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Real Turkey

That impressive breast in domestic toms has been engineered for flavor and size so extensively they can no longer breed the ladies.

Hydatid Disease

Hydatid disease is caused by larva of the dog tapeworm, Echinococcus granulosis, with man acting as an accidental intermediate host. If a person swallows the tapeworm eggs the critters hatch and migrate out of the stomach looking for a place to continue growing. Here, many organisms have made this person's liver their home. The worm has settled inside this person's lungs similar to Ahiga's infection in Chapter 12 of The Butterfly Boy. “I thought echinococcosis was only found in Australia and New Zealand.” “No. Reports of tapeworm sacs growing in people filtered into hospitals in the Central California Valley in the mid-1960s. By the late 1960s, the disease was reported in Utah and Dinétah.”

Bicycling Under The Redwoods

The trees marched up against the town in a solid brown and green mass trying to retake the open ground the townsfolk stole from it years ago. The forest felt like a medieval fortress, causing the people of Weott to feel nervous for its existence, waiting anxiously for the inevitable return of father forest. This morning those worries heightened because of the mystical, mythic fog. The wet cloud brooding over the unnatural clearing was yet another reminder to the people this place was not theirs. Still, the air was clean and fresh. This place is beautiful. What a fantastic place to start our trip, he thought. To his delight, the coffee shop across the way was open. There were cars in the park

El Rancho

Ellen turned right, out of the airport onto Route 66 toward downtown Gallup. “Look for the El Rancho Hotel. It’s up here on our right about a quarter mile ahead of us.” “Oh, here it is.” Ellen pulled into the parking lot and turned the car off. “It's my treat for dinner and drinks.” The sun was setting, the tentative twilight giving way to darkness. The front of the building radiated god-awful gaudiness from the eaves with very distinctive, pink neon light tubes. It was easy to spot. “Oh my goodness! It sure is pink!” Katie and Ellen walked toward the front door. “Here, let me.” Katie held open the heavy iron and wooden door and followed Ellen into the hotel. A spacious, two-story high lobby

Blessingway

“Rory, how are you?” “I’m all right, how’s your trip?” “It’s great. Remember I told you I was going to the gynecologist?” “Yeah, anything weird? What did they find?” “A baby, Rory. They found our baby.” “Oh.” There was a long pause. “I thought the test was negative.” “That test was wrong, honey. I’m pregnant.” “But, weren’t you on birth control, Katie?” “I am or was. It doesn’t always work. The doctor recommends an IUD for me after the baby.” “Wow, you’re going to do this, then? But, what about vet school?” “I’m sure it’s happened before. I’ll study my options when I get back.” She expected this, but still, it gnawed at her. His responses were too slow and irritating. “I have to go now. I ha

California Bayou

California’s bayou country lies at the confluence of the mighty San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers where they continue westward to the Pacific through a break in the coastal mountains. Like Louisiana this area is swampy lowland, and there are hundreds of miles of it here in California. Farmable land is found at the bottom of these drained Tule swamps, and like Holland, the land can be astonishingly productive once it is drained. Roads top the dikes, and Cal Trans operates an island ferry system, making bicycling a fun outdoor activity. "The first ferry is right there.” Rory pointed to a Cal Trans sign ‘Ryer Island Ferry’. Leaving the car, Rory and Katie removed the bikes from the rack, loaded

Coyote, Prince of Chaos

Coyote is the inimitable trickster common to legend in most Native American tribes. Both sacred and profane, Coyote gives birth to mischief and promise, he is a deceiver, but also a deliverer of good. Through his actions, change becomes possible; and change, through good and bad, brings newness and breaks conformity. And it happened that Coyote did not like the new name given to him by First Man: First Angry. So he tried to steal the name of a mountain and then The People named him He Who Moves Everything That Grows. For a while, he was content. Coyote started raising a fuss again; this time he wanted more duties. So First Man gave him control of wind, rain, and a part of childbirth, and for

Skinwalker, Yee naldlooshii

To become a skinwalker requires the most evil of deeds, the killing of a close family member. They literally become humans who have acquired immense supernatural power, including the ability to transform into animals and other people. These evil witches are typically seen in the form of a coyote or wolf – although they do have the ability to turn into any animal they choose. Skinwalkers walk freely among the tribe and secretly transform under the cover of night. The term yee naaldooshii literally translates to “with it, he goes on all fours." The yee naaldlooshi can be spotted and singled out from other people, because their eyes glow like an animal's, sometimes even more so, even in human f

26 Miles, 26 Buttons

“Cool, are you ready to go?” “Not yet. I need to change.” “Why change? We’re only thirty minutes away from Gallup.” “It’s twenty-six miles to Gallup from Window Rock.” “Whatever, Katie. Can’t you wait another half hour?” “No.” “Oh, why not?” “Because I’m a woman, and I don’t feel like driving to Gallup in all this grunge,” Katie said this matter-of-factly, as she toted her pack into the hogan. Rory understood he no longer had any say in this discussion. He also knew he was not allowed in the hogan. He walked to the car, unlocked it, and turned the key to make sure there would be no more delays in their trip. About fifteen minutes later, the door to the hogan opened. “Rory?” “Yes?”“My razor i

Road Trip

“Okay. Here comes mile one,” Rory said, as they passed the last Window Rock crossroad. Katie bent her arm and freed the first of two buttons on the left sleeve. Rory understood, speeding up to sixty miles per hour. A minute later he announced the second mile, then turned onto Highway 264. Katie reached and unclasped the second button on her left sleeve. Rory sped up to sixty again as fast as he could. Two more miles went by, and Katie opened her right-hand sleeve. Another mile and she reached up under the necklace to release the top button of her blouse at the collar. Rory pushed the accelerator to seventy. “You’d better slow down, Rory. I won’t know what to say to the officer if we get stop

Gallup!

“I now have time to explore some of my recesses. You can watch, but make sure you don’t run off the road.” She slid her fingers underneath the waistband of her white panties. “What are you doing?” “Warming up for you, honey.” She closed her eyes, and let her head fall back to the headrest. Rory drove headlong into Gallup. Katie kept her eyes closed, thinking of other things until the car stopped at the light. “Do you want to stop anywhere in town, Rory?” He shook his head. “You’re kidding, right? We should get to Ellen’s as soon as possible. Why don’t you start putting your clothes back on?” “I don’t need to.” “Why not?” “I asked Ellen if she and the Doctor could find somewhere else to be th

Wolf, Máiitsoh

The Navajo word for wolf, "mai-coh," also means witch, and a person could transform if he or she donned a wolf skin. So the Europeans were not the only ones with werewolf legends. However, the American tribes have an overwhelming tendency to look upon the wolf in a much more favorable light. The Navajo themselves have healing ceremonies which call upon Powers to restore peace and harmony to the ill, and the wolf is one such Power. Native American tribes recognized the wolf for its extreme devotion to its family, and many drew parallels between wolf pack members and the members of the tribe. Also, the wolf's superior and cooperative hunting skills made it the envy of many tribes. Finally, the

Yellow Foal

The foal was lying on his side, distressed. His head was flat on the ground, and the mouth was open. His breathing was rapid and shallow. Doc knelt next to its shoulders. Rory backed away to let Katie kneel next to Dr. Colgrave. Roger lifted the foal’s head above the straw, placing it on his knee. Using both hands, he pulled up the upper lip, showing Katie the pale, orangey gums. He moved to the foal’s closed eye, opening the lid with his fingers. Sure enough, the sclera of the eyeball was the same sickly orange. “Katie, can you get me a heart rate?” He took his stethoscope from around his neck and handed it to her. She placed the earpieces in her ears, located the beating heart, and counted

British woman joins fight against Isis

Exclusive: Kimberley Taylor, 27, who quit UK last year to join all-female military unit, says she is willing to give her life to end extremism A self-styled “revolutionary” from Blackburn is believed to have become the first British woman to travel to Syria to join the fight against Islamic State. Kimberley Taylor, 27, left the UK to join the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), the all-female affiliate army of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) of Syrian Kurdistan, last March. Known as Kimmie and also by the name Zilan Dilmar, she told the Guardian she had spent the past 11 months learning Kurdish and studying regional politics, weaponry and battlefield tactics at the YPJ’s dedicated military a

Guernica!

Painful memories of German bombing of Guernica stirs emotions in Katie.

The Long Walk

Hwéeldi: the Navajo's three hundred mile trek into hell

Hike To The Blue Waters

The hikers lined up at the edge of Hualapai Canyon and looked into a giant chasm that snaked downward. The iron red sandstone supporting the mesa they stood on was cut away at a steep angle beneath them, and the canyon narrowed as it went down. When he looked around him, Rory could see mile after mile of bare, sun bleached, rocky terrain. However, deep down the canyon, and out of site flowed the blue waters of the Havasupai. “Okay, let’s go.” Katie urged the group into motion. The gravel crunched under their boots as they zigzagged down switchbacks, and stepped around manure piles left by mules and horses. Initially, the decline was steep and swift, but the path leveled after two miles when

Supai, You're Almost There!

“Those are the Wii’igliva, or the Watchmen,” Ellen, their guide and cook continued. “They are the male and female protectors of Supai. According to their legends, the day those towers fall will mark the end of Havasu Canyon and the Havasupai people.” “That’s because it’ll kill everyone underneath when one of them falls,” Rory decided. They continued their way along the shaded, dusty road of red dirt underneath large, green-leafed cottonwood trees until they were in downtown Supai. The place looked to Rory like a third world town. Curious, skinny dogs came to greet the travelers, looking for treats from the newcomers. There was no mechanical noise. The occasional barking of mangy canines was

Havasu Falls

Once the two tents were put up and the gear was laid out the group backtracked to the beginning of the campground to visit Havasu Falls. René saw others heading towards the falls, wearing swimsuits. “Hey you guys, those other campers have swimsuits on. I’m going to change, what about you?” “Okay, yeah!” Rory jumped at the idea. He was hot and sticky from the hike. Ellen was okay with it, but Katie couldn’t decide. She’d brought a two-piece suit, but she was self-conscious of her growing belly. Briefly, she contemplated wearing a one-piece but realized she needed to pee more frequently, and peeing in a one piece meant stripping down entirely. “Look, up there.” Rory pointed ahead. “Two guys ar

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