SNOOTY™ — Ministerial Muses 8.6.17

Posted August 6th, 2017 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses, Snooty™
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The following is reprinted from Goddess Talking™ in the July 2003 issue of Let the Spirit Guide You!


Snooty™ deferred parenting until later in life. It wasn’t his choice. He was born into an alien world and separated from his own kind from the age of one. His friend Sally tells me he displays all the necessary signs of virility, but by the time his subjects were able to build him an environment large enough for a pool-mate, it was illegal to breed manatees in captivity. Those close to him mourn the loss of his genes to the species.

No one knew his mother was pregnant when she was captured and brought to the old Miami Aquarium. On July 21, 1948 (yes, a Cancer), his was the first officially recorded birth of a manatee in captivity. Soon afterwards, in 1949, he came to Bradenton to help the city with its DeSoto Celebration. Known as “Baby Snoots” then, he quickly won hearts and was invited to stay (fortunately with a name change). It is a love affair that continues. I’ve always told friends from out of town, that when Snooty dies the people of Bradenton will burn the city charter, board up the windows, and move on. Truthfully, I suspect that, when the time comes, he will find a way to help us through his death as successfully as he has welcomed us into his life.

Surrounded by admirers, his every need met by a loving staff, he could have lived a life of wealthy indulgence. He hasn’t. Nobody accepts their responsibilities as conscientiously as Snooty. Over the course of his 55 years in public service, 24 of them as the official Manatee County mascot, he has personally greeted more than a million people. Always a teacher, he is now a recognized part of the Manatee County School System. With the help of his staff, he answers letters from school children all over the country. Concerned about his own kind in the wild (there are less than 3000 manatees left in Florida), he volunteered for hearing tests at Mote Marine Laboratory. He has even managed to turn his annual Birthday Bash into a Wildlife Awareness Festival.

It was February 1998 when Snooty received his first young, pool-mate, Newton. Newton had been injured in the wild and suffered ongoing health problems. In August of 1998 Newton lost his battle to recover. The people
of Bradenton grieved openly, huddled together in supermarket aisles, parking lots and gas stations. But Snooty had proven himself as a foster dad.

His next protégé was Mo, a healthy, but orphaned, youngster. When he was old enough, Mo was successfully released into the wild. (He has since been struck twice by boaters and is currently recovering at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.)

Not long after Mo’s release, Palma Sola arrived at The Parker Manatee Aquarium to receive the benefits of Snooty’s expertise and helping flipper. Palma Sola was successfully released into the wild on February 13th of this year. At last report, he was doing well. (You can track his progress at www. WILDTRACKS.org.)

As I write this, Snooty and his staff are looking after DeSoto Park, a year-old manatee who was injured by the boater who killed his mother. Snooty is effortlessly helping DeSoto Park learn what he needs to know to survive in a world which Snooty has never known.

Snooty’s gifts to his human populace still, however, surpass his gifts to his own species. His mere presence is healing to us. People often come to discuss their problems with him. Some just watch him twist and loop through the water as a meditation to relieve stress.

Okay! It’s possible I’ve been projecting a little. But don’t dismiss me until you go and look into Snooty’s eyes for yourself. If you’ve ever known sadness, your will see it there. If you’ve ever known compassion, you will see it there. If you’ve ever aspired to learn the Wisdom of the Ages, you will wish that he could speak to you. And then, you’ll see him grin.

Snooty Sensei — Ministerial Muses 7.25.2017

Posted July 25th, 2017 by anna and filed in Manatee County, FL, Ministerial Muses, Snooty™
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I first met Snooty after my father died in 1985. I started spending 5-10 days every few months in Bradenton, in what had been my grandparents’ retirement home, helping my mother with its maintenance. I sought out things to do in the community and quickly discovered Snooty and his entourage. I began telling friends that when Snooty died, Bradenton would roll up the sidewalks and burn the city charter. There would be no reason to go on. It rolled easily off my tongue because there was something immortal about Snooty. It didn’t seem possible that he would ever be gone. Yet here we are. (I wrote about Snooty and his special ministry awhile back in Let the Spirit Guide You!™ I’ll hunt for that and try and get it posted here soon.)

Sensei is a title (my Japanese friends tell me) that honors teachers. For me, Snooty was first and foremost a teacher. The fact that he never communicated in human language makes his teachings all the more powerful. Florida has made an art form out of tourist attractions. Snooty helped spawned a plethora of bigger and better Manatee exhibits across the state, but still Snooty kept attracting more and more people to his humble home. Being in his presence could be transcendent if you were paying attention. Let those who have ears to hear, understand. I am just beginning to understand what Snooty was trying to teach me.

When I started reading about Kabbalah back in the 90’s, I was stumped by the common interpretation of Moses and the journey to the Promised Land. He told God he would lead his tribe through the desert to their new home. Despite legendary challenges he accomplished that, but because he lost his temper once, and struck a rock with his walking stick out of anger at God, he was not allowed to enter the new land with the people. He died just outside of it. I struggled with the apparent injustice of that for a long time. Eventually I came to my own interpretation of the story (no disrespect for Jewish heritage intended). I now believe … that after dragging his people through the desert, listening to their complaints, being told he was useless, being told that a bargain with the devil would be better, the Land of Milk and Honey finally came into view. He pointed to it and said, “You see. You see. There it is.” As they rushed off to their new home, he sat down on a rock, looked up to the heavens, and said quietly, “I did what I promised. Can I come home now?”

I believe … even if it involved human error, mechanical failure, or sabotage … that after hosting the most spectacular birthday party of his spectacular life, Snooty let the angels take him home. He passed the torch. Each one of us, whose life was touched by Snooty, now carries a spark from that torch out into the world. May we honor him by remembering compassion and a gentle touch.

God speed Snooty Sensei.
As my friend Miho would say … We appreciate you.