Only Two Types of People in the World
It’s early, really early, early and cold. Fingers are stiff, a sock hat is pulled down past ears and an old paper towel is clutched ready to handle a nose that won’t stop running. Looking through fogged glasses at Trout Lake in Yellowstone National Park I feel like just another part of the landscape.
A few feet from shore, hundreds of Cut throat Trout huddle behind a fallen log. They turn with shark-like quickness, abrupt twists, and an occasional breakthrough of fin. Small signs posted indicate there is no fishing allowed on this side of the lake until after July 15. These are smart fish. They recuperate from spawning, and stay safe by sticking together while waiting in the murk.
Meanwhile, there’s a different story on the left bank. A duck sounding like a squeaky toy takes off. He blusters through the air with the grace of a UPS plane. Propeller wings going full throttle. Gaining altitude slowly, low flying he announces how much effort each wing flap takes. He’s out of here. Things to do, people to see, no time to lose. Every action proclaimed loudly. See me fly!
Back on the bank I’m thinking again.
It seems to me that all people fit into two categories. They are either Trout and Duck. It’s just that simple.
Years ago there were the Sheepeater Indians. Sheepeaters were definitely examples of Trout. They didn’t bother anybody, they never traveled out of Yellowstone, they made a living from bending horns into tools. They stayed put and were quiet about it.
Today we’ve got the Mammoth Hot Springs day tourists. They’re the folks who pose by an elk, snap a picture and then race to the next town. Been there, Done that. Now quick load the photos on Facebook and Twitter and Daily Flog. These people are Ducks. They’re the ones who send that lengthy Christmas card detailing every incident in their lives.
Back at Lamar Ranch, because the morning at Trout Lake has unfortunately passed, I’m sitting again. It’s quiet on the front porch. Five badgers rock -hobble by. A mother mule deer and her twins stop to pass the time, and a couple of Whistle Pigs stare from their holes.
Trout have the right idea about life. I don’t want to be a duck when I grow up. Too much honking, and not enough spawning.