All things great and small – TTG


Researchers have known for a few years now that the dung beetle uses the Milky Way galaxy as a map to get itself across the landscape, as it pushes a precious ball of dinner poo toward a safe place to eat.

Now, scientists from Sweden’s Lund University have established that all the beetle needs is one good snapshot taken of the heavens in order to find its way. It doesn’t “rely on an innate prediction of the natural geographical relationship between celestial cues,” as the researchers wrote.

And the kicker? The beetles take this single heavenly picture while simultaneously dancing atop their poo ball. (Discovery News)


Wait! What? Since when do we speak of dung beetles on SST? Well I think we can all take a break from the heady problems of a world that seems to be barreling down the road to perdition. Let’s slow down and marvel at the navigational techniques of the humble dung beetle… creating a mental star chart while doing a dance.  

Closer to home, I’ve been enjoying the antics of the two Eastern box turtles that call my yard home. I’ve spotted them off and on for several years. Last Fall I caught them in flagrante delicto clearly engaging in something out of the Kama Sutra Testudo.


Over the last two weeks I’ve spotted them in the flower garden outside my front door almost every day. I figured they were feasting on worms brought to the surface by the two weeks of rain we’ve been having. I think the female has found a good spot to lay eggs in a heavily mulched area well protected by roses, Siberian iris and other flowers. Perhaps I’ll have baby box turtles wandering around my garden in the Fall. 


Ain’t God great. Ain’t nature grand.


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51 Responses to All things great and small – TTG

  1. johnf says:

    St George’s Mushrooms, which are very good to eat, are named because they usually first appear in the fields around St George’s Day – April 23rd (England’s national day, and the date of Shakespeare’s birth and death).
    Through the 70’s. 80’s and 90’s they rarely appeared before May, but, whether it was due to global warming or whatever, for some seven or eight years recently. they appeared for six or seven years bang on St George’s Day.
    This was, for us, a very mild winter. There have been some light spring frosts but nothing to hold things back. Did the mushrooms appear early? No! They just finally appeared about a week ago.
    I know of nothing in Nature more ornery – to use an American phrase – than mushrooms. They are completely unpredictable. All the weather has been perfect for a bumper crop – nothing appears, nowt. Conditions have been terrible, catastrophic even – there they are in abundance.
    No one controls Nature.

  2. says:

    Out of the thousand of great posts I’ve read on here, this is one of the best. Good enough to make me finally comment. Yes and Yes.

  3. Ghost ship says:

    I’m just waiting for the reports in Western media that the USG is accusing the Russians of weaponizing dung beetles that are shortly followed by reports from Lockheed Martin that they’ve developed a new cruise missile that only needs one look at the sky to hit its target 2,500 miles away. Shortly thereafter, CIA analysts are puzzled by large piles of poo that appear just inside the Russian border and the Borg accuse Russia of an “act of aggression”

  4. John Minnerath says:

    Yes, excellent.

  5. Lord Curzon says:

    Thank you – It is indeed and brings the delight of nature into perspective when compared to the inanity of humankind.

  6. Dubhaltach says:

    And they do all that at night when you think they’d be tired after rolling the sun across the sky from East to West
    Thanks for this TTG – some much needed perspective.

  7. Jack says:

    TTG, Sir
    James Heriott was a favorite for my kids when they loved me reading to them.
    The grandeur of God’s design in molecular biology and in astrophysics is so immense that all I can do is be amazed.
    Yet, we humans have not evolved our base instincts in millenia.

  8. Jonathan House says:

    At last the answer to Ogden Nash’s implicit question
    The Turtle
    by Ogden Nash
    The turtle lives ‘twixt plated decks
    Which practically conceal its sex.
    I think it clever of the turtle
    In such a fix to be so fertile

  9. Degringolade says:

    Excellent work. Again you demonstrate your bona fides as an SF type. Coupling astrophysics with turtle sex reminds me of the odd conversations in the team room that is the main thing that I miss about my active duty in the long ago.

  10. jonst says:

    More from nature:
    “An ant climbs a blade of grass, over and over, seemingly without purpose, seeking neither nourishment nor home. It persists in its futile climb, explains Daniel C. Dennett at the opening of his new book, “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon” (Viking), because its brain has been taken over by a parasite, a lancet fluke, which, over the course of evolution, has found this to be a particularly efficient way to get into the stomach of a grazing sheep or cow where it can flourish and reproduce. The ant is controlled by the worm, which, equally unconscious of purpose, maneuvers the ant into place”

  11. Chris Chuba says:

    Very impressive capability packaged inside of such a small creature, now if we can only figure out how to use that in weapon’s system ….

  12. Booby says:

    The orioles that nest on my eastern shore farm are very shy. I’m lucky if I see them once a summer. They normally nest in the large hardwoods & I have never found their nest. To my delight they have appeared twice this week in trees close to the house.

  13. SmoothieX12 says:

    Starting from Soviet Project 667-B (NATO–Delta I class) strategic missile submarines and the same goes to US, UK and French subs–the use of fully computerized celestial navigation systems in navigational complexes became a standard. Including radio-sextants. The use of simpler optronic sextants on subs goes even further back in time. Russians also had many missiles, including ballistic ones, which had full capability of mid-course correction by celestial bodies.

  14. doug says:

    We’ve been marveling at a hummingbird nest. It is in the middle of a bush two feet from our kitchen window. Spotted it by pure luck when seeing the bird fly in and land. She has been incubating for several weeks. No chicks that we’ve seen.
    Being able to observe the wonder of nature is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

  15. Laura says:

    Thank you for reminding us how glorious is our world and all of the creatures in it!

  16. Allen Thomson says:

    Nature is indeed grand and awesome, though sometimes frightening.
    BTW and speaking of birds, for the last couple of weeks there has been a major outbreak of cardinals here in San Antonio. Bright red birds are constantly zooming around. On the reptilian side, it also seems to be a bumper year for anoles — a couple of males had a major standoff(*) on the front porch yesterday.
    (*) Well, as much as little green lizards can have a major standoff.

  17. different clue says:

    Many many years ago I was in the woods and realized I was having a “persistent funny feeling”. I finally looked down and saw a non-moving box turtle right at my feet. Many years later in a different place I got the same “persistent funny feeling”. After a few seconds I remembered this as the same feeling I have many years previous when there was a box turtle at my feet. So I looked down to see a non-moving box turtle beside my right foot. I haven’t had that feeling since, nor seen a box turtle since.
    For an intersesting book about dung beetles . . .
    And images of mainly dung beetles.;_ylt=A0LEVzCEajdXnQwA9bRXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyMjdoMW11BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjE3MjJfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=Charles+Walters+Dung+Beetles&fr=sfp

  18. Nancy K says:

    There is a beautiful brown and white spotted toad in our backyard. My husband gets up very early and sees in hopping across our patio every morning around 5:30. He loves to hear the morning chorus of birds. I chance upon it in different places in our yard and it makes my heart feel happy, just as it does when I watch geese fly.

  19. Seamus says:

    Sorry guys, off topic but deadly bloody serious:
    Bill Clinton was frequent flier on pedophile’s private jet ‘Lolita Express’:

  20. jld says:

    Not sure I agree!

  21. AK says:

    Thank you posting this, and for once again affirming that SST has always been, in essence, a gathering of renaissance minds. As an unabashed addict of nature documentaries and television, I can just hear Sir David Attenborough narrating the saga of the noble dung beetle, giving him his due dignity and import.
    Whenever the mayhem of the world of man becomes too much, I am lucky enough to be able to disappear into the bosom of the Sierra Nevada or the Sonoran Desert, where our human banalities and vanities matter not a whit. In such places, the beetle and I are one and the same, dancing under the stars, grateful for the view. As I welcome my first-born into this world, it will be these kinds of wonders, both small and grand, that give me hope for his soul. Long live Mother Nature.

  22. Allen Thomson says:

    > So I looked down to see a non-moving box turtle beside my right foot. I haven’t had that feeling since, nor seen a box turtle since.
    Something like that happened to me a long time ago, when I was a lowly grad student holding a stadia pole at a site in the Upper Sonoran Desert. Getting a feeling that I should look down, there was a smallish (like 12-15 inches) Gila monster standing there wondering what I was doing. Not really a problem as I was wearing boots and it seemed to be of pacific nature, but I eased away as soon as practical. I, also, have not encountered a Gila monster since.

  23. different clue says:

    Allen Thomson,
    It makes me wonder if brains are biological “radio broadcaster-recievers” on top of everything else that we KNOW that brains are. Brains all over the world sending and recieving “brainio waves”, sometimes over long distances and sometimes from only a footstep away.
    I am glad and somewhat relieved to know the feeling works for others and can be set off by a gila monster ( or hopefully a rattlesnake if one is near a sneakily silent one). This feeling, if acknowledged and trusted and then worked with and developed, can become another sense.

  24. Jag Pop says:

    Awesome time of the year. Birds are returning north after the winter and the variety is outstanding at our feeders. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Towhee, Catbirds…and more.
    When the cherry tree ripens we count as many as 15 varieties in one day in one tree. Fifteen is our record from ’07. The weather was unfavorable this year – very early warm spell followed by hard freezes and two (small) snow storms – so we are not expecting many cherries at all, and thus few birds.
    Of interest is a solitary deer that looks to us to be very pregnant occasionally passing through. Normally we would shoo it out of our gardens right away, but we are cutting it some slack because it is pregnant. Plus, we are very close to closing on our house.

  25. sillybill says:

    We know that bees dance when sharing navigational info; do dung beetles dance alone, in pairs, or in bunches?
    One of my dogs is slightly obsessed with box turtles. She runs into them in the woods and brings them home, then gnaws on them. She’s starting to learn better but the year before last I took 11 of them away from her.

  26. Bobo says:

    Usually have my breakfast on the back deck on weekends listening to nature at play. Today my better half decided to put her new parakeet & cage out there with me. Well moments later the backyard came alive with birds a chirping and the parakeet screeching. I lost count after hearing six different chirps, with finches, blue jays and robins landing on the deck. I was flabbergasted that a $20 bird turned my lovely backyard into a pure apiary. Well I have a new partner for the weekend mornings.
    It is amazing that the beetle is such a celestial navigator, the northern right whale returns to a certain spot on the Florida coast to have its young, turtles also return in a same manner etc while I occasionally drag out my sextant to figure out where I’m at within twenty miles. We humans have barely scratched the Unknown.

  27. Allen Thomson,
    Your anoles reminded me of the many six banded racers I have running around my yard. Those racers were the first non-bug animals that moved into my yard after we moved into our house. They’re always amusing and the reason I never use insecticides, milky spore for the Japanese beetle grubs and bacillus thuringiensis for the bag worms in the blue spruces

  28. different clue,
    Your thoughts on brains as biological radio broadcaster-recievers reminds me of another interest of mine…remote viewing. The Army fiddled with it for several years. Out of curiosity, I learned some of the techniques involved and am convinced there’s something to it. I remote viewed successfully on a couple of tries. Have no idea how it works.

  29. explorer says:

    Someone once said, “Even when you are in the gutter, you can still see the stars.” A reminder of how all things in the universe may be connected in ways we have yet to understand.

  30. Dubhaltach says:

    TTG All,
    I did some googling and came up with this TED talk:
    “A dung beetle has a brain the size of a grain of rice, and yet shows a tremendous amount of intelligence when it comes to rolling its food source — animal excrement — home. How? It all comes down to a dance. (Filmed at TEDxWitsUniversity.)”
    It lasts seventeen minutes and I found it fascinating:

  31. Kyle Pearson says:

    Nash’s doggerel is a national treasure. Thanks, for this –

  32. Kyle Pearson says:

    Just a quick comment, and one i’m surprised nobody else here has taken up:
    * The Scarab (i.e. – “Dung Beetle”) is a classic and long-worshipped part of pre-Islamic, pre-Christian, pre-Greek, “Ancient” Egyptian iconography.
    * The Milky Way is a critical part of the mythology of the Isis / Osiris / Horus mythology
    * The “Tree of Life” in Ancient Egypt was as profound a symbol as it was among the Celts, the Norsevolk, the Zarathustrans, and the Hindoo – among other, equally distributed peoples.
    And here we have Science, confirming that a lowly Dung Beetle gathers up a bit of our human-made fertilizer, molds it into a sphere (which the ancients did, indeed, know was how our planet was formed), and then dances on its axis until it identifies the Milky Way (the celestial abode of Osiris, for the ancient Egyptians) so it can start shoving this little planet of shit out along an orbit that mimics the one celestial feature that Ancient Egyptians held to be the pathway to Life Everlasting – for which all those mummies were prepared –
    Personally, TTG, i find this bit of scientific dabbling to be profoundly enlightening. Hopefully, archaeologists and semioticians better than me will pick up on it.

  33. LeeG says:

    Funny construction, walking a dung ball and guided by stars. As a kid I cycled a lot in hot dry California. One time while fixing a flat on the side of a road with no shade a hot breeze picked up and a distinct pop sound happened next to where I was sitting. A poppy past flowering with skinny one inch tall seed pod had exploded.

  34. Lord Curzon says:

    There is something to what you say – take the remote pipper that opens your car’s doors and walk to a point where you are just out of range of the broadcast signal when pressing the button. Walk further out of range to a point you then think sensible, hold the pipper to your temple and press the button – the doors will unlock…

  35. divadab says:

    “It makes me wonder if brains are biological “radio broadcaster-recievers””
    You’re on the right track but the brain is only part of the mind’s apparatus – the entire body is electro-magnetic and has sense organs throughout (just recently a whole new system discovered in the body not known prior to Science) – “Mind” is a whole body thing of which the brain is part.
    Just as our living planet is a whole system sustained by solar energy – a living complexity that has transformed the planet’s chemistry (atmosphere, oceans, soils) to support itself and of which we are part. We disrespect and remain ignorant of our life-support systems at our own peril. Heavenly Father goes on with or without us killer monkeys fouling our own nest. My consolation is that the living planet will also continue without us despite our best efforts to kill it.

  36. Lord Curzon,
    I don’t know whether you’re bullshitting us or not, but you know I’m going to try that some day just for shits and grins. Kind of reminds me of that VW commercial where the kid in the Darth Vader costume seemingly remote starts the car.

  37. different clue says:

    Lord Curzon,
    I have never used such a remote pipper. If I were to try that experiment, which end of the pipper would I hold against my temple? (I presume I would point the other end directly at the car . . . )

  38. different clue says:

    Perhaps, among other things, the whole body is the antenna or set of nested antennas. And the brain is the tuner/amplifier/player ( if I am using terms correctly). And this is only metaphorical analogy designed to get us to even admit that such things are happening so we can admit to experiencing them and move on to using them before we get deep and total understanding.

  39. different clue says:

    Decades ago I once looked at some inky cap mushrooms in the process of melting into the black inky-stick melty mess that they melt into. And in that black sticky ink I saw some tiny shiny-metallic purple scarab beetles. As I remember back, I think they were perhaps 1/6th or 1/8th inch long. But perfectly obvious scarab beetles even at that tiny size.

  40. Booby says:

    In my pre-TV childhood my brother & I loved to listen to radio dramas at bed time. Tarzan was a favorite. We were required to be not only in bed, but asleep by 9:00 PM. To listen to Tarzan we’d turn the volume as low as possible & pull the covers over ourselves & the radio. In one of the opening scenes the narrator was describing the triple canopy jungle – the bird sounds & orchids blooming in the trees.
    In Vietnam in the spring of ’69 in the jungle at the northern end of the Ashau Valley, I awoke to the sounds of birds & monkeys. A few shaft of morning light filtered through the canopy and illuminated blooming orchids. It was on off the most beautiful sights of my life. Straight out of Tarzan.
    Paradise & Hell were the same place at different times.

  41. different clue and Lord Curzon,
    I have a feeling that if we keep banging that button on the remote held to our temples, we may end up with brain tumors before the car unlocks.

  42. different clue says:

    The Twisted Genius,
    I remember your having written about remote viewing before. I wonder if that is the least bit related to dowsing? In that some of the same forces are involved and can be perceived? Or is it two entirely unrelated things?

  43. different clue,
    I have no idea. I don’t think any of the self-proclaimed experts in the modern world do either. If anybody knows, it will be a wizened old Yukaghir shaman living in a reindeer skin tent deep in the Siberian taiga.

  44. alba etie says:

    I always enjoy your posts. This one is another I learn from . If you are keen to get another glimpse at the Shaman in Siberia I would recommend the film Derza Usala (I think that spelling is correct .) Its a foreign film made in the early 1970 ‘s about a Russian Surveyorin the 1900’s in Siberia that hires as a guide a Native Siberian , and they late become like family – it’s a really a very good tale.
    Here in Central Texas we are breaking some rainfall records this year due to La Nina. The Pedernales & Colorado watersheds are full as are all of the Highland lakes. The nesting water birds have returned Great Blue Heron & Ospreys. We are even seeing new arrivals Mexican Tree Ducks . The rain has blessed us.

  45. alba etie says:

    Its spelled Dersu Uzala – I just did the wiki – excellent film taking place ‘deep in the Siberian taiga” .

  46. alba etie,
    Glad you liked it. I’m glad to see so many members of this committee of correspondence willing to give the humble dung beetle its due. I concentrated my anthropological studies on circumpolar peoples and took a deep interest in role of the shaman among these people. I remember when that film came out. It’s definitely worth a relook. Thanks for the reminder.
    You have been getting some hellacious weather down there. I could do without the tornados and violent storms you’ve been getting. We’ve actually had some good sized hail in our area last week along will a frost warning for tonight. The two weeks of rain is fine with me. The summers here are too hot and dry for my liking.

  47. rjj says:

    another sector (more parochial? but maybe not) of the big picture

  48. alba etie says:

    Yes Texas Tornados must be taken seriously far we in Central Texas
    have had none of them this year

  49. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to TTG and All,
    You made Remote Viewing work, maybe just a little, but you got a result? WOW! That means you must be more than a little bit psychic…
    Over the years I have read about this, and know some things about it, not the Remote Viewing possibility, but aspects. Part of my family background is Quaker and I think it can be in the DNA. I just call it, lazily, MAGICK. That’s to make sure I stay away from getting into it. I am a little bit afraid of it.
    Coincidentally, I have just finished yet another biography of Aleister Crowley (I visit with him from time to time, but I don’t stay long ;)) and have been rereading one of his novels, “Drug Fiend.” The latter has some brilliant passages on what it would be like to be young, rich, with the girl of your dreams, but because of some post-war stress from WWI aerial combat, or some sort of depression, to suddenly run off with the society girl, and together, launch oneselves into a drug binge across Europe. The drug effects seem closely observed. I didn’t realize in the historical context, that both cocaine and heroin were easily available in the 1920’s. The roaring twenties were fuelled in Europe on cocaine and heroin! That is their secret! It was no big deal for a good long time with the Authorities.
    Crowley has a few funny and convincing descriptions, in a badly flawed novel, about how his hero and heroine felt (lots of diamond imagery) as they get high all day from cocaine, then go out to dinner at a very good Parisian restaurant, having tried to bring themselves down with heroin. It is evident that he knows whereof he writes. They eat large bowls of mussels. It doesn’t go well. They learn a lesson, as he tells you. I never did do drugs, by the way, beyond a little sensi with jug wine. But that he had the guts to write about this kind of thing in the 20’s and could get it published!
    I don’t know if you know this story, but after a magician’s war between Crowley and Mathers was winding down–it had taken place at Boleskine House on Loch Ness, where Mathers had aimed a preemptive strike — Crowley claimed a lot of beetles were trying to get through the perimeter of his psychically protected fortress. Afterwards, he collected some of them. I think they were petrified by then, or something. He sent them to the British Museum. He said noone in Lonndon could identify them. He said they still have them. Interesting if they were like blue scarabs. The antique ones are not cheap.
    Crowley could take a man down, too. There are witnesses on two continents who told the same story. Once in New York, Crowley gave a quick demo. He got in behind a gent walking up the street, got into step with him, assumed his posture, walked a few yards imitating the man, and suddenly dropped and squatted. The man fell down. They helped him up. The man kept looking around for what he had slipped on. I suppose that is an old SF trick, but I never heard of it.
    I was once in a psychic’s battle. I first had to realize I was in the battle. Then I had to realize that I was losing. Then I realized that I had better end it. Something happened. I made sure the issue was brought to a conclusion. I lost. It was about money. It wasn’t worth it. There is such a thing as psychic violence. After I dropped the case I got a letter. I –apparently we–were asked to be on “Judge Judy.” Surprise! I didn’t answer the letter.
    I have known several women who were psychic. I mean, with women it’s always somehow or the other psychic, isn’t it? In fact, two right now. I ran a rooming house at one point. Still got the house. A bit of a psychic and more than old friend in it now. She goes back to the 70’s. She tells me a couple of weeks back about this dream she had. I am in it. I am in what she thinks is a restaurant, a big white room, with a very large window, looking out over a water scene of some sort (this is important!). She says I am very happy. That is the way I look in the dream. Very happy. In a big white room? I decide to take this head on: I tell her, isn’t this some sort of Death Dream? I don’t like the sound of it at all. I am not usually so happy, to start with.
    She writes back that she is in it and her interpretation is that we could very well be going to eat a nice supper. And she asks. Have I been to any restaurant like that recently? This seems like a trick question. I definitely have not been in any place like that for years. Maybe one time with her back in the seventies. A fond memory? Or a memory with an edge to it? So she knows it is a Death Dream and is just being tactful? But simply has to check? Some months back I had told her I had put her in my will. (Which could give me some leverage later if things go reasonably well. I need to get in the attic.) But that is the subtext.
    Still, to look on the bright side. Maybe it’s like Harbor Town or Shem Creek? Happy Hour could be a reason, ’cause that is the only time. Happiness for me doesn’t have a lot to do with dinner. I eat standing up.
    So I tell her about my real dream having to do with a big glass window, a big room, and the sea. I am in a stone Tudor style mansion on a high bluff. This house, which is unfamiliar to me, is very solid, with many large and small glass windows and sliding glass doors which face on to a terrace which then overlooks by at least fifty feet, the ocean. I am standing there and there is some uncertainty as to who else might be with me in this large house. Whoever they are or were, I don’t know them. I notice the sea is up, but it is not exactly bad weather coming in, just the sea in the distance seems to look as I have never noticed it before. There are very high waves, well off shore, very dark waves which seem to be higher than the ones now coming in to the beach. It’s counter-intuitive. The ones well back out there seem to me to be a little bit TOO high. I start to pay attention to the size and movement of the waves, and study the horizon. I realize that it’s really bad out there. I hadn’t noticed this. I decide to walk down the beach to check on things. There is heavy surf coming up the beach, some waves almost reach the base of the bluff. I go down to the edge of the sea where breakers are rolling in, and suddenly realize this is a mistake, that there is one wave is larger than the others , just three or four waves back, it is coming in quickly and is going to roll in over my shoes if I am not careful. I turn and walk back and more wave than I thought comes in an envelops me to my knees. I have difficulty in the sand, stuggling, fighting to get to the steps. I glance back and the sea is terrifying. The wave goes sighing back and I climb the stairs. At the top, back on the terrace, I turn and watch the ocean some more. There is not much wind, just waves, and I am not breathing heavily or winded from the desperate climb up. I usually do surprisingly well on that, particular when in a swimming dream I have.
    From there, in the crepuscular light–there is a lot of that whatever crepusuclar may be, exactly, a dark, sunless, glowing, late afternoon — I study the almost black waves, and it seems to me that there is something like an impossibility way off the distance. The waves are getting even bigger a few miles out. I calculate that the height of the bluff I am on is going to be barely enough for safety, unless I am seeing this wrong. This is a quiet, solemn calculation made all by myself, in a cold sweat. Sure enough, presently, the waves are breaking on the terrace and I am trying to mop up behind the bowing glass dooors. I realize that I need to move into a room that is nearby, the library maybe(hmmmm,safer?), because the whole central area of the house will soon have surf breaking through it. The glass doors are going to go. Being a basically optimistic kind of guy I note that if the seas will subside a bit at sunset things should be OK, the windows are small where I have moved to, and I am not sure whose house this is anyway…By then the sea is all around the house and when the doors go it is flooding through. That’s OK, I can wait it out… Fortunately the question of where is my car doesn’t come up. (That one is a real nightmare.)
    So I tell my dear old friend all this. She is completely unfazed. She writes back and says it’s a big room and it seems to be a nice restaurant, and there are fishing nets, and crabpots and nautical stuff, and I am looking happy in the dream (her dream, of course) and it looks like a wonderful place. Surely I must have been to some place like that recently? (I think I see some of her dream theory here.) Have I been to Shem Creek recently? She interprets the dream as meaning that we need to go out together and find this restaurant.
    Then I wonder can it be that simple? It’s been a while, she has been mad at me for a long time (more than fifteen years) but maybe the will thing helped. It’s nice how women can take your mind off things, or maybe not notice your bad things, which helps, too; or both. So much for my dream analysis. Mine was better, actually. You might even argue that she’s more into her dreams and dream analysis than she is into mine. Is there such a thing as being dream selfish?
    So while these actually few conversations and letters are going back and forth, one day I have my mail in the car. The Cossack starts talking about her, and would like to know if I am changing, or reverting. Possibly she saw the letter, but then again, possibly not. It seemed to me like a pile of letters etc. Talk about psychic! (As to “root medicine” Ukraine/Russia is remarkably similar to the Carolina low country.) That actually hurt. (That old Vaughan Monroe song came back to me later for a few moments and I actually felt it, not bad for an old bach dude that I am.) Noone is going anywhere, I say, please bear with me. “And besides, it’s too late.”
    There is one more psychic woman who I was crazy about. This one moved into my rooming house after a divorce. She had a lot of friends and would make bread which would fill the house with wonderful aromas. She was in a graduate course in music. She would sing: “Man, man is for the woman made. And the woman is made for man.” Which is something they do for practice. Then she would laugh.
    She had a very good friend. (They had an affair.)One day I got the house phone bill. There was a long stack of very small charges, like a dollar a call. It added up. This was for calls to Information. I don’t even know if phone companies have Information any more. She was continually phoning her friend but had never bothered to learn her friend’s telephone number. So she would get the number and then dial. The funny thing about it, her friend told me later, was that she always telephoned her exactly when she had just walked into the house.
    The Cossack does the same thing. I keep strange hours. She phones at one in the morning. “Did I wake you up?” I say, “No.” And pretend that I don’t know that she knew. She’s just being polite. In past I have pointed that out. Little laugh. It has to be white witchcraft. There is a killer dog in her neighborhood…Still go-ing. She has an unusual facility at black-jack, she tells me. I intend to find out about this at Atlantic City one of these days.

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