her hands, but his gaze was filled with the question 'Why?'.

Looking up at him, the woman said, "Father, you don't understand.  The walk is part of the gift."

Author Unknown.

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