Native Related Stories from Recent Times
The stories on this page are and will come from authors who wanted to share them with others. This is hopefully the first page of many to come . Here is the first story shared.
THE WARRIOR Author -- Elizabeth Catherine Hodges
Once upon a time a young warrior was born. His hair was black as the night and his eyes bright as the sky on a clear day. His laugh was strong and held the power of many before him. He was taken before his elders and they spoke to him in a language older than the earth. They told him his new life and journey would not be a sweet one, but he was a warrior and this was his life's lesson to learn. He smiled gently at the spirits of his ancestors and with tears in his eyes, he nodded acceptance. He was to carry the pain of many nations. Given secrets and many words like love, endurance and victory to remember. They were so many that he soon forgot some of them. His spirit was old and wise. His spirit embraced the words and saved them away.
People he encountered often did not understand his ways or words. Confusion set in and soon the young warrior lay wounded through words and through actions of others. His spirit reached out many times to him but he did not hear it speaking.
The young warrior traveled many paths of learning. He often cried out but did not hear his old spirit speaking to him. He was not aware of his people walking beside him. Not aware a young girl was calling to him in the wind as he past a road dark as the night. His eyes blinded by words and actions of others. He learned how to cope with many things. Some lessons to painful to reflect upon or verbalize on. As he slept, his people tried to whisper to him what he had to do to get to the right road. However, the young warrior let pain, sadness, hate lead him. Led by his painful lessons and not by his spirit, he found the road long and hard.
One day he took a path he had seen many times before but was afraid to take. He suddenly heard a voice in the wind soft and loving telling him to go. As he turned onto the road, he saw a young Indian girl named Spiritedwillow. She was setting quietly waiting for him by a tree. She spoke to him and he immediately remember her hearing her voice many times as he past by the dark road. As did she remember his strong and handsome voice. Suddenly he listened and heard his people calling his name. The old spirit quickly filled his mind with knowledge and wisdom and love beyond words.
Author -- Elizabeth Catherine Hodges 10/2001 _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________
The Gift Author -- Elizabeth Catherine Hodges
As Little Bear sat warming himself in the morning sun, he sat wondering what his birthday gift would be from Spiritedwillow. Spiritedwillow soon appeared carrying a large package and handed it to Little Bear. As Little Bear carefully unwrapped his present he glanced up at Spiritedwillow and smiled. Deep inside the burlap, sack laid a beautiful new flute.
Little Bear quickly placed the flute up to his mouth and blew. To his surprise, a loud clashing sound poured out into the air. As he lowered the flute, he looked around to see if others had heard. He became sad; thinking the flute was broken. Spiritedwillow sat with him teaching him how to place his fingers on the various holes of the flute. Soon Little Bear could hear the variations of sound coming from the flute.
Little Bear became sad again, and ask Spiritedwillow where is the music? Spiritedwillow smiled gently and said to Little Bear, the flute is waiting for to be born. There are many things you must do to prepare for its birth.
Little Bear began to smile again and asked Spiritedwillow what he must do to prepare the flutes way. First you must sat and observe others around you. Observe the earth, wind, sun and moon and all the creatures that walk upon the earth.
He looked up in the sky and saw eagles soaring above the trees. He saw the village hunters returning after a days hunt, his Elders, woman and children. He observed sadness, joy, hope, love, tears and laughter. Soon Spiritedwillow appeared to Little Bear and said what have you observed.
Spiritedwillow handed Little Bear the flute. He carefully unwrapped it and began to tell the story of the eagle and its young, of hunters returning after a days hunt, women and children, of sadness, joy, hope, love, tears and laughter. Soon many of Little Bears sisters and brothers gathered around to see the new birth and hear what the flute had to say.
Author -- Elizabeth Catherine Hodges
The Village that Forgot to Keep Balance/Center
As told by Spiritwalker after he received it from Creator, the ancestors, and those of the village.
What I am about to share was given to me from Grandfather Creator and our ancestors. It involves a village here in what is now called Oklahoma before anyone from the eastern hemisphere arrived. This village had known many generations of peace through trading and pacts with other villages. They had known peace for so long that they were lacking in interest to train their young ones in preparation for war. They were interested in only the good they had and the good from other villages. They had stopped telling the stories of past wars, victories, and anything they fealt would disturb the harmony they had in their village. When trader/storytellers came to the village, the villagers insisted only only hearing of good things. This was not normal for the trader/storytellers for they were the newsbearers of that time and sometimes the peace starters. They considered everything important must be told so everyone could be prepared. One such trader/storyteller came to the village to trade some goods and to warn of a raid that happened at a village about two moon cycles travel distance from this very village. This event happened one moon cycle ago, but the villagers didn't listen for they wanted their harmony intact. The teller tried in vain to get someone to listen, but couldn't get through to these villagers. He left thinking of warning the next village and how out of center this village appeared. After the teller left, the men prepared their four day hunt which took them away from the village about one days distance away. The only ones left in the village would be the elders, young ones and women. The sentries would be the young ones that were just at the age for the rites of adulthood. Their duties were to watch the weather and watch for fires. They had no training for watching for an enemy approaching nor anything to do with battle. The day came for the men to leave and after saying good journey they left. No one in the village had noticed that for the last moon cycle their village had been watched by advance scouts from the same group that raided the village the teller tried to warn them about. The scouts had been joined by others of their group. These raiders were not only ruthless in their deeds, but were clever in their means. They were divided into multiple groups so that if they were defeated in any raid they would still have enough prepared elsewhere to continue. The next day after the hunting party had left, the village came under attack. The raiders came in killing with no regard to age, destroying what they didn't want, and defiling all sacred places especailly the burial mound of the villagers ancestors. These raiders had warriors posted around the village to prevent anyone from escaping so no one could alert the hunting party and the raiders could do at their liesure what they wished to any survivors in the village. When the hunters returned, they found many things which I will not describe due to the fact that young ones may read this. There were however survivors thanks to the fact that some had remembered special tunnels under the village. Though the original use for these tunnels had been forgotten, they were a gift to those who had played in them as children for they now had saved their lives. I will not go through all the details of what followed but to say that many villages banded together to hunt down the raiders. The raiders were needless to say no longer a problem for anyone after all their groups were caught up with. You maybe wondering why I told this story for it has no apparent relation to us today. One, they wanted their story told and two, there is a lesson to be learned from these villagers. They had failed in keeping their village and themselves balanced/centered. Since they wanted only the good and not to remember the bad, they could not keep themselves in balance with life or the circle in which we all travel. They forgot want they ancestors went through and thus forgot how to be prepared. This still happens today when forget the past and don't want to hear about what is happening on our Earth Mother. This is a gift that I will not forget and a lesson well learned by this student.
As told by Spiritwalker after he received it from Creator, the ancestors, and those of the village.
Looking for a Pet, but Learned a Lesson
Author -- Grannie "Red Cloud Woman" Davis
Prolog from author ..... As a young girl, I use to pretend that I was part of an indian family. Living in a teepee,sleeping on hides (bear was my favorite), wearing clothes made of deer hides that I had helped to tan and sew together with catus quills or pocupine quills. Of course, I had no way of knowing how to go about treating the hides, much less how to sew them together. There was one favorite story line that I liked to play by and if my best friend was able to come over, he and I would pretend for hours on end. Of course, he was always the big, brave chief. The following is an attempt to remember our much loved game and maybe even bring a smile to a few faces.
There is a place where the flat land runs into the foothills of a very beautiful valley. The earth will grow any seed you plant so you can have any kind of food you want as much as you want and as big as you can imagine it might grow.
The forrest was made up of all kinds of trees. Trees for climbing so you could see for miles away. Trees that grew nuts - pecans, walnuts, cashews, and pine nuts. Trees that grow only the fruit you like.
The children didn't have to worry about getting into trouble for eating the wrong kind of snacks. Mother Nature served up the best.
In the spring, summer, and most of the fall, the grass was always green and when you got tired of running and exploringand playing, the grass made the thickest and softest mattress.
Dreams of only the most pleasant kind dared enter your sleep.
When you got thirsty, there was always a clean running spring or brook nearby. The water is always cool and taste sweet. Where the springs and brooks ended formed a perfect swimming hole. The water was always clear, tinted slightly blue-green, and never too warm nor too cold. When sitting in the shallow end, little minnows or perch would nibble at your freckles or moles.
One day I decided to go looking for a wild animal baby that I could tame and have a different pet than anyone else had. I would get the first baby that I found.
As I left the valley and entered the forrest, I saw baby rabbits and squirrels. They were furry and cute, but they were also very quick and they were also little. Their mommies taught them at the beginning of their lives to be cautious of other animals and humans. I saw raccoons, foxes, deer, bobcats and wolves. They were okay for pets, but they had all been caught and tamed by people before. I had to have something bigger and different.
I thought about a bird, but I had no idea how to get a big bird without its parents getting me. The eagle, falcon, and owl can be very mean when protecting their babies.
I had been walking for what seemed to me as a very long time and had just about decided to give it up for the day when I heard a sound that I did not recognize. I started to walk in the direction of the noise when my toe caught on a root sticking out of the earth. I started to fall and before I could catch myself, I realized I was going to fall over a cliff. There were a lot of rocks at the bottom and there was no doubt in my mind that I would be hurt. Why hadn't I have goten my best friend to come with me? No one knew which way I had gone. I was all alone and it was almost evening.
When I woke up, things had changed. I started to open my eyes and closed them back quickly. Something was right above me! Something big with lots of hair and big white teeth. I heard it move and then I felt its breath on my face as it smelled of me. Was I to be eaten by a wild animal? I could not stop the tears as they ran from the corners of my eyes.
Suddenly there was a very soft comforting voice telling me not to be afraid and not to cry, please. That I was in danger of being hurt.
I slowly opened my eyes and saw not one animal, but two! One was a beautiful, huge grizzly bear and the other, a tawny colored puma. Both had a baby that hid behind their mother.
My brain could not believe what my eyes were seeing, so I closed my eyes and whispered, "this cannot be."
The puma purred in a soft soothing voice, " You can open your eyes. We will still be here and we are not going to eat you."
There was laughter from her and the bear.
I opened my eyes and sure enough, they were still there. They had moved a step or two back, but they were still there.
If you can imagine what a bear and cat would look like if they could smile, then you will be able to see what I saw.
The babies had come from behind them and had their necks stretched to get a better look at this strange being.
I sat up slowly and was amazed that I didn't hurt all over my body. I was going to be sore, but, as far as I could tell, none of my bones were broke and I wasn't bleeding anywhere.
As my senses came back and I was able to understand what was happening around me, I saw other mothers and their babies. Elk, raccoon, weasels, coyote, buffalo, horses, and even skunks. Big, medium, and small creaturs. As I looked at all the animals, an idea began to form in my mind. If I could gain the trust of these animals, I could choose which I would want for a pet and simply take one without having to trap it or chase it down. And, if I gained its trust, it wouldn't be as hard to tame. Maybe I could teach it a trick or two. The little ones had started getting their courage up and they came closer to me. I wanted to pet them all to see how each of them felt. Was their fur soft or coarse? Thick or thin? Which one would I decide to take with me?
Pretty soon we all relaxed and I found out that they were as curious about me as I was about them. I had so many questions and was finnally getting so many answers that it never occured to me to ask how they could talk. Were they speaking my language or was I speaking animal?
I felt so many of them that I couldn't make up my mind as to which one I wanted. Time went by so fast and I was having so much fun! The next thing I knew it was getting really late and my own mother would be wooried about me.
As I visited with the animals that day, I noticed how each of the children learned from its mother.The same as I did. I saw how each of the different kind loved each other as only their kind could love. I found myself wondering how I would feel if someone took me away from my mother and my kind.
I explained to my new found friends that I had to go home to my mother. Nature's mothers understood and pointed me in the directionof my home. Somehow I lost my way and couldn't remember which way to turn home. It began to rain and, by some stroke of luck, there was a cave nearby. Once inside I was able to settle down and finally realized I was truely lost. This thought made me start to cry.
Someone was calling my name. Hands were on my face, patting my cheeks. It was my mother's voice and my mother's hands. Apparently I had tripped and fallen over a small cliff, knocking myself out as I did so. It had began to get late and mom came looking for me.
She knew how much I had wanted a pet and asked me if I had given any thought as to how I was going to catch it.
I simply told her that I would rather not take any away from their families, but, instead, to enjoy all of them.
She only smiled and gave me a big hug.
When I get a chance, I goback to the place I fell and bumped my head. It seems that there is always some animal that comes to my place when I am there and, I could be imagining it, they seem to be more friendly than before. Especially one bear and one puma. I have been allowed to pet them.
Well, I'm being called in to get washed for supper. Maybe tomorrow I'll be an indian princess.
Author -- Tisha "Red Cloud Woman" Davis ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________
Howl of the Wolves, pt. 1
By Grannie “Red Cloud Woman” Davis
It started one cold Autumn morning in a small rock den in the side of a rocky cliff somewhere in Wyoming. The days were getting shorter and colder as winter got closer.
Mom had run off the previous tenants and made it obvious that there would be on trespassing into our new home. The last place we had was just to small for brother, my Mom, and me. There had been two more of us, two other boys, but they had wandered off and Mom said a big cat had been seen where we had saw them last. Mom said cats are mean and can't be trusted. That we should hide when we heard or smelled them.
We were separated from the rest of our family by things that walked on two legs and carried big sticks that made a loud noise and killed us. Mom said she heard they were called “men”.
Mom called me Shadow because I could hide completely in dark places. She called my brother Thunder because he made a loud noise when he spoke. You could hear him from a long ways off.
The day we found our new home I was scared. We had walked and ran a long way and we had never been here before. I could smell others like us, but they didn't smell familiar. I didn't recognize anyone. Who was I going to play with besides Thunder? Mom said to be careful and not to go up to just anyone. They might hurt us and until she could get to know them, they might run us off. Or even hurt us. We had to stay out of sight until we made some new friends.
The cold air carried some nice smells. There was fresh water close by and lots of bird and rabbit smells. I would miss my old friends, family and home, but this place could be a nice place to live when we got use to being someplace new and different.
The wind made strange sounds outside the opening. It was cold and I could smell the little white stuff and knew it wouldn't be long before every where would be covered in it's white wetness.
Mom had gone hunting and Thunder and I got bored. We decided that it wouldn't hut to go just a little ways outside to see what we might find interesting. We decided to go out at the same time.
There were bushes tall enough to hide the opening. They also blocked some of the air from coming in and making it any colder. If you took a couple of steps and looked up, you saw a wall of rock and dirt that went straight up to the sky.
Turning to the north of the entrance, the wind got stronger and colder. In this direction the smell of snow was also stronger. There was a little rise with sage growing thicker there. Something moved! It was only about five feet from the den so why not see what had braved the cold wind?
We crouched low to the ground, as we had seen Mom do, and made as little noise as possible to investigate. It was a young hare. Apparently doing the same thing we were doing while it was home alone. Seeing what was on the outside of its hole. It was closer to home than we were and the second it saw us it was back down the rabbit hole!
We were much too big to follow it down the hold, so we went back to our den. Besides, neither of us wanted Mom to catch us away from our den and make her mad.
At the den facing south it was easier to see. The land sloped away from the mouth of the den. There was more sage and tumbleweeds caught in clusters on the sage. It was possible to see quite a long way from this vantage point. The outline of some mountain was on the horizon.
You could see a long way off when looking to the east as well. After you got away from the den. It would be hard for anything to sneak upon the new home. Either you could see them, hear them or smell them.
The sun was high enough to break some of the chill from the air and cast the short shadow of about noonday. It wouldn't be very many more days of sunlight. The snow clouds would take over for a month or more.
The thick hair that had been thicker would feel good on the days ahead. Especially when it would be safe to play outside the den. The temptation now to start running and explore this new territory was almost irresistible. When would mom be home and what delicious meal or treat will she bring for them to eat?
What was that sound? Hunker close to the ground and make sure it's not dangerous! Could it be Mom? No - the smell is wrong and she didn't call us in the usual way. It smells almost like we do, but somehow different. It almost smells like the dogs from the man places, but this doesn't have men smells. The one time Thunder and I had gotten close enough to smell that odor, it had been terrible. This smelled more like where we had always lived.
The sound was different too. Not careful or cautious. LOOK! It's made like we are made. Only this one didn't seem to be worried about danger or trouble. It was having fun. Playing with something. Was it playing with a bush? I had to get a better look.
I very carefully moved around so it wouldn't see or smell me and watched for a while. Thunder wanted to just jump out and find out what it was doing and if it was playing, maybe we could play too. I made him wait.
While I was being distracted with Thunder, it moved away. But where did it go? We looked everywhere, then out of nowhere came; AARH, I GOTCHA', and I was being rolled around on the ground! How degrading!
When I got some of my composure back, Thunder had joined in and now the both of them were running and rolling and having a lot of fun. That's what I had wanted to do in the first place.
When I finally got their attention and got them settled down, they were out of breath and tired.
I found out that “Stormy” was her name, because she had all the energy of a storm, and she was only a few weeks older than Thunder and me. She had found another small hole in the cliff and made it her den. It wasn't very big, but, after all, it was just she. She had gotten lost and decided she could make it on her own. Stormy had been on her own for a couple of weeks and was doing just fine. Pretty good since she had snuck up on us. She said she knew we were there because she heard us. She had acted like she didn't while waiting for a chance to sneak around behind us and to make sure no one else was around. It had been worth the caution just to be able to surprise us like she had.
Her mother was a man dog and her father was a wolf. She took after her father, no tame life for her! No one was going to have her sitting by a house and waiting for food she didn't like. She was going to make hew own way.
In all the excitement they had forgotten about Mom. Stormy saw her first and went to hide. Boy was she mad! They had gone further than they meant to go and hadn't heard her calling them. After being punished and eating the rabbit she brought for them, they told Mom about Stormy. Of course, she didn't like this idea of a stranger around her pups and she would have to make sure everything was okay, but for now it would have to wait. She took Shadow and Thunder for a walk and showed them how far they were allowed to play from the den. She had run across some smells today that might prove to be friendly with a little time. Her first concern was the safety of her pups. Tomorrow, if she could find her, Mom would check out Stormy.
That night it got colder and Shadow worried about Stormy. Was she warm enough? Had she been able to catch her something to eat? Shadow would have to find out where Stormys' den was so she could check on her. After all, like them, she was all alone too. All Thunder cared about was he had someone to play with and besides - she was kind of pretty for a half man dog. Who cared if he had never met one before? He had heard talk about them and from what he had heard and meeting one; he was almost convinced that what he heard was probably lies.
The next day was nice for exploring Moms boundaries. For checking out all the places she said they could hide in if danger came close.
The cliff behind their den was too steep to climb except for the little mound right above the opening to go in and out. Not much excitement there except for hiding on top and jumping on top of someone coming out.
Going north there proved to be a little more to explore. About one hundred yards, there was an abandoned rabbit lair. Since the rabbits left it many other animals had moved in and out again leaving their own particular smell behind them. It made for an interesting game of how many Shadow and Thunder could guess about who had lived there. There was no doubt about the present tenants. Definitely rodent. Probably rats! Not very good to eat, but lots of fun to chase. Right now making them think something was coming after them by barking down the hole seemed like the right thing to do. That game didn't last long when the sharp smell of upset snake came drifting out at them. They were too young to know that snakes could move very fast in could weather.
The next trail led them toward the east. It smelled something like what Mom had brought home one time to eat. She said they were had to catch and it took the help of others to get that delicious meal. Antelope cannot only be hard to catch, but also dangerous if they hook you with a horn or slash you with a hoof. All the hard work is worth it though; one can feed a small pack of wolves.
Today they could tell that a herd had grazed on the sage and what little grass there was in the space they were allowed to explore. Maybe, if they found any, they could surprise Mom and have one waiting for her when she got home. This is if they didn't eat it all! All this running and walking was hard work and they were getting very hungry. Unfortunately, they had to stop tracking that special meal. They weren't allowed to go further than their boundaries.
It was almost time for Mom to come back home so they headed for the den. That's when they saw Stormy coming to meet them.
Stormys' day had been hectic. She had gotten up early to see if she could find a different hunting place. She had never been on the cliff and decided to look up on top. It had taken awhile to find a way to climb up there, but once that problem was solved it wouldn't be any problem getting back to the top again. Maybe one day Thunder and Shadow could go with her. She said you could see for a very long way off and there was a lot more to examine. She had found a bird and caught it. That was her food for the day. While she had been distracted by all the new things to see and smell, she hadn't been watching where she was going and ran into the path of a bear.
The bear had been grouchy and didn't like anything disturbing his hunt for food. Instead of warning Stormy to go away, he had chased her. She was starting to believe that he would never stop. She was getting tired and didn't want to run home. That would only show him where she lived and he might come looking for her. So she hid in a bunch of thick bushes and hoped he wouldn't be able to find her. One time he got really close, but she laid very still and Mr. Bear walked right on by her. Next time she went up the cliff, she would pay closer attention to where she was going.
They were close to Shadow and Thunders den and it wasn't going to be long before Mom came home, so Stormy left with the promise of being back to see them tomorrow.
Mom had found two more wolves with cubs of their own. She had spent the day with them getting to know what they were like. The pups were old enough to start being taught how to hunt and Mom had gone along to help. She had brought home some meat of an old deer they had taken down. It sure was good, but Shadow was wishing she could share it with Stormy. Stormy had only one bird for herself all day.
Shadow and Thunder told Mom about their day and about seeing Stormy and what she had told them about the high place and the bear. Mom was concerned and made up her mind to find this girl and see if she needed to be worried about Stormy being around Shadow and Thunder. She had never been around half man wolves before, and was curious as to what kind of character she might be. These were her pups and she wouldn't allow any harm to come to them.
Mom found Stormy early the next morning and after greetings and some communication, Mom decided Stormy was no threat to her kids. She was very young, but seemed to have a level way of thinking and respect for authority. Stormy wouldn't let anything bad happen to Shadow or Thunder. She was allowed to hang around their den. Although, Mom didn't say anything to Stormy, Mom would also see to it that she ate. Also, winter would be here before too much longer and Stormy needed to gain some weight before it got any colder. They hunted together and Stormy had a full stomach before Mom left to go back to her new friends. She also had Stormy take food to Shadow and Thunder. It would more than likely be late when she got home and didn't want them to go hungry that long a time.
Shadow and Thunder were glad to see Stormy and especially glad that Mom had agreed to let her visit a lot. They ate until their tummies were full and, after a short nap, the rest of the day was spent running, jumping, tackling each other and pretending to track prey. By the time Mom made it back to the den, all of them were played out, tired and asleep. Stormy went to her den and had a good nights rest while dreaming of her newly found adopted family.
She knew she wasn't a full blood wolf, but she would do whatever it took to make them proud of her. She would have to work twice as hard to gain Moms respect, but Stormy liked her and was willing to make whatever sacrifices it took to gain her trust.
The next day they all went to the west. It was a good thing that Mom had stayed and gone exploring with them. It was the most densely covered area yet. The land was hilly and covered with more brush, sage and in one place some trees. Where the trees were growing was a spring of water that had formed a small pool of cool, clear water about four feet deep and five feet across. All around the pool was tracks and the smell of other critters that lived in this area. After a long drink of the sweet water, it was time to see where some of the animal trails led off toward.
One of the trails led to a small hole in the side of a hill. When Thunder started to dig lizards with long blue tails. They went in all different directions. Thunder caught one of these blue tails and it popped off in his mouth. Boy, what a surprise! If the tail came off then the lizard won't get very far and it might taste good, if not then it would be fun to play with. The lizard was nowhere to be found. Its' blue tail lay twitching. What a funny looking thing it would be with not tail. Thunder didn't know that “mountain boomer lizards” could re-grow their tails in a matter of weeks. The lack of a tail didn't slow them down any either.
Another trail led to a ground hog/squirrel tunnel. When Shadow, Thunder and Stormy would dig or bark at one opening, the squirrels would pop up at another one. They split up and guarded the other hole, then the squirrels would go to another opening. They had many ways of getting out just for cases like this. After that adventure it was time for another long drink of water.
The chased many animals that day. Some faster than others. Some that flew away, some that disappeared into the earth, and others that just flat out-ran them. The most fascinating was the turtle.
Here was something that couldn't out-run them, was to slow to dig fast enough to go under ground and didn't have wings to fly away. What could keep them from tasting this new snack? All they had to do was figure a way to get it out of the rock it had crawled into.
If they waited for it to stick its' head out, it just pulled it back in as soon as they touched it. They turned it over and it still wouldn't break open or come out. The turtle became impatient once and nipped Shadow on the nose. She decided to deal with it later and dug a hole to bury it. Before she got the hole finished, Thunder picked it up and ran off with it. Oh well, she'd find it later and decide what was the best thing to do with such a stubborn thing.
The “horned toad” was the shortest-lived thrill. It had no patience at all with the rough and tumble world of wolf play. It simply made itself as flat as it could and squirted red liquid out of the `horns' on its head that stunk and burned the eyes. The liquid sure didn't taste good either! It was no fun at all!
Ti was time to start back to the den. Mom still had to worry about getting something to eat and it felt like it was going to be a cold night. One more good drink of water and back home they would go.
On the way to the water pool, Thunder and Shadow were getting in as much play time as they could. Mom and Stormy was leading the way when suddenly they stopped and snapped at Thunder and Shadow to be quiet and still. They hunkered to the ground, as they had been taught, and waited for Mom to give the “all clear signal”, but Mom and Stormy were very upset. They looked toward the water hole.
At first they didn't see anything and then the big cat moved. It was across the water hole from them. It was crouched drinking from the pool. When the cougar caught their scent, it stood up and cried out a warning. Mom and Stormy stood very still and waited for it to move on. Instead, it started toward them.
Mom made the growl that meant be quiet and hide. Stormy moved one way and Mom moved in the other direction. While the cat was distracted by them, Thunder and Shadow ran for cover. The cougar went after Stormy because she was the littlest. Just about the time that the cat caught Stormy, Mom was there at the cats' hind legs. The cat didn't know which one to go after first. If she went for Mom, Stormy was biting her. If she went after Stormy, Mom was biting her. Before long it was hard to tell who had a hold of whom. There was a lot of cat screams, snarling and growling. Hair from all of them was going in all directions. Finally, the cougar gave up and ran away with Mom and Stormy right behind her.
Mom and Stormy finally quit the chase and started back to find Shadow and Thunder. Only when Mom gave the “all clear, come on out” yip did the pups come running to meet her. That is when they noticed that Mom was bleeding really badly.
The cat had scratched her side deep and it was bleeding freely. By the time they got back to the den, Mom was very weak. Stormy showed Shadow and Thunder what to do and they nursed her until the bleeding stopped. Mom was to weak to walk, much less do the things that had to be done for the family.
Stormy told Shadow and Thunder to stay with Mom and that she would be back as soon as she could.
Stormy was gone only for a short time. When she came back she had a rabbit for Shadow and Thunder. She left again and returned with two more, one for Mom and one for herself. It was a little crowded, but she stayed that night in Moms' den. Because it was crowded only helped keep the den warm that night. It got cold enough to snow.
Shadow, Thunder and Mom slept toward the back of the den on that first night. Stormy slept at the opening. She was pleased with herself and would fight again if anything went wrong.
It took about a week for Mom to get strong enough to be able to leave the den. Stormy stayed only leaving long enough to get food, check on her den and make sure no one had tried to take it over, to go out with Shadow and Thunder while they played, and to make sure they were okay when answering the “call of nature.”
One day, Shadow wanted to go with Stormy to see where she lived. Stormy was afraid to leave Mom and Thunder, so they all went.
Her den wasn't that far down the cliff and if you weren't careful you would not even know it was there. The mouth cut in at an angle that looked like a small crevice. It blocked the wind from entering where the small cave opened up. It wasn't a whole lot bigger than Moms den, but it was bigger.
To get in you went into a crack that looked like it ended at about three feet. Then it turned back sharply into a small cave about five feet high, by six feet long, by four feet wide. If you could not get through a two feet space, you could not get into the crack to the cave. They all liked it and since Stormy was staying with Mom now, they decided to move into Stormys' den.
Snow had continued to fall for three days and there was already about two feet on the ground. The rocks in the cliff helped keep the den warm and with Mom helping get the food, they had a pretty good home.
The den was safe enough so Mom and Stormy felt okay about leaving the pups to look for bigger game. While they were hunting they met the other wolves that Mom had met when they first got there. They hunted together and that night they all went to sleep with full stomachs. Shadow dreamed of the turtle, Thunder dreamed of a really big rabbit, Mom dreamed of running in the sun and Stormy dreamed of her mother. She woke up sad and then remembered her new family. She returned to sleep with happy thoughts.
By the time spring melted winters' snow, Thunder and Shadow were helping Mom and Stormy in the hunts. They were eating very well and had become a tight pack. Stormy had lost most of her man dog characteristics and Thunder had become a nicely put together wolf. They had started spending more and more time off by themselves, exploring and playing. Mom and Shadow had been going to visit the other pack and Shadow had started taking up with a male from that pack. They all knew that one day they would all be on their own, starting packs of their own.
The territory they were in allowed for each to have a large area of their own. They knew they would always be family.
They had not seen the cougar or smelled it around the water hole since Mom and Stormy had run it off. There had not been any evidence of man since they had been here, so it seemed like a good place to settle down. Most importantly there was a good variety of food. Life was good!
One day Shadow and Mom left early to visit their friends. Shadow came home with her male friend and explained that his family had told him it was time for him to make his own way. Mister, the head of the other pack, had made that point very clear. He had wanted Shadow to stay, but she chose to leave with Timber. Tomorrow they would find their own den and stay together. When Stormy and Thunder woke up the next morning, they were gone.
Thunder and Stormy both knew that they were meant to be together forever and that it wouldn't be long before they would have pups of their own. For now it was just good being able to spend their days and nights getting to know and understand each other.
By the time summer was over they had learned how to hunt well together. When they met Mom on their outings they found out she had other pups and was happy with Mister. Shadow and Timber had found a good place on top of the cliff and, like Stormy; she would have pups before very long. They were all happy. They all had new families they were comfortable with.
Before the next snow covered the earth their bloodlines would be carried on into another generation.
Their species would not die; it would only get stronger and stronger.
And this was not the way it ended…come back again for the further adventures of Stormy, Thunder, Mom and the rest of the family. Part 2 coming soon.
Posted: May 17, 2005
by: Ken Edwards
Awounnie and Quill
As the long winter days slowly started to fade, the season of green
came upon the village of a very special child called Quill. Everyone
worked hard in the village picking berries, fishing and hunting.
The days were always full, but there were times at the end of the day
where the head elder would gather everyone around the fire and tell
stories of great buffalo hunting parties. The stories were of ancient
people who would talk to the true at heart.
Quill would listen and hang on to every word, her mind painting the
stories the elder was telling. Quill's mother had a very hard time
quieting her to sleep. After a mother's song, finally Quill would
sleep. Even in her sleep, the stories would come to life.
Now Quill was a special child in the village. She was always just
slower than the other children. Every task asked of her was hard. She
always tried her best, even when the beads slipped through her fingers
as she tried to bead. She just couldn't keep up. She was last in all
the games the children of the village played.
Sometimes some of the adults and children would whisper about her
clumsiness. Her own brother would always tease her and tell a story
how Turtle won the race and Quill lost. But she never got mad: she
would smile and laugh at her mistakes.
The wise elder, Sankalip, would always find time to sit and talk to
Quill and praise her for always trying. He told her she was a very
special child and the others in the village would come to understand
this and see how special she was. ''Your smile will show them. You'll
see, little Quill, just what you will teach them all. We are all
different, yet we are all the same and only our names separate us.''
The next day, Quill was on one of her walks along the river. She loved
the sounds the trees made when the gentle breezes blew through them.
She would laugh at the birds and try to flap her arms up and down and
imagine she was a bird flying. She would always try to pick as many
berries as she could for her mother and wrap them in the big leaves
she found along the river. When she was done, she sat by the riverbank
singing songs and wiggling her toes in the cool rippling water.
Suddenly, she felt something tickling her toes. Instead of being
afraid, she just giggled. Then up from the water popped a furry little
head with tiny eyes. Quill stopped and stared. She didn't know this
''Hello to you,'' the creature said. ''I see you sit by my home every
day. I see you mean me no harm and you are true at heart. I can feel
it. My name is Awounnie, the beaver.''
''Oh,'' Quill stammered. Awounnie climbed out of the water and shook
himself, getting Quill all wet. She just smiled. ''You are a very
pretty animal. Can we be friends?''
''I cannot see why not,'' Awounnie replied. They spent the rest of the
day telling stories and learning about one another until the sun went
Quill had to leave her friend. ''I will be back tomorrow. Please don't
forget me,'' she said.
''I won't. Have a safe journey home, little Quill,'' said Awounnie.
Quill was so happy having a friend.
She spoke about him at the storytelling fire. Many covered their
mouths and laughed, but not Sinkalip. ''You have a good heart, Quill.
Brother Beaver would not have talked to you if you didn't. See, I told
you that you are special. Awounnie is an old friend of mine. When you
see him, tell him that I will try to get my old bones to take me to
the river and visit.''
Sinkalip and Quill laughed and then said their ''good nights.''
Morning did not come soon enough for Quill. She was up before her
mother. She helped wash the clothes and gathered firewood. She tried
very hard to keep up. Her mother saw how Quill was in a hurry to be
done and that she had helped a lot, so she told Quill to run along and
play with the other children.
She didn't go play with the other children, but ran as fast as she
could to the river. She sat by the river, letting her toes splash in
the cool water.
Surprised, she turned and there was Awounnie, hiding behind a tree.
All she could do was giggle. She walked over and leaned on the tree.
Awounnie sat by a log and they talked of Sinkalip and the old times.
As time passed and days went by, Quill always finished her chores to
go sit with her new friend. During this time, Awounnie was building
his new home. Quill watched as he got trees and branches and moved
them to make his new home.
''I want to make a home like yours,'' Quill said.
''You do?'' Awounnie laughed. Quill replied, ''Yes. Please teach me.''
Quill begged and begged. Then Awounnie said, ''I will show you, but
you must make it here on the land and much smaller than mine. You go
gather the long leaves and I will show you.'' Quill did as she was
told and Awounnie showed her how to weave them in and out.
When she was done, to her surprise, she'd made a house that she could
put things in. Quill turned her little house upside down and put all
the berries she had gathered earlier in it. ''Look what you have done.
You have made something to carry your food in. You are very smart,''
Quill was happy. She ran home to show everyone what she had made. The
village people were very surprised to see that Quill had made this.
''My friend, Awounnie the beaver, taught me how it is the wrong-side
The people all treated Quill differently after that day. She taught
them how to make these little houses. We know them as basket bowls.
The elder knew Quill was special. In our world today we have many
special people. We need to stop and see beyond our egos and frantic
lives, and see with our eyes and hearts: be grateful for the special
people. Their special gifts of laughter, love and compassion will only
enhance all our lives.