They are stuff of legend. Songs have been written and sung about them. Over the ages, countless books have been penned in order to understand, communicate, and control their erratic behavior, but, sadly, with little success. Both empirical and non-empirical evidence proves prolonged exposure to them will change your life forever.
Some choose never to see them even though they are hidden in plain sight. How do I know they actually exist? Last weekend, unexpectedly, I found myself nose to nose with Wabayackets. Yes, it is true. After only a few hours, I wondered if the survival from the encounter was even possible.
Wabayackets are indeed unique and wonderful though, sadly, they are only around for about a year to 18 months. About the time you get use to them, one morning they mysteriously morph into something else. There is no denying it. The influence they have on the lives they encounter can be immense, both physical and emotional. You’d theorize that with such a short lifespan they would’ve been extinct long ago. But that hypothesis would be incorrect.
There’s an endless supply of Wabayackets in the world, and they’ve been with us since Homo erectus walked the Earth some two million years ago. In archaeological digs, whenever skeletal remains of Homo erectus are found, clusters of Wabayackets are also nearby. Due to a recent find in Africa in 2013, the timeline of their first appearance has been pushed back to 2.8 million years ago. In a limestone cave, archaeologists found not only fossilized remains of 50 Homo naledi, but also five Wabayackets.
Their sleeping habits are quite erratic. They can easily go from being diurnal to nocturnal seemly at a whim. Such behavior has baffled many. There’s a good chance, as you read this story, regardless of the time of day or night, there’s more than one Wabayacket awakening in the neighborhood where you live.
Found in their natural form, Wabayackets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, weight, and color. To the untrained eye, sometimes it’s hard to differentiate young male from young female. Even though they do have some features in common, each Wabayacket is unique.
Unique are the movements and sounds they use to communicate and interact with the world they find themselves in. Wabayackets have a language all their own that only they can fully comprehend. Though many have tried in vain to communicate with them, complete understanding of their language is a task that has proven difficult if not impossible.
The feeding of Wabayackets has baffled and confounded people for decades. Whereas their nutriment requirements remain constant, their likes and dislikes in food choice seem to change almost daily. It’s well documented they will eat anything placed in front of them one day, and the very next, not want to eat anything at all. And one doesn’t soon forget the sound of wailing from an exasperated and hungry Wabayacket.
Here is the last, and first, word about Wabayackets. Taking credit for the origin of this story would be plagiarism. That credit goes to Little One (age 3), and Sweet Caroline (age 2), our granddaughters.
A cold and windy day last Saturday, I wanted to make sure they were dressed warmly before going outside to play. While sitting down with them, I held out a sweater and jacket to let them pick which one they would like to wear. “Do you want to wear a sweater or jacket? Want a sweater or want a jacket?”
That’s when they both answered clearly, “Wabayacket.”
With jackets donned and zipped, I pulled their hoods with fuzzy white trim and matching ears over their heads. The two girls walked hand and hand out to the playground, all the way talking in a language only they fully understand.
As I watched, I realized, they were in a world of their own. A world they will soon outgrow — the wonderful world of Wabayackets.
[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001. To read more of Rick’s stories, visit his blog: storiesbyrick.wordpress.com.]