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Brent Sigmeth
Brent Sigmeth is a writer living in Cannon Falls, MN Brent Sigmeth

Pure Hash + Featured Writer
Life Sans Spirit Animal

January-February, 2008

I'm sad this morning. Well, sad and kinda frustrated to be honest. I feel lost, disconnected, gone astray. Why, you ask? Well, a few days ago, in a brief moment of carelessness, I accidentally backed my 1982 Firebird over my own spirit animal after a restroom break at the Dick Bong Memorial Wayside east of Superior, Wisconsin. CPR was performed to no avail—he was DOA at the vet. I’ll spare you the details. Regardless of that, I’m currently quite concerned about the implications of this idiotic mistake. Who on God’s great earth has ever known life without a spirit animal?

He was a cute little dwarf moose named Kyle with a full rack about the size of a common leaf rake. Life had not prepared me for a shocker such as this; who among us ever prepares for the loss of their spirit animal? This event has me literally frozen with spiritual uncertainty and a vivid sense of self-ruin. Throughout all the written wisdom that I have perused about spirit animals, I have yet to find guidance for what the heck a guy’s supposed to do after he accidentally runs down and kills his own spirit animal. The loss of Kyle has changed me.

One is reminded of the funny witticism “My Karma ran over your Dogma,” but if this happened to you, you wouldn’t be laughing, no sir. This isn’t just backing over your daughter’s Barbie Corvette or your son’s remote control monster truck in the driveway, this was my freakin’ spirit animal and I’m starting to lose it here. Cripes, you only get one spirit animal, after all.

At this point, you must think I’ve gone loony (many may have thought so before this), but honestly, up until this moment in my life I could have cared less if I even had a spirit animal, and then I run the darn thing over with my Firebird (which I’m now selling, $800 or best offer). I’m stuck here all alone now; there are no online support groups for people who have lost their spirit animals. There are no Native American elders with a solution, and there are no prayers for one who’s sentenced to spend the rest of his life without a spirit animal—even the Good Book doesn’t address this cataclysmic blow. Basically, I’m screwed, right?

Anyway, I’ve accepted that I will never get Kyle back, so I’m going to have him made into a radio alarm clock/lamp for my nightstand, that way I can say nice things before I go to sleep like, “He still sheds light to guide me through the dark times in life” or “like a beacon, he still protects me from the rocky shores bordering the sea of life.” And if my wife gets annoyed by this, I’ll probably just let her have it, “Yeah, well at least you still have Karen, your spirit animal albino cougar!!!”

I’ve had friends console me, assuring me that their spirit animals will contribute some extra duty to fill my loss—but, frankly I just don’t relate to mallards, ocelots, ostriches or fox squirrels the same way that I did to Kyle; he was special, a one of a kind, a dwarf moose with a futuristic yet conservative intellect. He heralded philosophies that harkened back to Theodore Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party. Even though he was a dwarf, he still knew how to stand up to those who preyed—with a buck or two in mind—upon the resources of our public lands—which he called his home, never paying property taxes.

Today, I just keep replaying the calamity over and over in my head: his little moose-trumpeting of pain as I backed over him (sounded something like this: Hoooonnnkkkkuhhhhh), the final breath, the struggle to breathe life back into him, and then that teenager holding a Game-Boy by the garbage can asking me, “Aw, Dude, that wasn’t your spirit animal, was it?!” I’ll never be the same. Never. You just don’t really know what you have until it’s gone.

What’s my humble message here, folks? It’s simple: never take your spirit animal for granted. This one’s for you, Kyle, you were a great spirit animal to me, I guess. I’m sorry.

About the Writer

Brent Sigmeth is a freelance futzer from Cannon Falls, Minnesota who believes that procrastination leads to prolonged life.
He found his calling in Animal Wifery at age twelve, but quickly dumped that dead-end crap for his dream of inventing new candies by accident. For the past 16 years, Brent has spent most of his time as a record producer and recording engineer, working with artists such as Luna, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, The Polyphonic Spree, The Bad Plus, Andrew Bird, Tim O’Reagan, Grant Hart and many others. Brent writes a biweekly column for his local newspaper, the Cannon Falls Beacon. He has survived alongside his beautiful wife, two beautiful stepdaughters, a radio alarm clock named Kyle and pretty much everybody else.

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