This commandment that the Savior gave to his disciples
is the key to true happiness. The Commandment to love our Neighbor as
our selves is to help us fill the great basic need of all humanity.
This basic need is to love and be loved. This is also the basis for
happiness in this life and through eternity.
We were very happy when two of our daughters, Mary and
Claudia came down on Tuesday to spend the rest of the week with us. We
enjoyed the days they were here finding every excuse to go around
together doing errands and some of the things that needed to be done.
I realize that the fun and good feelings that we had were caused by
our being together and enjoying each other's company.
We look forward to the visits of our family
anticipating their coming for Christmas and especially for our family
reunion. I thank our Heavenly Father for placing within us the desire
to be with our families. I have often wondered at the wisdom of the
great creator of heaven and earth in placing within the creatures of
the world the mothering instinct and the inherent desire to gather
together for companionship and protection.
I remember Yagui and I were going to the Cebadilla to
gather the horses and mules and get them ready for a pack trip that we
were planning with family and friends. We had traveled from Dublan up
into the Sierra Madre Mountains. We had gone through Garcia and over
the Continental Divide. We descended down the west side of the divide
into the Gavilan Basin. As we came down the mountain and quietly
entered a beautiful little meadow with a clear mountain stream
trickling through it, we slowly coasted into a big flock of Wild
Turkeys. They were all peacefully feeding slowly along the green banks
of the stream and extended all across the meadow. I stopped the van
and turned off the motor and sat in wonder, enjoying the beautiful
sight of those beautiful birds wandering peacefully around. They did
not pay any attention to the van or us. We sat there enjoying the
beautiful sight and even counted as near as we could the Turkeys that
were in sight from where we sat in the van. We stopped counting when
we got up to 80 seeing that we could not get an accurate account of
all of those moving Turkeys. They slowly moved around the van in back
and front wandering on down the stream and the meadow. They filled the
meadow and the hillside in front of us. We watched for over a half and
hour until the last of the big flock moved on down the meadow and
hillside leaving the road clear in front of us. As we talked about it
we decided that it must have been 15 or 20 mother Turkeys with their
grown chicks that had gathered together for protection and
companionship. They were so peaceful and content that they paid no
attention to us even though we had come right into the middle of the
flock. They didn't even bother to get out of the way and we stopped to
avoid hitting the ones that were on the road ahead of us.
I have seen many other big flocks of Turkeys in my
wanderings in the mountains but usually they were on the run fleeing
from the van or from us when we were horseback. I have often wondered
at this singular experience and I have thought that we saw the Turkeys
that day, as they are when they are not frightened or trying to
We went on over the north end of the Blues and down
into the Cebadilla. We lucked out and found a horse and a couple of
mules in the Cebadilla corral licking salt. We caught them and saddled
up two of them and packed our camp on one of our pack mules that was
in the corral with the others.
We traveled down the trail through the beautiful canyon
that runs down toward the Gavilan River. We soon climbed out as the
trail left the canyon and wound along the side hill down to the bench
above the cliffed-up river. We followed the rim until the trail
descended the steep cliff in a well-worn switchback trail into the
river. We crossed the river into the big beautiful meadows with big
Pine Trees along the river and dotting the big meadow.
We chose a good spot near the river and set up our camp
in the shade of several Pine trees that grew close together. We
unpacked the Pack-mule and tied her in the shade to await our return.
I set up my little three men J. C. Penny Tent and put my bed inside
and opened the widow flaps. I was careful as usual to zip up the
screen on the door of the tent so nothing could get in.
We went down river looking for tracks of the animals
that we were looking for. We soon found the tracks where they had come
down to water not too long before since it was still wet where they
had come out of the river. We located the animals and found that they
were all there that we would need for the trip. We decided to come and
get them in the morning since it was late and we could take them back
up in the morning to get them shod and ready.
When we got back to our camp I was surprised to see my
tent completely covered with thousands of Daddy Long Legs Spiders. I
walked over to brush some of them off the tent. Many of them were
mashed in the process. Wow!!! what a smell. I had never smelled that
crushed spider smell before and I decided that I didn't want to crush
anymore of them. Yagui and I both stood looking at the singular sight
of thousands of those spiders all over the tent and surrounding it.
Where had they come from and why had they gotten on the blue tent? I
noticed that they were all close together but they were each in its
own space and none were on top of another. The body of the spiders was
a little brown soft body about 1/8 of an inch in diameter. The legs
were hair-like extensions that curved up and out to the ground leaving
the little brown body suspended where it swung and bounced up and down
as the spider walked. Each spider's legs formed a circle of about 11/2
inches in diameter with the little brown body swaying in the middle of
the lacey circle. They all formed a lacey net all over the tent with
little brown dots evenly spaced through it. Their legs easily held
onto the smooth fabric of the tent. Again I wondered what had brought
them all here together and why had they covered the tent so evenly/ I
could not see any space on the whole tent that was not occupied by the
spiders. The place where I had tried to brush them off was again
evenly filled with no space to spare. It seemed that these almost
invisible creatures were trying to be more visible against the blue
background of the fabric of the tent.
We left them alone and went back to have some supper
around the campfire. We could not discover any spiders anyplace but
around the tent. We knew that they were harmless so we decided to not
to disturb them and see if they would go away as it got dark. We had
belled our horse and hobbled him and turned him loose with the mules
to feed for the night. We could hear the tinkle of the bell in quiet
peaceful night. My thoughts always turned home to my wife and family
at this time of evening around the campfire. I thought of what they
might have thought of if they had seen the thousands of spiders on and
around the tent. I wondered if they would believe me when I told them
of this experience.
I went to my tent and slowly unzipped the tent door. I
held it to one side while I quickly crawled in and zipped it up tight
again. I didn't feel any spiders crawling on me in the night so I
supposed that none had gotten in with me.
The next morning I looked out the screen door of the
little tent and discovered that there were no spiders on it. When I
went out and looked around I could only see a straggler or two left.
They had all disappeared during the night. Where had they gone? They
could not fly or run fast but walked slowly along on their long bouncy
legs. I supposed that they had finished their purpose of gathering
together in that vast get together. Even after all of the intervening
years I have not learned enough about those spiders to be able to
answer my questions about them. While I was watching General
Conference I wondered if those spiders had gathered for a similar
purpose so long ago. I feel blessed for having witnessed such a
singular experience. As far as I know that has never happened to
anyone before or since.
In the Lords creations I have been impressed with the
profusion of every creation. I am reminded that the Lord has said that
the earth is full and to spare. I certainly saw that there are plenty
of spiders that are hardly seen in their natural environment until
they get on a background that makes them very visible.
Many animals congregate and seem to enjoy being
together as the large herds of Buffalo, Caribou and the large flocks
of geese and ducks. I have seen flocks of Geese that seem like a
blanket of white that covers most of the lake and the shore out on the
Ranch. Even in these big flocks each individual does not lose his
identity. The geese even mate for life and do not lose track of each
other no matter how large the flock. Even the spiders respected each
other's space and did not pile one on top of the other.
On a trip to Trout Creek Jenene, Claudia, Anthony and I
took Ken Storm and his Father on weeklong pack trip around the
country. One morning we were all fishing along the Trout Stream when
Ken came around and asked us what the little animals were that had a
long tail and a snout like a pig. Anthony heard what he said and
dropped his fishing pole and began to run around the bend in the Creek
shouting, CHOLUGOS!!! As he was dashing away I called to him telling
him to catch them by the tail so they could not bite him. Anthony
later described his experience. I ran a round the bend and saw what
seemed like hundreds of Cholugos big and little running toward a cliff
on the side of the creek canyon. There were many little ones squeaking
and following after their mother as fast as they could run. Most of
them escaped up the face of the cliff but some of them climbed up some
pine trees that were near the cliff. I climbed up after those little
ones that were climbing the pine tree. I caught two of them holding
them by their tails and carefully climbed down the tree holding them
at arms length.
I watched as Anthony came proudly back with two little
Cholugos hanging from his hand by their tails. He handed one to Jenene
and he and Jenene went fishing along the stream towards camp with a
fishing pole in one hand and a Cholugo in the other.
Anthony gave one little Cholugo to Claudia and he began
to tame the other one. We put them each in a pack box and covered them
with the lid leaving a crack for air. We saddled up and went riding
through the country just enjoying the country and showing Ken Storm
and his Father a lot of old terraces; many of these were well
preserved and beautifully constructed.
When we got back we discovered that Claudia's little
Cholugo had pushed aside the lid of the pack box and had escaped.
Anthony asked me to make a little harness for his Cholugo so he could
not get away. I made a little harness with a piece of leather. I cut
holes in it for put the front legs through bringing it around his body
with a leash tied on the top of his shoulders. We fed him some bread
and milk which he ate eagerly after Anthony dipped his nose in it.
Soon he was being cuddled by Claudia, Anthony and Ken Storm. By the
time we got him home he was pretty well domesticated and a loving
That night as we sat around the campfire we heard
Claudia's little Cholugo crying his squeaky little cry into the lonely
night. We took a flashlight and went in search of the lonely little
fellow but we could not find him. We looked on the ground and in the
trees but we could not see him. Again we heard his lonely cry and
again we looked without success. Finally after a few more times of
looking for that poor lost Cholugo he stopped crying and we gave up
the search. It made me sad to think of that poor little baby Cholugo
lost and far from the love of his mother and the rest of his group. I
thought that surely these animals group bond together in love and
companionship. Raising their young as one big family.
When we got home Anthony made his little pet a little
house and he lived in our yard wandering freely around the whole lot.
He supplemented the food Anthony gave him with grubs and insects that
he dug up around y8ard and garden. in a few months he had grown quite
a bit and was beginning to be quite a little pest.
One morning Jenene went out of the house and Cholugo
came to meet her with one of Karl's baby chicks in his mouth. Jenene
ordered him sternly to bring her the chick. When Jenene reached to
take it from him he jumped forward and scratched Jenene hand with his
long claws of his front paws. In anger Jenene grabbed him by the tail
and tossed him into the van and drove him down to the river and turned
him out of his happy home. We never saw him again.