Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nokomis' Rules of Karate (as practiced by goats)

Twenty years or ago I worked with a remarkable woman named Audrey Wyman, a.k.a. Nokomis (no-ko-MEES; Ojibwe for “grandmother”).

Audrey almost singlehandedly raised 14 children after her husband left home; went back to college to get her degree so her family wouldn’t have to accept welfare, then taught school on one of the northern Minnesota reservations for many years; and in her late 60’s was still canoeing solo in the Boundary Waters. What an inspiration!

Audrey was also into karate. One day told me something that’s stayed with me lo these many years. These are, she said, the three basic tenets of karate: don’t be where trouble is; if trouble comes, run; and if you can’t run, fight. Tonight Moople and Edmund demonstrated what I’ve come to call "Nokomis’ Rules of Karate" to a T.

Here is Mopple, intent on breeding Edmund, who was not at all amused by his friend’s antics (“Don’t be where trouble is”).

So, he tried to leave trouble behind (“If trouble comes, run”).

And, because Mopple is just so doggoned insistent, he finally said, “Enough of this!” (“If you can’t run, fight”).

Not that it impressed Mopple the tiniest bit.

1 comment:

  1. My cousin found this blog today because the wonderful woman you talk of is our very own unique "Noki". This warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes. One, because this so sounds like something my Grandmother would say and sadly two, because our beloved Little Grandma left us this past Thursday 12/06/12. She packed so much into her 88 years and touched so many people. It is so wonderful to hear a story from one of those people. Grandma Audrey will be sadly missed but the stories from her life will live on forever. Thank you so much for helping us keep her memory alive.