Bee In The Bonnet – Elders Know Which Way The Wind Blows

By B.H. Bates

“Aging!”… It’s as sure as the wind blows and the water flows. Every single moment of your life, every “tic” of the clock. Even as you read this, you got older and older. I don’t know about you, but I find that very depressing. Sooo, seeing how I’m a humourist and a native … let’s take a look at the lighter side of being a “Native Elder.”

EldersWhen they first coined the phrase “Been there, done that!” there had already been an old native there … Honest! I’m not kidding … they found arrowheads and everything. So just what makes an Elder, an Elder? Well let me think, all the elders I’ve known, have all “Known better!” This fact, was usually accompanied by a finger being shaken in my face. Another thing I’ve noticed is that all their stories begin the same way … “Remember when!” Again, accompanied by the shaking of the finger. Hmm, what else sets an Elder apart? Apart from the usual signs, such as snow on the roof, a flock of crows feet and of course the inevitable shrinkage. Yep, some Elders I know have shrank by as much as fifty percent. Even the “finger” gets smaller and bonier, with each passing moon!

So what have we got so far … a person that can remember back to the days when they didn’t know any better … a person with white hair and a face that looks like an aerial view of a cowpie … Oh, yeah, all this while they shake the “Bony Finger” at the world! Does that sound like anyone you know?

Now, before you go and get a “Bee in your Bonnet” … at me for poking a little fun at the Elders. I would like you to know, I’ve got nothing but total undying respect for those who’ve earned the title “Elder!” That said, let’s get back to roasting the old farts! “Wisdom, Wise, Wily, Foxy, Clever, All knowing!” These are only a few words attributed to the “youthfully challenged.” So, if you’re (ELDER) is so smart, why may I ask were your good old days so tough? I’m sure we’ve all had an older person say … “I remember when I was your age, I didn’t have this or that and I had to do it in four foot snow drift, during one of the hottest summers in history. Bla, Bla, Bla.” Then in the next breath, they look skyward, smile knowingly and say … “Tickety boo, Cats pajamas, those were the days wipper snapper!” (or something like that, they talked funny back in the olden days). So tell us O’wise ones, inform the mass’, let all be known. Pray tell us the answer to the age old question … “What the hell is a cat doing with pajamas anyways?”

I would like to end with a wise old Injun proverb and a poem. First about the poem, it’s about a young man who had access to wisdom. But sadly he didn’t realize his good fortune, until he had already spent his youth.