Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-nine):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-nine):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

The Haida Gwaii has carvings of three men with hats on the top of their totem poles.  These watchmen tell the carver of the totem pole if enemies are coming or if there is any other important information they should know.  (all references are at the bottom of the blog).

It’s unusually warm for autumn and Zsofia had asked Rita to bring her class to Victoria Park in Kitchener.

From the driver’s seat Rita glances in the rear-view mirror of the college’s Ev Star Min-eBus.  All the elementals are here now.  Marlo is sitting right behind her with his arm across two coolers full of sandwiches and thermos with water.  Behind Marlo is Aella and Ember.   The other students fill the rest of the double chairs behind her and the single seats.  Kanayago sits on a single seat at the very back by herself.

After the police came to talk to them about the attack the man named Norm made on the woman called Wendy, Rita asked Aella her background.  Once Aella found out who Rita is and that she teaches the Environmental Technology class at Six Nations Polytechnic Brantford Campus she became more talkative.  Aella explained that she was supposed to be in Rita’s class but couldn’t.  She was volunteering in the Haida Gwaii as a Red Cross Emergency Response Worker until just a few days ago.

No one is talking so she turns on the radio.  The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby” comes on and when the song gets to the verse “All the lonely people” she glances in the rear-view mirror at Kanayago.  The girl is looking out the window with a conflicted look on her face.

After she parks she and her students walk towards the lake that runs through the park.   Rita sees a weeping willow.  Not knowing why she touches its bark.

 

Shrouded in mist she stands on the eastern shore of Haida Gwaii.  She knows its Tlell because of the totem pole with the three watchmen carved into its top.  The mist disperses for a moment and she can see Rae standing on a wooden outlook with cedar rails.  Rae is staring across the Hecate Strait.  This time Rita can tell Rae knows she’s there.

Nicki Henry by Darren Henry

Rae modeled by Nicki Henry, picture taken by Darren Henry of Nixxx Design Custom Printing   nixxxdesigns@gmail.com

“You have all the pieces,” a soft soprano voice says.  “They must come to Haida Gwaii before the eclipse.  I have already told this to Ember.”  Mist covers Rae and Rita awakens from the vision with a feeling of displacement.

 

“Are you okay?”  Marlo asks.

“Yes, but I need to get everyone to Haida Gwaii.”

“I don’t think that will be so hard.  Rán has already told me we must go and the new girl, Aella told me of a vision she had from Onya also saying we must go to Haida Gwaii.”

“I wonder if Kanayago has received a message from Kaneki?” Rita asks.  She sees Kanayago walking separate from the others.

As they reach the shore of the lake Rita sees Zsofia standing in a sleeveless t-shirt and shorts reading over a sheet of paper.

DSC_1036 (2)

Zsofia modelled by Dr. Arla Kasaj picture by Dan Watt:  akwellness@gmail.com

Zsofia looks up and says, “You’re all here!”

Rita doesn’t miss the remark: all here.  Zsofia is the only person who is not an elemental that knows almost all her secrets.

“Have a seat but watch out for the Canadian Geese droppings,” Zsofia tells them.  “What happens with our medical supplies once they’re used is quite interesting.  In the past many of the sharps such as needles and syringes were put into containers and autoclaved.   Hydroclaving was found to be more efficient so that’s how all needles and syringes are sterilized now.  All other medical items such as bandages, gloves, and so on have to be sterilized and buried in a separate landfill or incinerated.  Incinerating is becoming safer for the environment as stricter rules are enforced and as better technology developed.”

“Our health is hurting our environment?”  Marlo asks.

“Not as much as it used to,” Zsofia answers.  “Infectious disease such as AIDS, Hepatitis, and super bugs such as SARS will increase if we don’t keep everything sanitized.  But to clean items like bed sheets or to sterilze needles means putting CO2 or other pollutants into the air.”

“A catch 22,” Aella says with a shake of her head.

“Less so as we use better technology and learn to waste less.  Any other questions or comments?”  Zsofia asks.

No one else asks anything so Rita stands up.  “Thank you Zsofia.  Well let’s eat,” she continues nodding towards the coolers they brought from the mini-bus.

As the others eat Rita walks with Zsofia along the lake’s shore.

“What happens now that you have them all gathered together?”  Zsofia asks when they are out of earshot of the others.

“We go to Haida Gwaii,” Rita answers with simple solemnity.

“You want me to go?”

“Yes,” Rita replies.  Zsofia may be part of the solution no one considered.

 

https://www.greenpowerbus.com/

https://www.redcross.ca/volunteer/apply-now/emergency-response-team-ert-supervisor-17

https://www.readersdigest.ca/travel/canada/haida-gwaii-watchmen/

https://www.whetung.com/products/haida-raven-iii

https://www.cmaj.ca/content/183/18/E1307

https://www.hydroclave.com/technology/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK233627/

With thanks to Nicki Henry of:

You can contact Nixxx Designs Custom Printing at: nixxxdesigns@gmail.com

Nixxx Designs Custom Printing

And Dr. Arla Kasaj:  akwellness@gmail.com

 

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-eight):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-eight):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Aesop’s Fables are full of animal characters meant to teach morals.  In Rita Walker the elementals and mythological characters are meant to represent the connection between the Earth and its atmosphere and all of life.  Enjoy the fictional representation but don’t forget the real policies and technologies out there that are beneficial.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee_sting

http://www.honeybeecentre.com/learn-about-honeybees#.XkfL-2hKiUk

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/self-defence-what-s-acceptable-under-canadian-law-1.1229180

https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/other-autre/rsddp-rlddp/p5.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesop’s_Fables

“Get away from me!” Rita hears the man named Norm cry out.  She also hears a very faint buzzing sound.

There’s the sound of scuffling and something falling over.

“Get back here!” she hears Norm shout with a voice full of violence.  “I’ll kill you bee!” he says with a hiss.

A door slams as the honeybee flies with a wounded wing onto her back.  Rita hops down the duct work to where it curves up towards the second storey ceiling.

Back outside she feels a gust of wind pressing her down.  As the wind dies down the honey bee becomes a crow.  The crow rolls its left shoulder and Rita can see it has some damaged feathers.  The crow flaps its wings, grabs her in its claws and flies clumsily down to the tree where Rita had changed.

Rita climbs atop the soil that consists of the rest of her body and changes back into her human form.  The crow hops onto her left forearm.  Rita dashes to the front of the building where she can feel another swirl of air.  The crow hops off her arm and in a moment turns back into the young women.

“I couldn’t sting him as a honeybee or I would be dead,” the young woman says in a frustrated voice.  “So I buzzed him in the ear until the woman could get away.  But he hurt my left shoulder.”

In the parking lot by an old red hybrid Echo, Rita sees a woman in her mid-thirties fighting off a much taller man.   Rita watches in surprise as the young woman runs behind the man and simultaneously grabs the back of his collar while punching him in the centre of his back with her other hand.  The man crumbles to the ground with a gasp.  Before Rita can reach her the young woman strikes the man in the temple with her elbow.  By the time she gets there the man is lying motionless on the ground.  Rita looks for some kind of movement around his chest.  She kneels beside the man and places her hand by his mouth.  He’s breathing.

“Are you okay?” the young women asks the woman called Wendy.

“Yes,” Wendy replies with a shaky voice.  She whips out her cell phone and Rita sees her dial 9-1-1.

“I have to go,” the young woman says.

“We can’t,” Rita tells her.  “We have to be witnesses or nothing will happen and he might attack her or someone else.”

Rita hears the man grumble and start to sit up.  She gasps as the young women kicks him in the head sending him back to the ground unconscious.  “I hate bullies,” the young woman says.

“Who are you?” Rita asks.

“Aella.”

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-seven):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-seven):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

In Chinese herbalism there are not four but five elements: Fire, Earth, Water, Wind, and Metal.  Metal fears Fire for Fire can melt Metal.  But in our story Fire refuses so far to get involved with stopping Metal from destroying our planet’s surface.

https://horoscopes.lovetoknow.com/chinese-astrology/metal-element-chinese-astrology

https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac/china-five-elements-philosophy.htm

https://www.gurastro.com/2013/06/moon-phases-and-four-elements-new-model.html

https://www.fusionhealth.com.au/news/chinese-medicine/wood-fire-earth-metal-or-water-which-element-are-you-and-how-can-it-help-your

https://www.intechopen.com/books/heavy-metals/environmental-contamination-by-heavy-metals

It’s Saturday evening and she’s parked outside the new Grand River Conservation Area headquarters on Jennings Road near the Oakhill Cemetery.   She’s about to get out of her car when she notices a young woman standing near the entrance to the Conservation Area headquarters.  Rita immediately sees a blue with wisps of white aura around the woman, exactly the same as what she sees when she visits Oya.

Aella

The young woman’s eyes turn sky blue.  This is the last piece of the puzzle.  Rita dashes out of her car towards the young woman but it’s too late.

Aella sky moon eyes

She feels a gust of wind press her back as a crow flaps its wings to the ledge of the building’s second storey.  With head turned the crow watches her with one beady eye.

Just as she did with Marlo, Rita needs to decide whether to trust this stranger or not.  She walks over to a nearby maple tree making sure the crow can still see her and decides to take a chance.  She sees the reflection of the crescent moon in the crow’s eye.  Closing her own eyes she feels the change as her extra weight flows off her shrinking body.  Shaking she watches as the crow steps on the ledge her wings flapping.

In an instant Rita finds herself in the crow’s claws ascending to the top of the Conservation Area HQ’s roof.  Once there she feels a constant whirlwind of air and realizes the young women’s extra weight has become dispersed air that swirls in a single location.  The crow disappears and Rita sees a honeybee.  She follows the honeybee to a vent and they both enter the building’s ductwork.

Rita hears voices with her chipmunk ears and stands still near a vent just above her head.  A woman is arguing with a male.

“You can’t fudge the amount of toxins in the river Norm,” a young sounding woman is saying.

“I’m just adjusting the inaccuracies,” a male voice grumbles in reply.

“Too much cadmium, lead, or mercury in the water will kill the wildlife.”

“It’s only until the next lunar eclipse.”

“What?” the girl shouts.

“Wendy, very rich and intelligent people explained this to me.  I only need to fudge reports until the coming eclipse blocks the sun so the ancient metal elemental can finally flow out of the Earth’s surface.  The sun is the only thing stopping him because the ancient elemental of fire is hiding.  Look I’ll give you a percentage of what I’m being paid.”

“You cannot fudge reports Norm!  You have a drug problem and its affecting your sense of reality.  So let’s get you some help.”

“Take the money,” the man named Norm says in a threatening tone.

“No,” the woman named Wendy replies.

Rita hears scuffling and gasps.  She gazes towards the vent above her and sees the honeybee fly through it.

Thanks To:

Model for Aella:  Victoria Givlin

https://artals.com/

Makeup and Hair:  Tiffany Meatherall

https://www.facebook.com/meatherallmakeup/

Photography:  Shannon Fitzgerald

https://www.shannon-fitz.com/

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-six):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-five):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

If you work at or hang around a place that people from around the world go to such as fitness centres, pubs, or any business near the sea, and you listen and wait, you might just notice more similarities than differences.

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/features/iron-supplements#1

https://www.who.int/ipcs/assessment/public_health/cadmium/en/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/25/indigenous-australians-and-canadians-destroyed-by-same-colonialism

https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/great-similarities-between-experiences-of-the-irish-and-native-americans

She sits on her couch listening to Mazzy Star’s “Into Dust” while facing the door windows that look over the Grand River.  On the other side of the river she can see maple trees whose leaves are turning from green to yellow and red.  In her lap is Kanayago’s paper on workplaces she has or is working at.  Rita skims through the hemp sheets, vaguely noting and marking any grammatical corrections.  Initially Kanayago worked for mining companies as an apprentice to a metallurgist.  On the last page she sees the heading: Kanetic Reusable Batteries.

I am a lab technician for Kanetic Reusable Batteries.  My job is to discover how much of a heavy metal, such as cadmium, mercury, and lead is needed to give the batteries the longest life time.  The batteries I work on specifically are for mining machinery.  Unfortunately I need a lot of iron to do this.

Kanayago’s last statement about needing iron confuses Rita.  She doesn’t understand why Kanayago would need so much iron.  There is no mention about the heavy metals being dumped into the Grand River.  More worrisome is that the Grand River Conservation Authority either doesn’t know about the pollution or is ignoring it.  With each new government comes the addition or subtraction of conservation laws.

She gets up and touches the trunk of the weeping willow focusing on Rae.  But all she sees is Rae sitting on a log with her back to Rita.  Rae’s raven hair whips around in the wind while her body stays still and silent.  It can be so hard being the bridge between peoples while belonging to both.  Yet there are so many similarities when you look at the world before colonialism.  It’s those similarities Rita wants to bring to light once and if she can bring all the elementals together to stop Kaneki from destroying everything.  “Saying nothing is not a solution,” she whispers to Rae.  But Rae doesn’t reply.

Rita closes her eyes.  Tomorrow is Saturday.  She will have to park her car near the Brantford branch of the Conservation Authority and polymorph into something else to get inside undetected.  She wishes Oya’s apprentice would show up at her class.  A bird or fly could get inside much easier than a mouse or cat.

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-five):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-five):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

As technology increases so does the opportunity to purchase more water efficient devices.  It’s important to remember that water likes to flow.  So to avoid clogged pipes you might want to occasionally let it flow down the sink drain a bit longer.

https://www.oceannetworks.ca/Haida-Gwaii-earthquake-and-tsunami

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/06/best-domestic-water-saving-gadgets

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/ideas-how-to/bath/how-to-choose-a-toilet.html

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/products/categories/water-heaters/14562

https://reliablewater247.com/apartments-reduce-water-usage/

https://www.greenfieldpaper.com/hemp_paper.asp

https://www.clearbags.com/bags/eco

 

In the morning before her class, Rita watches the news.  An 8.5 magnitude earthquake had sent a tsunami into the Haida Gwaii west shoreline.  She knows the last earthquake to shake Haida Gwaii was in 2012 when a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck central Moresby Island.  That earthquake didn’t do any damage but this latest one destroyed boats and houses as far back as a hundred meters.  The news tells her that the Queen Charlotte Fault Line is 350 km long and goes from the British Columbian shoreline to the Alaskan shoreline where it’s called the Fairweather Fault System.  Sensors along the Cascadia Trench suggest at least one more earthquake is expected in the near future, one several times stronger.

Rita closes her eyes and breathes in deeply.  The earthquake is a reminder that Kaneki is seeking Rae.  He will be on the surface soon if she can’t get all the students together and she’s still missing Oya’s child of air.

She has red rimmed eyes as she steps up to the lectern at the front of her class.  The devastation to her original home has made her desperate.

“Last week I said we would discuss water usage in the homes.  There are a variety of newer toilets you can use, some have different buttons depending how much water you need to flush.  There are a variety of water heaters, some that run on solar energy.  There’s even a water reservoir tank you can get that holds used shower and bath water that you can use with your garden hose.”  As Rita talks she clicks different images on the screen that show a variety of toilets, water heaters, and bath water reservoir tanks.

“Ultimately rental units are the responsibility of the owners but if you live in an apartment you can point out the cost savings to the owners.  All they have to do is install new toilets, showerheads, and aerated faucets.”

“What about using less shampoo and soap?” she hears Ember shout out.

Rita gives her a stern look for not putting up her hand.  “That’s a good point,” she says curtly.  “Less soap in the water system means less time in the shower to wash it off.  Next week we’re going on a trip to the University of Waterloo’s Biomedical facility where my friend Zsofia Juhász will be showing us the latest technology on recycling medical products such as needles, syringes, and bandages.  Before you go please leave me the homework  I assigned you last week.”  Rita desperately wants to read Kanayago’s paper on where she has or preferably is working.

Kanayago steps forward with a thin sheaf of hemp paper covered in cellulose binding.

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-four):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-four):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

If you know of a worldwide organization that does keep tabs on how much food is consumed and forest cut down.  Send us a message.

http://wildfoodsandmedicines.com/salal/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineered_wood

https://lingpapers.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2018/02/White_2006.pdf

http://www.haidalanguage.org/

Rita sips at the sweet tea made of Salal berries she ordered directly from Haida Gwaii.  The order took six months to arrive.  It reminded her of the goodness of the world.  Laws are now in effect that make the availability of food based on how much there is instead of trying to have it available everywhere all the time.  Crops and livestock are catalogued to make sure there is always abundance in nature.  If someone can’t buy salmon they’ll have to buy another fish.  Wood considered unusable from demolition sites or removed from homes is ground into sawdust and used to create engineered wood.  Stalks from hemp, corn, and bamboo are also used to replace wood so forest can thrive once again.

As she sips the tea and contemplates the safety of forests and other lifeforms she listens to stories and songs in Xaat Kíl, the original Haida Gwaii language.  It reminds her of her mother, father and brother, before darkness overcame her and she fell into the long sleep.

 

She was coated in sweat within her family’s cedar plank house.  The deerskin and woven cedar blanket her mother covered in her lay in a heap beside her.  Her body jolted.

At the bank of the Masset Inlet, sitting on a rotting log she saw Rae facing the water.  Without looking at her Rae lifted her right arm up with the palm of her hand facing up.  Upon her palm a flame appeared that flickered in the wind.  Within the flame was a tiny image of Ailbe Rose.

“Wanda Chéile,” Ailbe Rose called to her, “you must await the time when Kaneki is closest to the surface and the World is in greatest peril.  I will slow your heart rate and those that love you most will think you dead.  They will not burn you in your grandfather’s way but bury you.  Remember them when you awake.  Use not the name I call you by but the one Rae gave you.”  At that moment the flame shot out of Rae’s hand into Rita’s chest.  Rita has no recollection of the centuries that passed only the moment she awoke.  She did not dig through the dirt but merged with it so that she emerged on the surface in the clothes she was buried in.

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-three):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-three):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

The federal government of Canada does offer incentives for people to buy electric or hybrid vehicles.  Currently only British Columbia and Quebec offer provincial incentives.  Because WordPress is seen around the World you could check to see if your government offers incentives to buying electric or hybrid vehicles.

https://www.caa.ca/electric-vehicles/government-incentives/

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-694/usnea

https://carbonengineering.com/

https://www.therecord.com/news-story/9792576-new-industry-develops-around-sucking-carbon-dioxide-out-of-atmosphere/

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/6/14/17445622/direct-air-capture-air-to-fuels-carbon-dioxide-engineering

After her last lecture Rita tried to research Kanetic Reusable Batteries and whether it has a parent company but to no avail.  She also called Marlo each day to see how he was feeling.  He told her the new girl, Ember, had told him about a dream she had.

In the dream Ember said she saw Rae in the distance sitting by the shore on a washed up log.  As Ember walked closer she noticed Rae was holding an argillite carving of a man with hands and feet that looked unfinished.  Without looking at her Rae pointed towards a tree.  On the tree grew usnea lichen.

From her purse Ember then pulled out a paper bag and offered it to Marlo.  When he opened it he saw the pale greyish-green strands of a plant.  “Rae wants you to eat this.”

He did and has felt much better since.

Before her class begins Rita pulls Kanayago aside.  “It was strange dirt you collected but I can’t return it to you.”  Rita doesn’t explain that she reabsorbed the dirt.

Kanayago’s brow furrows but she doesn’t seem to be overly surprised by what Rita tells her.  “Oh well, thanks for looking into it,” is all she says.

As Rita stands in front of her class she takes in a deep breath.  This lecture is extremely important but could easily be misinterpreted.  “We’re going to discuss Direct Air Capture,” she says.  Trees, as you know, absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.  Vehicles and factories burn gas or coal and give off carbon dioxide.  Too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the Earth will heat up.  Ocean flooding, forest fires, and the melting of glaciers increases.

“Direct Air Capture attempts to pull carbon dioxide out of the air and sell it to greenhouses, turn it into fuel, or bury it as basalt rock.  In the past there were only two companies performing Direct Air Capture:  Carbon Engineering out of Canada, Climeworks out of Switzerland and Iceland.  Carbon Engineering turns the carbon dioxide into fuels by adding it to hydrogen through electrolysis.  Climeworks sells carbon dioxide to greenhouses in Switzerland and creates basalt rock in Iceland.

“These companies are not a solution though.  We still need to decrease the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Next week we’ll talk about water usage in the house.  I do have an assignment for you.  Write a five hundred to a thousand word essay on the jobs you are currently doing or have done and what the company you are or did work for is doing to help the environment.”  Rita hopes Kanayago will give her better insight into Kanetic Reusable Batteries.

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-two):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-two):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

I made an open bin with plywood to throw in food scraps, dog poop and occasionally leaves.  Every so often I throw soil on top.  Over the years when I turned the mixture over with a shovel I found it full of earthworms and that the mixture had turned into soil.

https://www.intechopen.com/books/sustainability-of-agroecosystems/activity-and-variety-of-soil-microorganisms-depending-on-the-diversity-of-the-soil-tillage-systemhttp://www.fao.org/3/a0100e/a0100e05.htmhttps://www.gardenmyths.com/what-is-humus/https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140196313002176

https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/desert-microbes

http://mgeldorado.ucanr.edu/files/170168.pdf

The classroom has a new student, the girl who lit the candle without a match or lighter.  The one who was arguing in the woods with Kanayago.  She’s sitting to the right of Marlo who looks much better.  Meanwhile Kanayago is sitting at the desk on the other side of Marlo.  It’s interesting that all the elementals are sitting beside each other.  On Kanayago’s desk she notices a small cardboard box.  She looks for any reaction in Kanayago’s face that she knew it was her as the rat and then the chipmunk but the girl shows no curiosity.

“Can you tell us your name?” Rita says to the new girl.

“Ember,” the girl replies in a tired voice.

“Today’s lecture is on microorganisms,” Rita begins.  She clicks on the projector where the screen is partitioned into five sections.  Each section has a picture and a heading for the images of bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, and algae.  “Bacteria and fungi are the main microorganisms that ingest the dead material.

“All these microorganisms,” Rita continues, “break down dead organisms into CO2 and minerals.  I’m condensing this so you’ll need to read about how complex this is.  What remains is called humus.   Humus is carbon based and can hold up to ninety percent of its weight in water.  Because it’s negatively charged it attracts ammonium and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and others.

“In deserts the main microorganism are cyanobacteria.   Cyanobacteria can desiccate so that it only contains 1-2% water.  It will remain inactive until there is more rain.  It is extremely important to get soil testing done before fertilizing.  Phosphate, Potassium, and Nitrogen have to be added carefully so that an excess of salt isn’t created which will damage microorganisms.  Next week’s lecture is on carbon engineering.”

Rita holds her breath as Kanayago walks up to her holding the box.

“I know we’re done talking about waste matter but I had a weird experience this weekend,” Kanayago tells her as she sets the box down on Rita’s lectern.   “I captured a strange looking rat.  I went to get something to keep it in.  When I came back the rat was gone and I thought I saw a chipmunk running away.  I guess the rat was so scared it defecated enough to escape.  I was just wondering if you could analyze the droppings.  Maybe I thought I saw a rat but it was actually a chipmunk.  Both looked–.”  Rita holds her breath as Kanayago searches for the right words.  “Familiar.”

Rita can’t stop herself from gulping.  “I’ll get it analyzed for you and let you know.”  She picks up the box very carefully.  The contents are a part of her.

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-one):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-one):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Each country if not city, town, village has sacred places.  I’ve been reading Bob McDonald’s An Earthling’s Guide To Outer Space.  McDonald hosts CBC’s Quirks & Quarks.  In the book he explains that astronauts and cosmonauts really miss feeling the wind and nature’s surroundings.  Next time you walk through the woods reflect on how important that presence is.

https://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-drinks/oat-milk-nutrition-dairy-free-milk

https://www.quakeroats.com/cooking-and-recipes/how-to-prepare-oats#

https://www.livescience.com/22427-stonehenge-facts.html

https://sacredland.org/sacred-groves-of-ghana-ghana/

https://www.google.com/search?q=silfra&oq=Silfra&aqs=chrome.0.0l8.1490j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Leaving a part of herself inside the factory to become a chipmunk has drained Rita.  She barely made it home because she was shaking so bad.  Not just from the loss of body mass but from the terror of almost being caged indefinitely.  In her apartment she engorges oatmeal mixed with oat milk and prunes.  Lumbering towards her bed she is drawn towards the weeping willow.  She touches one of the long leaves before plunking onto her bed.

She feels tremendous pressure, as if the Earth is pressing down on her shoulders, and so hot!  Sweat pours down her body as she stares at a titan sized man bound inside a cavern the colour of iron.  His metallic gray eyes stare upwards and his mouth is open.  With each breath he exhales heavy metals spew out reminding her of videos of volcanic eruptions.  His muscular arms are stretched out… his hands are jagged junks of metal.  She sees lower that his feet are also made of misshaped metal.  He’s straddling the cavern.  His right hand punches higher up the cavern wall sending iron ore flying below where a molten fire burns.  She realizes Kaneki is trying to reach the surface!

Now she’s on the surface.  What she sees shouldn’t make sense but it does.  Ailbe Rose is standing in the centre of Stonehenge with her arms and hands pointed towards the ground.  A hole forms just in front of her toes.  Oya is standing within a groove of Nyame Dua trees near the Asuo Akosua stream with arms raised above her head.   Rán is kneeling at the shore of the Sifra Rift with her hands in the cool water.  But Rae is not to be found and without her Kaneki cannot be stopped.

Rita wakes shivering.  Her clothes, sheets and pillow are soaked. 

 

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

The idea of neutering or spaying is to stop overpopulation.  The ethical matter is the lack of choice.  The worldwide concern is the possibility of wiping out an entire breed.  Reversible birth control would be a better idea but I cannot find any information on this.

https://www.ctriver.org/they-can-swim-really/

https://www.grandriver.ca/en/our-watershed/Water-quality-data.aspx

Rita scurries towards a drain hole in the floor.  She presses her feet into the floor to slow down when she feels the brush of the broom push her against the base of a metal cage that protects a motor.  She smells metal burning and turns to look up.  Two strands of the cage’s metal welded wire bend around her.  She watches in terror as Kanayago squats down and stares at her.

“You’re a strange looking rodent,” Kanayago says to her.   “And familiar somehow.”  Kanayago stands up.  “There aren’t more of you are there?  I’ll need to find something to keep you for now,” she hears Kanayago say as she walks away.

Rita’s heart is pounding so hard she can feel it push her ribs out.  It’s not good to change without any dirt around but she doesn’t have a choice.  Her body is riddled with spasms now.  She shrinks as her excess body turns to wet earth.  Her tiny ears listen intently for Kanayago or any other movement as she hops towards the grate where Marlo is waiting.  As her long fluffy tail stands straight up she runs at full speed towards the grate.

“How did a chipmunk get in here?” she hears Kanayago say from far behind.

She falls into water.  Scrambling she reaches the surface and dog paddles at the concrete ledge where Marlo is waiting.  With blurry eyes she sees him staring down at her in confusion.  He scoops her up and holds her up to his face.  Shivering she sakes water from her fur and nods her head numerous times.

“I hope this is you Rita,” he says with a cough.  In an instant she riding atop viscous water that flows against the river’s current.

Back on the shore Marlo changes into his human form and starts coughing.  “That factory is contaminating the river,” he says through gasps.  “I’ll wait until your human again then I need to rest,” he tells her as he sets her onto the bank.

 

In her car she rests her head back.  That short time having the welded wire that looked more like thick bars to her changed form has her thinking of all the animals locked in cages.  She tries to keep her composure but knowing now how terrifying it is she can’t keep the sobs in.  Humans caging themselves, and caging other life.  She clenches her fist as she brushes the tears away with her forearm.  And they neuter other humans and animals.  Who is keeping track off all this she wonders?  Neutering should be reversible.  An entire species of dogs or cats could be wiped out.

“Be positive, Rita,” she tells herself.   She’ll have to investigate the ethics of neutering and if modern operations are reversible.  Right now she’s worried about Marlo.  He didn’t look good as he headed for his car.  How polluted is the river water she wonders.