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No, my version of the snow dance didn’t bring the recent slight snows.
My version of the dance did call in, however, a very dedicated believer in the tale of the end of the world (see Book of Revelations, Apocalypse, Armageddon, the Rapture et al) and her dog, Skippy. Our paths converged on the back loop of the Two Harbors/Erkki Harju Ski Trail as I was grooming my way up a slight hill. The dog leapt out of the cedars at the snowmobile and my leg, barking and wagging his tail at the same time.
The woman, God bless her, was in the middle of the trail waving her arms and calling for Skippy, who apparently thought the snowmobile was some kind of God-like noisy being that had the spiritual power to make dogs to jump about in the snow, ruining the ski trails of Heaven just like they do on earth.
The woman had wandered down the trail, breaking through the snowpack on every step, oblivious to the world and the sign at the trailhead saying NO WALKING ON THE GROOMED SKI TRAIL--NO DOGS.
I came to a stop rather than run her over, immediately knowing that I would be stuck, would unhook the groomer and turn it around and then drag the trail back the other way until I could turn around again and get a run at the hill.
Somehow the wavelength of the dance I had done must have been picked up by a higher power, beamed to www.GodTV.com and shared with all the viewers. She told me that’s where she saw 40 people in Mozambique had been raised from the dead. Gold nuggets were falling from the sky in Idaho. The Rapture was nearing. I could go on line and see the miracles for myself.
I politely mentioned that dogs and hikers weren’t supposed to be on the trail. Her face frowned, the beatific light faded from her face and she said that the world was fast becoming a place where no one can live free of earthly strife and people get mad at you for having an unleashed dog. Someone on a trail in Duluth last summer had threatened to call the police about her unleashed dog and so she came up to Two Harbors and discovered the rec and ski trail.
I told her, politely, that I had no concerns about unleashed dogs (who was I to judge that one). My immediate concern was that she and her dog were tromping about on the freshly groomed ski trail.
I told her to walk her dog on the other trails in town that are plowed but she told me her dog didn’t understand other dogs and had mixups. I told her to find a quiet road in the country and take her dog for a walk but she said her dog chased cars so that wouldn’t work. I told her to put on her snowshoes and pack a trail in the woods but she didn’t have snowshoes.
I’m not quite sure how the stuff about Jesus started or that her husband died of cancer caused by some kind of sin. I simply wanted to continue grooming the trail.
When she told me about the Apocalypse, her eyes soft and distant--as if the end of the world was a warm fuzzy thing--I couldn’t help but thinking about this wild calypso record I found back when I was a kid. Whenever I hear the word Apocalypse, I think of that leggy calypso woman dancing on the album cover, bananas in her hair, a saxophone player and a guy playing a steel drum in the background. You could hear the music before you even put the record on the phonograph. I’ll know the end of the world is near if calypso music starts coming out of the clouds.
All I heard at the moment was her talking softly about Jesus, Skippy barking and the sound of my back and knees moaning as I swung the groomer around.
All I had planned to do was take a couple of hours off work and finish working on the ski trails.
“God bless you, ma’am, but I’ve really got to get going here,” I said apologetically, even though she was getting on my nerves. “Come back when the snow is gone. If you have skis, come and ski. Just leave Skippy in the car.”
You just never know what happens when you do the snow dance, that much I’ll say.
I know they don’t allow hikers and dogs on the ski trails in Heaven, either.