Onondaga Nation Communications
by Kent Lyons
The more things change the more they stay the same, an old adage that keeps the good old days alive and links the present to the past. Can you remember what you used to do as a kid, have you ever sat and really remembered what it was that made you feel alive, want to jar some memories loose, hang out with some kids for a while, I did, and this is what happened.
It wasn’t particularly warm, and the sun was not shining it was more of a chilly spring day and of course we ended up in the most favorite place for all young boys, walking up the creek. We started at the main road bridge and began the hunt for crayfish, the delight of all rez boys, there are probably only a few who have not joined at one time or another in this favorite pastime, as I recall it was usually on hot summer days, not like today, but I went anyway. As much as I did not want to I reluctantly gave up my instructions from the shoreline to properly educate the youngsters on the finer points of hunting and harvesting the little pinching brutes. As I showed them the most likely places for the critters to hide I showed them how to turn the rock just so, and to let the moving water clear the area so that you can see them, just as I was telling them this I was actually startled by a the first one I had harvested in about twenty years, as the adrenaline began to flow I was transformed back into that young boy who loved the hunt, and from then on the chase was on.
No longer did it matter that I had on my new sneakers, socks and all, it did not matter that it was cold and my pants were beginning to wet to above the knees, it was crawdaddy heaven and we were the avenging angels destined to rid this stream of every living crayfish leaving no stone unturned. As I looked up after a good stretch of stream I noticed I was alone and my company of heralded hunters , were now the ones onshore watching with amazement at my zeal for the quest for cray. As I petitioned the mutinous landlubbers not to abandon the hunt, it became apparent that the quest was lost, so I reluctantly stuck my colors cast anchor and vowed to fight another day. Onshore we viewed our quarry and with reserved spirit cast them back into the shallow depths from whence they came, assuring ourselves, that indeed we would meet again.
As we made our way back to the car we raced to see who was a rotten egg and as we passed the swamp, I could not resist the urge to stop as we passed another group of young lads engulfed in the glorious art of frog hunting knee deep in mud and surrounded by cattails, as my blood began to rise once again, I thought to myself.. this my friends, is what dreams are made of…but that is another story. My friends I beseech you never to forget your inner child, for there rests the key to eternal youth.