Water Panther

Today I came to the realization that water panther effigy mounds could be representations of tadpoles and the power of metamorphosis. I’ve wondered what the water panther effigy mounds were supposed to be since I was 3 years old. This afternoon I was reading National Geographic and there was a glossy close-up of polliwogs. +ba bum chink+ Water panthers are the butterflies of southern Wisconsin.

However, then there are these petrogylphs with horned “water panthers” which really don’t feel like anthropomorphous polliwogs. To me, this looks like a really pissed off big cat, not a dinosaur as the linked page suggests. This petroglyph is found near Lake Superior, big water, not like the small lakes and wetlands more typical of the effigy mound area, but then how different was the environment 1000 years ago? I can’t even gander a guess without further investigation.

Then there are the earth diver stories. I always imagined an earth diver to be a turtle, even though in many stories the earth diver is a beaver or muskrat.  Yet the water panthers don’t look anything like turtles, beavers, or muskrats.

Then, as I’m writing this, I am thinking of frogs beginning as eggs (feminine) and hatching to look like giant sperms (masculine), needing to stay underwater, but then becoming a unified adult frog able to surface.

The frogs are singing and surely frog has a lesson for me this winter/spring. I was cleaning all morning before work because we are expecting company Thursday. It might not quite be spring yet, but plum blossoms and “ribbitt ribbitt” say otherwise.


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