In a southern Michigan soybean field, a farmer found a bent fence post, caked with mud. Which was no big deal, until he discovered it was actually part of a fifteen thousand year old pelvis of a Wooly Mammoth.
Wooly Mammoths, which are extinct, seem rather exotic for southern Michigan. Though the news accounts carried no suggestion that the farmer felt annoyed by this unexpected find, it had to be a pain in the butt to halt daily agricultural operations to bring in the archaeologists.
But Trail Baboon’s singsong poet laureate, Schuyler Tyler Wyler, became quite excited when I told him about this story, because he considers the Wooly Mammoth to be his totem animal.
Both STW and Wooly Mammoths are large, hairy, under-appreciated creatures whose unexpected appearance can sometimes lead to feelings of disappointment that the discoverer has not found a real elephant, or a serious poet.
STW’s latest work speaks of this in the hirsute behemoth’s lilting voice.
A farmer works for higher yields,
to see his family’s bread won.
But gets my carcass in his fields!
A crop! Alas, a dead one.
My bones are no commodity
to trade on the exchange,
An old organic oddity.
low-salt, no cage, free-range.
To dig me up is more than play.
I’m ingrained in the ground.
Though true, I’m trespassing today,
‘Twas not when I fell down.
So now they’ve dug up my remains,
and inventoried fully:
Acres of soybeans, tons of grains.
One ancient Mammoth, wooly.
But I’ll make no apology
to that exhausted farmer.
His harvest – part mythology,
part prehistoric charmer!
Ever find a surprise in the dirt?