Billy the Kid and his horse, Midnight ride through the barren landscape with lightning speed, whizzing past rocks and cactus until the flat land becomes slightly hilly, then up the steep cliffs of Tiger Canyon. Though the climb becomes treacherous as they ride up to Tiger Mountain Ridge, their speed is still uncanny as though he and Midnight are one mythical being, repelling UP the mountain. Possibly not having to deal with as strong a pull of gravity (or gravitas) as on earth, their relaxed minds and bodies seem to lift slightly above ground, then barely touching the ground, then another floating rise. A magnificent ride to the highest point of Tiger Mountain, and the cliffs looking down on Tiger Canyon. Will dismounts and frees Midnight of saddle and gear, who runs freely to find water and cactus pears to munch. William Bonney then rests; he leans against a rock which hides the entrance to his favorite cave and secret home. He doses off.
Wild species, half of which are threatened with extinction, sing out in their own unique languages creating abstract music that fills the lowlands from the Rancho de los Antepasados all the way to the Cliffs of Tiger Canyon, waking Will who then sits up relaxing in the shadow of a niche. He pulls out his spyglass to look far into the valley towards the sounds and the Ranchero de los Antepasados to where his lady, Pauli goes to practice her catch the wind dance. There among the rocks, a multispecies of wisecracker teachers and fellow students, alias spies and spirit guides, accompany her dance with all their unique sounds and wisecracks, creating a unique symphony. As the wisecrackers all settle in it sounds like an orchestra warming up.
Through his spyglass Will sees a glimmering silver sun, diffuse, amidst a shimmering turquoise sky. The dark silhouette of Pauli faces towards the sun, bows and begins the yoga salute to her planet Terra’s energy providing star, which is exactly like the yoga salute to the sun here on earth. Evidence, perhaps, ancient alien astronauts journeyed to Earth and Terra and shared yoga with both. Gusts of wind spiral through naturally sculpted red rock formations that form a semicircle, South to North creating a stage backdrop with the sun above. At Pauli’s back comprising a musical semicircle and completing a full circle with the rock backdrop there are, left to right, three raccoons, Jon, John and Bee lounging on a flat rock to the far-left. Bee wears a t-shirt that says extinction sucks. Continuing left to right and beneath them where the rock forms a ledge, two lizards, Zippy and his watchful mom, Lucile cool down in the rock’s shadow. A lone Mesquite tree provides additional shade and Tinkur, a beaming red fox ambers up, stretches out like a cat, then lays on its belly front paws stretched forward, relaxes and looks on in happy anticipation of the show. Tinkur is the Master teacher and he radiates a calm and attractive force felt by all. Delightfully a coyote pup, Chelsea, dances around like a pet canine puppy chasing her tail and makes a soft spot to lay in the shade of the Mesquite next to Tinkur. Two young red wolves, Ginz and Kikko approach cautiously from the barren expansive valley of rocks, sit upright, finishing the orchestra semicircle around Paulita. Their watchful mom, Burroughs remains back in the shadow of a tall sandstone monolith, as if keeping watch for spies and interlopers. She is an authority on intergalactic interference which she fears is at play in this plot to enslave Pauli. Kafka, a shape changer extraordinare, skeptics say master disguise artist, currently in the form of a tarantula spider, can barely be seen in a crack in the monolith. She possesses the ability to recognize extraterrestrials by their vibes and is kind of like a private time cop. A mentor of Burroughs, they often work in correspondence.
Hunter, a red tail falcon, makes an exaggerated swoop down for an entrance, circles, then lights at the highest point of the monolith. His bombastic nature, intelligent insight and abstract explanations of true reality make him a favorite among the students. Brown Ackroyd, a chubby, elderly tasmanian devil with cape and cane and bounce, dances up and plops down right on top of Zippy in the shade behind Tinkur and Chelsea. Zippy crawls out from underneath him unharmed, due to the brown devil’s soft, furry coat and Terra’s lower gravity. More musical wisecrackers, who have traveled all the way from the forest, and beyond arrive, like the comedic wisecrackers, the Lemurray Brother lemurs and Oli and Darvey, bandit mongooses with mischievous minds and telling smiles, Wily, wealthy and witty lion Yellowbeard, pirate of the dark jungle waters, takes a place in the back. He robs from the rich to give to the poor without firing a shot, out smarts with amusing philosophical skits while his crew sneaks up from behind and overtakes the enemy. Many are so taken by his positive aura and the comic relief from their emotional pain, they join the wisecrackers and the study in the path to liberation. Hounded by the corrupt government he exposed, and driven underground, that dangerous Blanco Badger surfaces for this important event. Alias Winter alias Snow, so called because of his white hair and also his, cool, crystalline deposing of his opponent when arguing to prove his point. He risks capture to be here, so comes cleverly disguised as an albino skunk because only a fellow wisecracker or maybe a savvy Indian would get close enough to recognize him.
The unique sounds created by each species continue as all fill in the semicircle to join the orchestra and unite to counter the interference of the cruel overlords. Implanting in their zombies negative emotions and uncontrollable desires, these ogres of mind control plot to usurp the life of Pauli for their own sinister purposes and to thrawt her marriage and destiny with Will, and hence their compassionate impression on civilization.
Peep and Repeep, two singing red birds, Cardinals, land on the Mesquite just before two high flying blue robins, Ali and Mickey, who boisterously squabble with the Cardinals over the best seats and finally settle down. This tickles every one, even Stella, a shy previously camouflaged armadillo, obscured beside a rock, adding laughter to all their individual vocalizations. Further back an anonymous rattle snake shakes its tail and suns. All find their places, while each species is playfully yakking in their own specific language, then when everyone settles in there is silence, and the first movement of the Catch the Wind symphony and dance begins.
A strong wind blows through the now ruby red rocks and gold sandstone monolith as a few clouds form and soften the hot turquoise sky to pale cobalt blue. But the sun still stands alone and untouched by the clouds. Pauli faces away from her orchestra and toward the Sun, her left arm raised with hand to her forehead as if shielding her eyes, safe from the fireball’s burning rays. In a move as smooth and slow as Tai Chi she begins slowly to turn backwards in a circle, sweeping her bent arms and hands at waist level, as if pushing away the wind, both arms moving with her body. Pauli raises her right arm bent at elbow, to eye level and focuses visually on her backhand. Her skirt catches the wind and rises and gradually begins to swirl. She whirls backwards turning East toward her audience which forms and finishes with the rock formation the aforementioned full circle around her. The anarchical orchestra gasps satirically in anticipation. She continues a smooth spin backwards, gaining speed until her blue denim skirt and white petticoat begin to swell and swirl in a perfect circle at waist level, revealing red long flannel underwear. There are cat calls from the orchestra creating a robust, exciting first movement of the symphony. This time as the music of many languages plays, a Western translation, the universal language of Rainbow Town, accompanies.
Jon and John are always putting Bee up to voicing their funny (or what they think is funny) comments, because Bee will do anything if she thinks it’s funny. They’re whispering and cutting up sounds like a backwards playing tape recorder. In raccoon Bee wails, “yeow! red hot legs” John, “You’re fly is open.”
Jon, “She doesn’t have a fly.”
Bee “Whoops! You’re back door is open!” all in raccoon.
Stella snorts shyly: “Got a rocket in her pocket about to take off.”
Chelsea, sounding a little like a trumpet, barks rapidly, excitedly in coyote, meaning “got a rocket in her pocket about to take IT off.” (She thinks she’s funny too!)
Paulita’s spin intensifies as she meditates on Mother Nature and the climate disasters that will befall the planet if the powers that be are allowed to continue with their inventions of self destruction. Auspicious winds surround her like a tornado, blow and suck and expand, exciting the orchestra’s music to a wild frenzy.
The red birds singing in their own melodic tweets and whistles (sounds like a flute) and the Blue Robins squawking like a clarinet, (translates “sometimes you have to stir it up” and “born to spin”) joined by baby and lady birds chirping (tweets) “It’s a wonderful world” as they fill the Mesquite tree like Christmas tree ornaments.
Sass and Jet, teenage blue robins, land in the tree playfully kick boxing. Jet gets a little rough and Sass sneaks a right kick dangerously close to Jet’s genitals.
There are more clarinet sounds.
Jet : “Watch it! I wouldn’t want to hurt a woman.” [With a right kick just short of her face.]
Sass: “Like you could.” [A left kick to the stomach.]
Jet : “History proves men superior.”
Sass: “Superior brutes.”
Jet : “It takes more than brute force to win at boxing. A quick mind operating a trained body.”
Sass: “Women have never been given the chance to compete with men. You’ll repeat anything you hear if it supports your views. You’re a pathological liar.”
Jet : “I try to tell the truth, but I lasp. Can’t control myself.” [Clarinet in E flat.]
Mickey: “Technique! Whenever you lie examine your motivation and work on understanding that.”
Ali: “Society paints men superior, and all to often, people, mostly men, start to believe it.”
Mickey: “Beware the con men tell you what you want to hear.”
Ali: “Yea, it’s an ego thing.”
[Pauli continues her spin and the spiraling wind continues to expand. This is assumed to be due to Paulita channeling Mother Nature by the wisecrackers, but skeptics say it’s a combination of Terra’s lower gravity and the positioning of the rock formations, with possibly other unknowns, creating a magic trick or illusion.]
Brown Akroyd whistles, engulfed in the spin, throws back his cape, two-steps toward Pauli, cane in hand, sings: “Gotta dance with that spinning fool sister.” sounds like a soulful saxophone. The Lemurray Brothers are holding him back.
Jung Lemurray: [Jokingly]
“Hold on she’s joined forces with Mother Nature now and you’re too old for a menage a trois.” [The lemur vocalizations are reminiscent of violins. Jung soft, lullabies. Reality gruff, frog-like, more like a fiddle.] Pauli is spinning so fast with Mother Nature it appears she’s leaving trails making the invisible wind visible well past the orchestra. The Lemurray Brothers exaggerate:
Reality Lemurray: [Facetiously]
“Yea old man, watch out, see that wind, you’ll be crushed by that ferocious bluster.” Brown falls and clutches the ground like he’s being blown away by the gust. His cape blows off. The Lemurray Brothers [fighting the wind] try to replace the cape and try to appease him, but he’s up dancing and long-legged hot stepping, uncontrollably.
Brown: “Please, please, please! Dance with me!”
This silliness goes on, until things settle down to a soft hum as Mother Nature subsidies and Pauli slows and stops spinning. The orchestra “oohs” and “oms” in middle C. Facing her audience with hands in prayer position Pauli bows at the waist and initiates a silent focus of compassionate cosmic consciousness.
Rising she turns toward the sun raising and opening her arms 60 degrees to usher in the next light show. Thin transparent clouds begin to discolor the once unencumbered Sun, now lowering in the West, as it turns to a crimson and gold fireball. The wisecrackers “awe”, Ginz and Kikko, the two young red wolves emit playful high-pitch howls, [translates “action”] which pierce through all the orchestra’s amazement sounds like a solo.
The second movement which is philosophical in nature begins as Pauli initiates a second spin backwards in her wide swirling skirt. In the mesquite tree the birds are sharing thoughts, singing solos back and forth like in an opera, Cardinal tweets and Blue Robin squawks resembling flutes and clarinets respectively, exaggerated facial and body expressions, facing out toward Pauli. The anonymous rattle snake has slithered up the tree and is hanging precariously and relaxed. His vocals are percussive.
Baby bird Alice:
“Zombies are strange,” [She covers her eyes with her wings and shakes her whole body] “but make me feel stranger.” [Her wings droop, frowning face.]
Baby bird Minnie:
“Sometimes everything’s funny,” [Laughs and flutters her wings.] “Sometimes nothing’s funny.” [Her wings droop, frowning face.]
Baby bird Snake Teaser:
“Sometimes I want to do everything,” [alto, he runs in place, wings moving like arms.] “Sometimes I want nothing.” [baritone, he slumps and sits on his behind, his wings droop, frowning face.]
“It invigorates me to expose corruption,” [baritone, his head perks up.] “but the power perps put you down and then no lasting change comes from the revelations.” [His head droops on the branch and he frowns.]
Chelsea: [alto sax, shrugs, facing Pauli, head and chin raised up toward the tree.]
“You LEARN you’re helpless.”
Anonymous: [baritone, lazily]
“Now I just want to lay in the sun till I’m warm, then swim to cool off, then lay in the sun, then swim…”
Lady bird Madelyn: [alto, rises slightly, in mid air like a hummingbird fluttering her wings]
“Your instinct to retreat is correct.Use the rest time to examine cause and effect.”
Tinkur: [French horn, baritone, soft and calm]
“Seek the advice of a wise one to find a new way to treat the social illness.”
Blue baby bird Adrian: [throws up her wings like arms in exasperation, alto]
“What if there is not time to retreat? I see the light, but then it’s dark and I don’t know how to move.” [Her wings turn upwards like she’s shrugging her shoulders, questioning face.]
Red lady bird Peacemaker: [alto, rises slightly fluttering her wings]
“Radiate the cosmic compassion within you; it will shield you from the hostility.”
Chelsea: [raises one wing inside facing out, like an orator, soprano]
“Then runaway, runaway. Don’t get caught and thrown in jail.” [lowers wing to perpendicular pointing out] “They won’t want to let you out.”
Baby bird Snake Teaser: [alto, pleading face, droopy body]
“But this will not defeat the malfeasant. The world you create is the world you’ll live in.”
Blue lady bird Madelyn: [rises, fluttering in place, alto]
“Stay on the path to liberation and you will receive total awakening then the correct steps to take to turn the hostile zombie will be second nature.”
Peep: [baritone, pointing up with his wing]
“When you are master of your psyche,”
Repeep: [baritone, shaking head side to side]
“not a slave to it.”
[Paulita spins on like a tornado. The wisecrackers feeling the pull of Pauli’s spin rise and stretch. They meander toward Tinkur, but all the while, focused on Pauli. They sit upright in thinking poses each standing and pacing and posturing like Greek philosophers as they speak, then sitting to listen abstractly to the others as they focus on Pauli spinning.]
Yellowbeard: [Purring and sliding trombone]
“Has compassionate consciousness always existed?”
Tinkur: [mellow French horn]
“Always, and always will. Within rocks, within you. Omnipresent. Focus on the compassion always present in your consciousness, and negativity cannot manifest itself within you.”
“Why are we here? Why is there something instead of nothing?”
Kafka: [Trumpet muted] “Is there something or is there only consciousness?”
Yellowbeard: “Like we’re living a virtual reality?”
Kafka: “Or time is a continuum and we are experiencing through our consciousness what has already happened?”
Ginz: “You think we might choose to virtually live amongst these zombies in order to analyze their degenerate personalities? That history cannot be changed? We can only learn from this experience?”
Blanco: [piano sounds like a Chopin nocturne]
“Pain feels real, but there’s no way to know if it’s virtual or physical. I’ve chosen to approach life as it can be changed, though at a price.”
“I try to expose corruption in government, then government uses their laws selectively to punish me.”
“In order to justify doing away with any resistance, established power makes exceptions of those who resist their authority and expose their authoritarian corruption and injustices.”
Oli: [xylophone, pounding, staccato] “One rule for oligarchs and their zombies and one rule for everyone else.”
“If experience is virtual or physical, if it’s successful or not, the correct action is to expose the posers and their hypocrisy. A zombie awakening would be sweet, but the mission requires we stay on the path to liberation no matter what the immediate outcome. To keep faith in correct behavior.”
Darvey: [piano like Thelonius Monk]
“Man, you said it. Don’t get turned around and start aiming for some prize or immediate gratification. Stay on the path and leave the outcome blowing in the spin.”
As he shakes his head in dismay and looks on, Pauli reaches incredible spin, then slows, stretches and reaches with her right leg then leaps, but you would swear the wind lifts her, as she seems to rest momentarily, leaning against the force of the wind, she’s horizontal, suspended. Time seems to stand still.
Thin transparent clouds darken the sky to smoky blue, obscuring the once unencumbered Sun, still lowering in the West. A hand full of wisecrackers take center stage in front of Pauli. Their heartfelt behavior is reminiscent of the freedom fighters of our Mexican revolution, their motivation, the right thing to do. Pancho Via never said it better.
“Her patriarch intends to trade her like a slave for entrance into a cabal of commercial barbarians and their army of rapacious, hungry, mesmerized zombies.”
“Slavery. To force her to marry and live among the zombies and separate her from her chosen way with the wisecrackers.”
“And he’s convinced it’s the right thing to do. Indoctrinated into a materialistic, male-dominated society. Superiority complex.”
“If this country is controlled by overlords, only zombies will eat. Eat us to extinction!”
“We will free Pauli to work with us and together save Terra and all sentient beings from annihilation.”
“And as the Poetess would say, save Terra and all her artistic beauty.”
Pauli rolls and falls lightly touching the ground, as like a cat mostly weighted on her legs, back arched, fingertips barely touching the ground, she tucks her head and somersaults to her feet, raises her arms open to the now moistened and stormy wind. They fall slowly to her side as this rainbow blend of cultural expressionism specific to each individual continues. Another raucous howl from Ginz:
“We’ll defeat them with compassion, correct action and our united will.”
[Ali and Mickey screech in blue robin squawks]
Ali: “Our path leads to freedom not glory.”
Stella: “We walk the line, the straight and narrow. And don’t get run over!”
Mickey: “Because when we meditate on the interdependence of all things, we deduce the full effect of our actions.”
Kikko: “What will turn out productive and what will turn out harmful,.”
The sly fox Tinker contributes a cosmic hum of empathic support, a middle C which resonates audibly and is felt by all. Paulita brings her arms and hands to prayer position (she’s praying for the elegant solution), and bows to the orchestra. Behind her the sky is turning dark and purple, the sun about to disappear. Pauli slowly and gracefully makes one complete turn, arms straight, out to her side, bending her knees and lowering her body then rising and facing her wisecracker orchestra, then dropping to one knee, and pounding the ground with her fist, shouting:
Pauli: “No arranged marriage to Dollar Bill. Dollar Bill the robber baron, to which my patriarch has promised me in marriage, but I am too intelligent to fall for the con man’s selfish, false promises and lies.”
Black rain clouds fill the sky, a flash of lightning then thunder, and the weather closes the symphony with rolling thunder and the cracking of lightning.
All the wise ones flee for shelter, vocalizing as they go. All wisecrackers and guardian spirits go back undercover, disguised as powerless animals, inferior species. Pauli jumps on Pegasus from the rear and flies to the shelter of the ranch house thinking all the way of what to tell her patriarch: “I will talk with him sincerely, convince him of the truth and the way to liberation and wisecracker’ brain power. I will marry Will, and with all the wisecrackers, together help to save the planet.”
The Dude or the Tiger