Sharing a good message

Help Support Ruger Forum:

AJGUNNER

Hunter
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
2,231
Location
The Sticks---N.W. Orygun
An old friend of mine posted this on a local hunting & fishing web site. The river he speaks of is the Wilson River. It gets very low in the summer but is a premier salmon and steel head river when the fall rains and winter snows come around. It is only about 30-50 miles from the greater Portland area so gets plenty of use and abuse. There is a message in here for all of us, and I just wanted to do my part in spreading it. Hope you enjoy it.

Fall & winter in Oregon. You know how it goes. Water everywhere. On the ground, clinging to brush, rushing through canyons and of course- cascading from the sky. It wasn’t raining hard, just a typical Oregon rain. My wiper blades were keeping up with it just fine.

After spending the day visiting an old friend in Tillamook, I was heading home in the afternoon, carefully navigating Highway 6. Garth Brooks was singing from my CD player, and I was doing my best- but failing miserably in trying to outsing him. I was up there, just a few miles East of Lees Camp, occasionally gazing at the Wilson River over my shoulder.

Oh, that river holds so many special memories for me. Today, it looked so exciting- so invigorating. It possessed my favorite color of all: Steelhead Green.

I looked at my watch and then at my speedometer. Once again, I realized that I was rushing for no reason at all. Just down that little embankment was a magical place. I thought about my Lamiglas and Curado- sitting home, alone in my garage. Why hadn’t I brought it? I can be such a space cadet at times. Without it, there was no reason for me to stop and go down to the river.

Or was there?

I don’t know what it was that made me pull over. It was just that I had this sudden, and insatiable urge to stand alongside that fluid body and take in what has been given to me. I pulled into a turnout and stopped my truck. Over my life, I have walked along the shores of this river many, many times. Strangely enough, I had never set foot in this particular spot. I pulled the hood of my jacket over my head and started down a narrow path to the river.

As I stood upon the round river rocks and watched the river move by me, I could feel it’s power, the life, and its magical forces within my body. Naturally, I began to look for “holding water”- the place you would expect the steelies to hang out for a while. I took it all in as I imagined myself tossing a corky and yarn behind that rock. I was alone with the river, and at peace with its influence.

Or so I thought.

“I can tell you appreciate the river.” Said a voice from behind me.

Startled, I turned and looked for the origins of the voice. There was nobody there. My gaze shifted rapidly from left to right in an attempt to find out who was watching me. I saw nobody. Somebody HAD to be there. I gave it a shot.

“Excuse me?” I asked, trying to lure out whoever was hiding.

“I said, I can tell you have a deep admiration for this place.” The voice replied.

It was then that I saw where the voice was coming from. It came from under a log alongside the high water mark- and it was coming from a raccoon.

I looked at the black and white critter. My jaw must have dropped.

“Ha ha.” He said. “I always wondered how you would react. You must think you’re going crazy.”

I blinked in disbelief a few times.

“Yeah. You might say that.” I said. “A talking raccoon, eh? I didn’t know you could talk.”

“Well now, that’s funny,” he giggled. “Nobody has ever asked me.”

I shook my head in amazement. “You scared the bejeebers outa me.”

“Well, you thought you were all alone,” he replied. “You’re never really alone out here, ya know?”

He then crawled out from under his log and approached me.

“Sit down,” he said. “Let’s talk.”

I spied a down log a few feet away and plopped my hind end onto it. The raccoon followed me and sat up on his haunches a few feet away.

“My name is Rock, in case you were curious.” He offered.

Good to meet you, Rock. Just call me Spud”

So what drug you down here on this rainy day?” he asked. “You don’t have fishing rod. You’re not stealing river rocks. You’re not smoking pot”. Why are you here?”

“I dunno,” I said. “I was just driving down the highway and something drew me here.”

“Wow, that’s unusual.” He said. “I see you guys zippin’ by in your SUV’s, pickups and cars all the time. Most every one of you never give the river a second thought. Your lives revolve around going from place to place.”

“Well, yeah...,” I said. “But we humans have many obligations. We have families, jobs and friends which we must plan things around.”

“So you don’t have any of those three?” he asked.

“As a matter of fact, yes I do,” I said. I was getting defensive towards a rodent!

“But you stopped and came down here.”

“Yes I did,” I said. “For some reason, I wanted to be next to the river. I am quite fond of this river. I guess I wanted to reveille in its presence.”

Rock then used his paw and pointed towards a discarded Styrofoam container sitting a few feet from the river..

“You think the guy who left that here feels the same way about the river?” he asked.

“I.. Uhhhh.”

“Before you answer”, he started, “Let me also add to you that this is my home.”

I began again.. “Ummm. I don’t have a good answer for you, Rock.”

“Probably because any answer you may come up with would be a bad one,” he said.

“Most likely,” I said, agreeing with his assessment.

Rock drew in a deep breath. He let out a big sigh and then started to speak.

“My whole life I have been sharing this river. I share it with deer, elk, birds, coyotes, bears, squirrels, bobcats, beavers, fish, crawdads, salamanders, insects, and of course- you and your fellow humans. It’s not that I mind sharing. Heck, there is plenty here for all of us. I don’t need much, because I’m pretty small. Gimme a crawdad and maybe a dead salmon carcass every so often and I’m good.”

“You, on the other hand, are among the only critters who share this river who take much more than you need.”

I had to interrupt him there.

“Stop it for a second, Rock.” I said. “Be careful about mixing us all together into one type of group. We humans are all very different from one another.”

“Oh, I’d have to agree with you on that, Spud” he said. “Let me be more specific.”

I nodded. “Go on.”

“When I say that you humans take much more than you need, I mean that on several different planes. Sure, I’ve seen some of you take more that your allotment of fish. I never could figure that one out. Just how much fish do you need? I’ve seen some of you taking river rock- for what? I’ve seen some of your type cutting down the trees in my yard so you can have a campfire. Wouldn’t it have just been easy enough to bring, or buy your own? Why do humans cut down the trees where my Osprey friends like to perch and nest with their babies?”

Towards the end of his statement, I noticed his voice cracked a bit. I saw Rock lift a paw and wipe his eye. Then he continued.

“However, all that is by far nothing compared to the worst thing you guys take.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“I hope you’re not offended by what I’m about to say. On second thought, I don’t care if you’re offended. It offends me!”

I could tell Rock was getting really worked up.

“Go ahead, Rock. Say what you want to say.” I said.

“You humans TAKE AWAY from the magic of this place. You come into my home and leave trash, which makes me ill. Your discarded fishing line tangles my bird friends. The candy bar wrappers you throw down destroy the magic, serenity and beauty of everything that is here for me, and all my friends. I don’t hate you for that. I just hate the fact that some of your type just don’t give a rip about it!”

Rock was nearly shouting at me towards the end of that. He turned and silently faced the river.

I paused, then rested by elbow upon my knee and put my face in my hand. I know I looked very guilty on behalf of my fellow man.

“Some of us DO give a rip, Rock.” I said.

Rock slowly turned around and faced me. “You do? I mean, some of you REALLY care?”

“Yes!” I said. “Some of truly care about preserving what we have. I must admit, that we aren’t working hard enough to pass the word. We need to teach these values to our young. We need to contribute time, energy and money to organizations which help protect your home. I know I can do more- and starting now, I will.”

“I really appreciate you passing the word, Spud.” Rock said.

“I promise to do so, Rock.”

With that, I stood up and gave him a wink. I took one more wistful glance at the river and began to dust myself off.

“Magical, isn’t it?” he asked.

I nodded.

As I started back up the path, I stopped and picked up the discarded styrofoam container. As I climbed the bank, I heard Rock’s voice one last time behind me.

“Thanks”, he said. “Oh, one last thing. Do you think you could spread the word over the internet?”

I’m grinning now.

I just did.
 

Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
6,691
Location
Memphis, TN USA
Fox Mike said:
Great story. I attempted to teach my children that whenever you leave an area, wherever that area is, make sure it is in as good or better shape than when you arrived.

You talkin' an area, or the whole world?

Years ago a young friend of mine was in a play at my church. He had a line that I remember: "If you're going to make a difference, ya gotta be a little different."


Bob Wright
 

Poco Oso

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
1,970
Location
Central Orygun
Bob Wright said:
Fox Mike said:
Great story. I attempted to teach my children that whenever you leave an area, wherever that area is, make sure it is in as good or better shape than when you arrived.

You talkin' an area, or the whole world?

Years ago a young friend of mine was in a play at my church. He had a line that I remember: "If you're going to make a difference, ya gotta be a little different."


Bob Wright

Thanks for that one Bob. That means the people that know me must think I'm making a big difference. :wink: I'm going to remember that saying also. It makes so much sense.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Messages
10,769
Location
Webster, MD.
Bob Wright said:
Fox Mike said:
Great story. I attempted to teach my children that whenever you leave an area, wherever that area is, make sure it is in as good or better shape than when you arrived.

You talkin' an area, or the whole world?

Years ago a young friend of mine was in a play at my church. He had a line that I remember: "If you're going to make a difference, ya gotta be a little different."


Bob Wright
If they visited the whole world that would be the 'area' they were in. Read what was written: "wherever that area is"; my guess is that would be 'part' of the world. I can only speak for myself but I doubt that I will ever visit the entire world...only parts of it; so I would try to leave those parts as good or better than they were when I got there.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,897
Location
Redlands CA USA
Bob Wright said:
You talkin' an area, or the whole world?

Hi,

I'm sure a number of you remember a saying popular in the early '70s, particularly after the first Earth Day:

"Think globally, act locally."

There's more than a touch of truth in that dictum...

Rick C
 

exavid

Hunter
Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Messages
3,071
Location
Medford, OR
When I take my grandson to the range or just a hike in the woods he calls us the 'garbage pickers' because we pickup the trash others leave. My father and his friends would have scorned me if I'd left junk on a trail or along a river. I guess it stuck to me and now my grandson has the bug too. I've never understood how people can leave trash everywhere. Damn it all, if you bring it in, you take it out.
 

Latest posts

Top