Don’t Judge a Tiger by its Stripes

Good Day Everyone,

I have two interesting stories to share. I want to state right now that I have no problems sharing stories like these. My hope is that you will get something good out of them. I have no intention to anger anyone, it is my hope when you have decided to help someone you are convicted enough to follow through with what you have said you would do and are smart enough to set limits so that you are not overtaxed with your decision. When Sweets and I had not yet left Siyyon Park a community on the Southside of Lansing before we ventured North to Sanctuary, there came a visitor to Wild West.

The first story is about a visitor, we will call him Jack, had come to Wild West not to convert anyone to his faith, Jack went there because he felt Allah wanted him to reach out to those in Wild West. Jack was a student at MSU and on Summer Break from classes, as he did each morning he went for a walk along the Lansing River Trail from campus out to the Potter Park Zoo and back to campus before he had to get to work. Well, one morning Jack came across two gentlemen that he was not quite sure what their lot in life was, so he struck up a conversation with them.

These two gentlemen were Quincy and Jose. These two were interesting characters in their own right, though when they got together, well I can say this with a straight face trouble found them. Quincy and his sister had become homeless together, though neither would speak about it other than it was in their past. Jose liked to live in Wild West more so that he wouldn’t feel the influence of his family who happened to be local business owners. I think they knew where he was when he wasn’t at home though I can’t really say.

Jack got to know Quincy and Jose quite well, in fact he was invited to have dinner with them his first night, which he declined to eat with them, he did however accept their invite to visit with them while they ate. Jack came to visit Quincy and Jose nearly everyday for the rest of the Summer. Each time he showed up to Wild West he would make sure to visit each site in Wild West, he got to know everyone very well. As time passed he learned about Oscar the female cat and the Badger Brothers, two over plump squirrels, that lived in a nest at the base of a tree.

One thing Jack did was to make sure that when those in Wild West got to know him and he got to know them he made sure to tell them that he would visit frequently but, as the first day of the Fall Semester he wouldn’t be back as he took his classes very serious. Jack did promise to help them out as best he could as long as it didn’t cost anything. He helped Matchstick improve the security of the tarp over his site, he helped Quincy find a new site where he would have more privacy, he helped Princess find a way to be able to care for the animals of Wild West better, he helped Butch get to a couple of doctor’s appointments, he help Eagle and Jack build a structure more secure than what they had by helping them get pallets, he found an old canvas tent at a yard sale for Jose, and he help Bon Bon reconnect with some friends that took him in while he recovered from Strep.

Each time Jack showed up he also had a schedule he had to keep so that he could make it to work on time. Jack was a person that could easily talk with anyone regardless of their background and share their life with them while he shared his.


Now for the second story.


John was a motivated person he was a Union Electrician who worked downtown quite a lot working wherever he was needed to get the work done. He was happily divorced, had one child, a daughter, and they both enjoyed spending time outdoors. Well as John and his daughter were out enjoying nature one fine autumn day that spotted people gathering around a small trail head. The people they observed were carrying on about something, then one by one they disappeared down the trail into the trees. The next day John showed back up to see what was going on and he came across Matchstick heading up the trail going out for a while. John and Matchstick spent the better part of the day together. Matchstick learned all about John’s god. John spent that first day trying to convince Matchstick what kind of person the world saw him as and how he could change his outward appearance to please people. He then went on day after day for weeks on end talking to everyone about that they needed to be saved before they would have a better life, and the only way to be saved was to trust in John’s god.

Sadly enough, as Christmas was approaching John went around to each site and asked everyone what they want for Christmas and he promised that he would get them each something as long as each gift wasn’t more than fifteen or twenty dollars. John brought some buddies along with him one week and Matchstick got a new place to live instead of his tent, they had brought in a wooden shipping container. Then came the stacks and stacks of pallets to be used as building materials, then came three cords of firewood and two axes (on loan) to split the wood, then John showed up with even more buddies and they set up a chuckwagon of sorts and made breakfast for everyone that showed up. Two days before Christmas was John’s last day out there in Wild West. He had said that he and his buddies would be out on Christmas day to deliver the gifts and to have another special meal with them. They never showed up on Christmas day or any day for the next two weeks. When contact was finally made everyone was informed they were done helping out in Wild West because the holidays were over and we shouldn’t contact them again otherwise they would file harassment charges against all of us.

John showed the last Saturday of January to hand out the Christmas presents he had for everyone; for Princess be had an opened bag of maxi-pads (she had already gone through menopause), for Sweets he had a dish sponge, for Jose a used hammer with a broken but taped handle, and on and on the gifts came. All total he spent less than ten dollars for gifts for fifteen people. Now it’s not the gift that counts, it’s the thought, unless you tell people you are going to get them something specific and then you give them crap.

Please, if you make a commitment to someone please, follow through. Needless to say Jack had a new friend attending Mosque with him and John turned twelve people off to attending church.

Feel free to leave a comment below, if you found anything of use in this post click on the Follow button.

Yours faithfully, Sweets & Elroy

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