It’s true, we’re an animal friendly village.
We tend to get along reasonably well with the neighbor dogs running loose, with the coyotes that encourage the neighbors to bring their dogs in nights, with the snakes, spiders, roadrunners, lamas, even the occasional bobcat or bear.
True also, we occasionally kill one of the above when it makes enough of a nuisance of itself. But there’s not spite, no satisfaction in doing it.
But all that’s not to say we’re a ‘friendly’ community in other ways. We’re not. The old land-grant families hate the developers, the real estate interests, the residue from the times when this area was peppered with hippie communes, and newcomers. Our Catholics don’t care for the Presbyterians, the only other church in town. And the Presbyterians driving around in their Volvos and BMWs with NO WAR IN IRAQ, or SAVE THE WHALES bumper stickers would like the place a lot better if opinions were less robust concerning the gentle matters dear to them.
They tend to suffer such indignities as having their front doors egged when they post anything suggesting the current war’s not what they had in mind for the nation. My next door neighbor had a definite look of hurt when she removed hers. But she has a name for those who do such things. “Anglo-hating a**h*les!” is a moniker I’ve heard her use on occasion.
This sign's her idea of disaster mitigation. Owning something green around here during times of drought can be an invitation to all manner of personal misfortune.
In earlier times they weren’t so friendly to animals, but they got along better with one another because they were all alike. Same ethnic background, same religion, same generation after generation of first cousins married one another.
Unfortunately, the Apaches kept killing down their numbers and forcing them to abandon the place for a few decades.
Up the hill from here about 3-4 miles is where the earliest residents lived. A place called Sandia Man cave. Those folks lived here about 10-12K years ago, and were a lot less animal friendly. There’s cause to believe they might have killed off the last mastodon in New Mexico, even. They lived there at a time called the Folsum/Midland era… A time when the mega fauna were coming into short supply because of the Clovis era ancestors of these guys, who had a fierce appetite for saber-tooth tiger and elephant meat.
The only mastodon bones ever found in a Folsum/Midland site were in the Sandia Man cave. They got the last ‘un, and they did it in a fairly patriotic manner. The orchards and vineyards here do a lot better without a lot of mega fauna wandering around forever knocking down adobe houses and fences.
Sometime I’ll show you some pictures of the Sandia Man cave, some of his tools I’ve found around, and maybe tell you some more about him.