Ask Dr. Druid .. day 25 .. Vulture Culture

Ask Dr. Druid . Day 25

Vulture Culture


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Vulture Culture

    The Ords (who had shortened their name from Ordure) were odd ducks. Well, they weren’t really ducks, but they were damned peculiar. They worked for Lord Ord who was the Cosmic Keeper of the Odd, the Angels Too Fat To Dance on the Point of A Pin. His emblem was, proudly, a turkey buzzard in pink, rampant on a magenta field — the colors of entrails as the Lesser Ords scoffed cheerfully. Vultures liked guts and gluck; rot was ripe to them. Suppuration was succulent. The more stinking the ooze, the more toothsome.

    Lord Ord had begun liking what the other Planet Designers liked. Babbling brooks. Roses, orchids, panthers, and emeralds. Smashing glorious snazzy gorgeous show-stoppers. But to have all the living things work, there was an engineering Unavoidable. Living things were lively, but in some span they ran down, wore out, fatigued. Their élan waned. Death was invented; despised, but required.

    Lord Ord became, reluctantly at first then ravenously, rapturously interested in the Behind-the-Scenes necessities that support the splendid on-stage Show. When he had invented the vulture, he had felt a deep marrow-tingling pride. There are many quirks in the K1 solid Earth dimension. There were surprises such as the glamorous peacock’s awful cry. Lord Ord’s ugly vulture of ghastly mien could soar so sweetly that all gaped, envied. It was sufficient recompense.

    When the gods wished to soar, they became vultures, effortless, cloudstalkers. Hot sun on the top of the bold broad feathers, the rise of the ebullient air under your wide wings. If you wanted to do enormous, you did elephant, hippo, rhino, whale. If you wanted to soar, you did vulture.

    Some gods were too fastidious, too tepid of imagination to pay the gustatory price. Lord Ord’s sense of humor escaped many. Putting the galaxy’s most fabulous soaring with the galaxy’s most repulsive and rancid cuisine was a mobius twist trick that the prissier gods couldn’t follow.

    Lady Onyx, his brilliant, deft partner, had also become intrigued by the design of the Odd. Her tour de force had been spiders. The challenge had been to devise a vertigo-less creature whose webs were art and worked as well.

    Lady Onyx remembered fondly the morning when she and Lord Ord woke and she watched him gaze happily around the bustling planet which was getting quite habitable by now. He glanced up at the corner of their large sunny room and he was silent. He watched the patient tiny predator on its remarkable silvery web, the first spider seen by any other god than its designer. He shook his head in delight and applauded, “Wonderful, my dear Lady Onyx.” He leapt up to peek more closely at this new ingenious tiny toy.

    Lord Ord and Lady Onyx had collaborated on the crocodile. Lord Ord had devised the massive musculature, the crushing jaws, whittled the interlocking teeth. Lady Onyx had devised the turreted hide.

    The Lesser Ords were devoted to their Patrons. Once you got a feel for the Onyx and Ord touch, you could always pick out their practical, clever solutions. There was pride in dealing with ordure, preventing the spread of pestilence.

    Much later after the planet’s bio-layer matured, Lord Ord and Lady Onyx were saddened to hear that their favorite, the majestic vultures, were no longer fed the felled biped. Strange religions had proliferated. The quarrelsome biped was the only creature which hid its dead in boxes. Few remembered that the path of the vulture was the only way to completely free the soul from its planet-bound bonds.



   Our American culture is hysterical about ‘prettiness.’ It glorifies young models who, tho vapid, are pretty and airbrushed. Norman Rockwell tended to go for the aww-puppy factor.

   We are obsessed with bathing and odorlessness. When I was a child, I lived in the country on a dairy farm. <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Holsteins mainly, the black & white modern-art-on-the-hoof cows. I must have been about 8 years old when I went to spend a Wednesday Halloween night with a little blonde, blue-eyed china doll town kid, Peggy.

    I was an only child. I was a useful child. I fed the calves. I’d get up at 4:30am every morning and walk across the fields with Dad to feed the calves while he did the milking. Cows have to be milked twice a day 365 days a year. Cows don’t take weekends or vacations. I loved being useful.

   Dad had studied agronomy at Cornell and beginning in the late '40s was a visionary and pioneer in promoting commercial organic farming. (How I think of him every single time I buy organic milk in the supermarket now.) He was clearly an earth shaman tho he never would have known those words. He had his science training, but he spoke with the earth, the beloved and rare and fragile soil, and the roots and the nematodes. I watched him do it. Which may have been why I was always so comfortable talking to trees, listening to trees. (No, they don’t speak English. they speak Tree. One translates. I was bilingual. You swallow or taste and smell the meaning as much as hear it.)

    I usually wore my knee-high rubber boots and my bluejeans. (I may have been the first female on the planet to wear bluejeans in public. Gods know it was considered scandalous. When we went to town once a week for marketing, earnest mothers scurried their little useless china-doll daughters across the street to avoid the pollution of the uncustomary. Change was dangerous. And they were right about that. I was about 12 years ahead of my time and look what them '60s wrought.)

   Suitably clad in a stupid and useless little cotton dress, I arrived for my first and last overnight visit to town on Halloween eve for trick or treat. You can’t do trick or treat in the country. Places are too farflung down red dirt roads.

   Mother, tho a brilliant sculptor, was lousy at costumes. I was swathed in an old sheet with eye holes cut out, the annual ghost costume. I recall nothing of the trick-or-treating, but with icepick horror I recall getting ready for bed. Mrs. Wilson said, “Come along girls, it’s time for your bath.” This being Wednesday. I looked at her matter-of-factly and said, “Oh no thanks, I take my bath on Saturday.” Both mother and child recoiled. True. They didn’t just start or flinch. They recoiled. They did a reflex full-body lurch a step back recoil of disgust and dismay. I knew at once I’d breached some invisible law of nice people. Not unlike when I learned that you didn’t tell people about talking to trees. I don’t recall if I took the bath or was allowed to rest filthily on the gloriously pristine whitest sheets the colored maid had ironed.

   I do shower at least once a week still. I suspect most of my friends obsessively bathe daily, stripping their largest precious organ of essential oils so they have to scratch their poor dry skin in the winter.

   Farm kids learn early that there is a lot more muck and gluck – mucho mud, mucho manure – involved in getting them their milk and vegetables than they could bear to imagine.

    It is very hard to get unaddicted to the pretty. So try this week to make a special effort to greet spiders and other not pretty clans with interest and applause. No cringing, no recoiling.



ordure .. the ten dollar word for dung; the amusement is in its formality;

elan .. verve, passion, spirit, enthusiasm; juice;

mobius .. a magic figure eight figure, interaction;  

mien .. face, bearing;

vapid .. devapor, as in flat stale wine;

obsess .. at root, besiege, from ob/against & sess/sit; also haunt;

colored maid .. in the horror still in 20th century USA, the Maryland town near where I grew up still in the early '50s had water fountains labelled Colored and White. Luckily I was born knowing this was sickening for soul, heart, and mind.



Ask Dr. Druid, 66 Days from Lead to Gold, Secrets of  Alchemy You Can Use, a druid shaman’s playbook .. Intro; Prologue; Day 1; Days 2 & 3; Day 4; Day 5; Day 6; Day 7; Day 8; Day 9; Day 10; Day 11; Day 12; Day 13; Day 14; day 15 Review 2; Day 16; Day 17; Day 18; Day 19; Day 20; Day 21; Day 22; Day 23; Day 24; Day 25; Day 26; Day 27; Day 28; Day 29;


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5 thoughts on “Ask Dr. Druid .. day 25 .. Vulture Culture

  1. I'm glad you now have Lord Ord and Lady Onyx to accompany you in these visits into The Nice America. I don't know how so much of our food got bland and how we became so hysterical about being odorless. It's what's under that 'pretty' surface that worries me some. As we see with the recent hypocrisies — compassionate bombing, for instance. The bombs expended in Iraq for five years could rebuild several New Orleans.
    I scanned the sky today for a vulture to thank and admire.

  2. Which day do you shower on now? I do think bathing daily or more is a very recent custom at least with European cultures.
    Do the trees talk back and in what language?
    I do think modern American culture does manifest a certain fear of nature at times. We drive armored vehicles, work in air-conditioned buildings, and spray everything. At the same time, I was just reading some accounts of cities in 18th century Britain with open sewers in the streets, horse dung everywhere, and irregular garbage disposal. Made me think of the very weird movie “Perfume”.

  3. Thanks for the visit iotas & cl. Folks want the electric eclectic to be straight out of Normie Rockwell, but it ain't.
    Compassionate bombing, yeah. Phew. I fear Mr. Cheney, the Thanatoptik One, the Death Dealer, is set on compassionately bombing Iran.
    Trees talk Tree in which I'm fluent. Along with Cow, especially the Holstein dialect.
    Now now cl, horse manure actually smells very sweet as does cow manure. Pig manure and people manure not so much. I lived in a barrio in Ponce Puerto Rico for months in '71-ish in Peace Corps training. They had open sewers but they weren't just idiot slobs. There were shallow ditches which crisscrossed under the houses on stilts and across the roads. There wasn't just rampant sewage everywhere. Not to say that it was ideal, but it was oddly less gruesome than you might imagine — and open to the air, it didn't smell as vile as you might imagine either.
    I hate assaulting your fine city sensibilities with all these hidden truths, cl, but we had no garbage disposal where I grew up. Local 'dumps' were established. People didn't just hurl garbage everywhere. I suspect the Middle Ages were much like Ponce and where I grew up.

  4. I see that the eclectic is more demanding than I facilely imagined at first. I see that you're sneakily stretching our boundaries of our eclectic. I suspect there's more to come. I can imagine what my mother would say if I said I just want to be thrown out for the vultures to gobble up when I slip this mortal coil.
    The bath story is a kick.

  5. I know, I know — how we all preen ourselves on our vastmindedness until we have to embrace slimemold or some other unpuppyish denizen of the planet which has a niche in the ecology we best explore rather than ignore.
    Being brought up on a farm saved me from the absurd narrowness of Ick that the 'city people' evinced. How we rolled our eyes at the prissiness of 'city people.'
    I've had my own gulp moments — for instance, frog legs just tasted froggy to me — not like the putative chicken. And they were slimier than chicken by far.

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