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SHAPE SHIFTING PART XXV (Chapter 25)
~ White Wolf
Author's Note: The importance of Shape Shifters varies
within the different tribe cultures. The following provides
a glimpse into understanding the connection between
humankind and all animals on Earth Mother directed by
Chapter 24 Review
The storm is all but gone. The rain has stopped yet the dripping down off the front of the cave remains. They’re still standing there, speechless. Wolf steps carefully forward to look out from under the cave up into the sky which is so brilliantly clear. Wolf’s mouth hung open as he said: “There’s a lot of stars.” Four Feathers, as she crossed her arms again, looked over at Wolf and says: “Really.” And they all started laughing so hard they had to start hushing themselves, to keep from waking anyone else. Wolf said, “There’s a bite in the air; my ground and blanket are calling me.” They all nodded in agreement muffling some laughter and giggles as they walked back into the cave.
They walked carefully in the dark towards their own space for the night’s dreams. Wolf thinks to himself, “This has been a good day; yet tomorrow will be better.”
The morning fire brought many thoughts and definitions of dreams. All came mostly to one direction. We must send a greeting party to meet up with the separated clan. Four Feathers was right. We should make contact and talk. We can still have separate ways but it would be good to maintain relations.
There’s some planning and directions on the way they will follow. Four Feathers is in charge of the people that will stay and guard the cave with some outside scouts to be sure there are no surprises. Wolf will go with two hands of men, and Little Wolf will backup with one handful in count.
They made the first set up plans and coordinated bird whistles and cricket sounds to have different signal meanings. Obviously, they did not know how this separate band was going to react. They must be safe and guard their trust. Sometimes things are said as a distraction of the real plan they might have. Wolf is not fond of hidden agendas. And they ran to be away from the very thing we are about to bring right back to them.
Four Feathers said, “Go now, talk of more plans when you find where they are. All things can change so be open and don’t forget to smile like you’re friendly.” As she picked up a fire stick burning on one end and shook it towards all of them. There was much laughter and off they went disappearing into the bushes. Within but a few seconds all things went quiet.
SHAPE SHIFTING Chapter 25
Four Feathers set out with directions for those in her charge. Still holding the smoldering stick in her hand, she began to draw out the area around camp and where her guards should be in hiding. She keeps in mind they could be doing the very thing they are. She has faith in Wolf and the rest of the braves to move swiftly and seek out to find them before they find us.
Wolf was in front leading his men and Little Wolf leading his. They came to a clearing at the bottom of the hill. The clearing was covered overhanging trees and shrub brush all around. It was like a cave with the forest being the walls and ceiling. Wolf sends out 3 men, as look out to insure no surprise of the warriors sneaking up on them.
Wolf brushes away the leaves and sticks on the ground in front of him. He smooths it out with a straight stick he found.
Wolf starts drawing the ridgeline valleys and rivers in the area all around them with the stick in the place he made on the dirt ground. They all gathered around and squatted down. They would each walk to edge of the forest cave and look out and all around then back to see it on the drawing Wolf had made. One by one they walk to see and came back to check all kind of amazed at the clarity it brought for guidance and direct. Little Wolf was last to walk out and look around. He came back and drew a circle at the end of the river. "Remember you called it the circle of water, when the mountain spit us out into midair right after the imaginary bear was getting you." All chuckling, they squatted down and bouncing a little at Wolf’s expense, as they remembered the funny story. Wolf say’s, "It’s good for the spirit to relax before making a plan, and I thank each one of you for doing it without much noise. I give you all respect and honor for standing to protect the people."
"And all I have to say to you my Son is that, as it is drawn, your circle of water looks more like the head of a snake." They all looked down and the whole had been almost filled from a bird in the tree straight up above them. This made them all jump back trying to see the bird, and keep any mess from landing on their heads. The next thing they heard was the bird falling through the branches with an arrow right through it. One of the braves bounced out of the bushes, and said how good this will be to eat later on this journey. They all in turn grunted or nodded to acknowledge the hunter it was good thinking.
So they all went back to the map drawn on the ground. Wolf made the plan by naming each warrior’s task that would culminate with them all working together.
They had forgotten the bird as it lay where it fell. There was dark black looking blood coming from the birds wound, and from where it was laying this black blood flowed down in the whole Little Wolf had drawn and even continued to flow down the line Wolf had drawn in the sand to represent the river. Perhaps it was some strange mineral in the soil to turn the blood from red to black instantly. There was no doubt now, this looked exactly like a black snake. Wolf signed for one of his warriors to wrap some large leaves around the bird and bring it back to Four Feathers for a reading to look for sign in this strange event.
Still not knowing where the band that separated exactly was, Wolf defined a scouting mission. The plan was to spread out and move below the bush line reading sign on the ground for tracking any foot prints. Once found a certain bird call was established as the signal for all to gather from the source of the call. From that point they will be close and can develop the best plan of approach. Wolf says: “We come to make friends and have understanding between our bands. Hold with peace as we make counsel on this matter."
Little Wolf speaks up: “I have a thought.” They all look in his direction. If we do the shift, we will be lower than the surround plants. Moving faster without being seen plus our senses to track and follow will be many times stronger. They all node and hold up their hands in silent agreement. Wolf looks at his son and when their eyes meet they grinned big in anticipation of the excitement, enhanced by how proud Wolf was of his son.
One warrior asks; so will the sign that we have found something now be a howl?
Most just giggled, all but Wolf who said; no we shift back to make the preset bird call as a man. Wolf asks, if there’s any questions. He slowly moves his eyes around their circle to meet the eyes of each warrior. No body spoke up. So the plan is set. Wolf says; as we move into the bushes and before the shift we will all make the bird call, for the ears of those we approach to hear and not be alarmed when we call to come back together.
They all nodded their heads, with a smile and each ran into the bushes making the single bird call slowly, one by one, to sound real.
After their all into the bushes they pause to seek a trail direction, knowing it could all change once they shift. They give thanks to Creator and the shift is on.
Wolf has dropped to all fours, standing there while his senses become strong and so much different. His vision had more than doubled every leave was seen and as he looked down a dirt path it was like he could see closer and everything was so clear and defined. There was a breeze and Wolf turned to face it. He felt the long fur rippling as the wind seemed to be touching him to prove the connection he had was real. His whole body felt so much stronger and he wanted to run, which brought a special feeling like he was born to be this. He’s smiling and starts walking a little, like he has forgotten they are on a mission. He’s walking along feeling wild and free almost prancing with his nose up in the air.
When in less than an instant he froze, it was the sent he picked up with his nose. It was the other band. He could tell by the smell of the group was not the same as the smell of their own. It was the animal instinct that is used when greeting the pack. From more than a mile they can tell if it’s their own pack or another that maybe needs to be avoided.
Wolf was running in the direction of the other bands odor. He’s completely shifted now and he thinks how strange it is to be in both worlds, thinking of the plan like a warrior man would, yet following the sent as a Wolf. But then it’s not that strange for he remembers stories of his ancestors of how much wisdom there is in this kind of connetion. Now he’s smiling tongue out the side taking big leaps and bounds feeling every hair of his long fur flowing with the motion. He’s almost flying now running so fast feeling as it should be.
The smell is getting stronger when he hears the bird call up ahead. He starts slowing down and he hears a branch break on his right side so he jumps in the air and it was Little Wolf about to cross his path so he also jumped from the sound of Wolf coming in his direction. Boom, they crashed together in mid- air tumbling over and over on the ground. They get up; looked at each other with hackles up on the back of their necks and dropped to the ground shift back to man state and both of them were holding their stomachs from the crash but rolling on the ground busting out laughing. Wolf holds his finger to his lips and point to his ears, both snapped back to the task and walked low in the brushes directed now to minimize their man noise. Moving slowly to stop and make the bird call and listen for a response.
They heard the response bird call, but it’s a little behind them. They looked at each other with eyes wide open for fear they are too close to the other band. So thy silenced all movement, got low, and listened.
The smell of a camp fire is in the air. They slowly turn to find the direction from which it comes carried on brother wind.
They figure the direction out and it’s off the trail to their right. Wolf turns one ear in that direction and cups it with his two hands to magnify any voice or sound that would indicate the true direction of the other clan and perhaps even what they might be doing. They heard the bird call again and realized indeed they were way in front of the rest of their own warriors. They won’t call back now because they know not how close they are. Wolf is listening hard with his ears attempting to discern the difference in man sound and that of their world around them. Wolf hears some muffle man voice distorted by the distance and brother wind.
Wolf turns to see little Wolf with his knife stuck into the sand and his ear on the hilt of the handle. What do you hear Wolf asks his son? Little Wolf looks up and whispers, “It sounds like sand”. Wolf pushes him over as he’s squatting. No; Dad the sand is loose and there is no vibrations for earth mother to whisper in my ear of what might be; Little Wolf pleas back up in a squat. Wolf pushes him over again as they both snicker and move with silence in the direct of the camp fire smoke. Wolf turns to his son and signs out for them to be on watch for the scout look outs, Little Wolf nods and signs back in question of the rest of their own warriors. Wolf signs back they will stay where they are and make the bird call until we come to them. No sounds step lightly and be on watch. They finished signing and turned to continue moving towards what they think is the other bands camp site, but even slower and more carefully now.
They are getting close enough for a scout. They are laying in the tall bushes looking in the direction of the voices. They can’t see anything through the bushes in front of them and that’s a good thing because the voices are speaking with anger. So much mean words hurtful and even a disgrace to hear.
They look up at the top of the hill in front of them. There’s an alcove that creates a smaller circle of walls around them for protection from the winds. They see the camp fire smoke is small but still wafting in their direction. It is fairly clear the shape of their camp by following the sight from atop the surrounding hill down to the top of the bushes in front of them. It is indeed a box canyon but Wolf sees a trail side, like a line on the side of the hill and he understands the trial reveals itself as a switch back route to make it easier to ascend the hill quickly and be out of the canyon. Good position to look out and around above ground level at the mouth of the canyon. The escape route they have made. The yelling and angry talking is getting louder. Wolf and his Son hear enough of the words to know that 2 of the people are in big disagreement getting louder progressively and the conversation is leading to the 2 leaving the others to make their own way.
Wolf has a quick flash thought and turns to Little Wolf using sign he tells him, we are about to be in sight move back with me low with no noise yet quickly get behind those big rocks behind us. Little Wolf nods and they begin to move just when the voices of the 2 with anger are saying their last words before they leave so their loud voice was a good cover for the sounds of their movement.
Wolf and his son shrink inside from such negative beings yelling in anger, as they continue to move back. They get behind the big rocks just in time to peak through some cracks and witness the man and woman going up the hill on the switch back trail. Wolf remembers these two as very strong warriors yet always mad and push hard at anything crossing their path. They get lower so not to be seen when the disbanded two cross over the top of the hill.
Suddenly there’s some scuffling on the ground and soft talking, it sounds like greetings, perhaps the remainder of the band is happy the angry ones have gone. However, they just don’t know and wouldn’t want to walk right in with some plan for a safe introduction. Wolf signs to Little Wolf to make the bird call so they can see where our warriors are. The bird call is made and they listen for a response. They hear nothing and wonder if their alone out here this close. Wolf nods to Little Wolf and his son repeats the call. It’s then that Wolf noticed he heard no sound coming from the direction of the camp.
Wolf signs to his son to carefully look through the cracks in the rocks just to see if they can see into the camp without being seen.
Just as their eyes peaked through the cracks there was an ear piercing bird call right up in their face. Both of them jumped back and when they landed they had shifted into wolves snarling teeth bared, hair hackles up crouched to pounce automatically from the threatening unknown.
Up stands their brother Bear in front of the big Rocks waving his arms making the bird call over and over. The wolves shifted back to man form and fell over in the long grasses holding their chest. Wolf says: Brother Bear we owe you for the rush of excitement to our hearts, they pump like a drum so hard right now. They are laughing now and rolling in the grass. Then they stop and look up to ask Bear where the rest of their warriors are, and see Bear walking towards the camp holding up one arm and waving for them to follow. They look at each other, grin over what just happen, look back towards Bear, shrug their shoulders and stand up coming out from behind the big rocks.
Eyes wide open as well as their mouths, there stood all the warriors that came on this quest. They stopped in Awe from the culmination of this quest to bring them once again together with four of the six that had separated, and a once thought lost elder named “4word”. Wolf walks up to her and she reaches out so they can hug. She whispers in his ear: “He is my Grandson.” She steps back to speak for all to hear the wisdom of their elder.
My Grandson has a strong fast way. We have given him time to lead. But he must go on his own way now. Yet still we must always remember to let each person no matter how close or far the blood to find their own path. All made some motion of understanding. 4words continues; there is a storm inside my Grandson and it fights so hard against itself that it can’t help but reflect in his daily walk. He will be trouble soon. He seeks out to take as much of everything he can. We must forever keep a watchful eye out of something that might seem strange because it just might be. He has much of the trickster coyote within him and makes no pause to steal and bully at his own amusement. His father was a warrior from the raid on our tribe’s camp 13 winters before the big flood. He was raised in our ways but he does have the blood of some different thinking, of the aggressive kind. These things will come to pass, and some harm will occur, and if it is to be as everything continues to change, perhaps he will too.
She turns to say the names of the 3 young women that came with them. They all re-friended and the girls ask if there’s anything to eat. One of Wolfs warrior brothers came out of the surrounding brush with two arrows and a bird on each. Wolf turns to see some others have already added wood to the fire burning bigger now to cook some kind gift of bird meat from the abundance of brother and sister animals in this amazing place. Wolf gives thanks to Creator for all the signs and gifts. And all around acknowledge his words as theirs. He strokes the bird and thanks it for its sustenance and life.
Little Wolf is talking to the men preparing the birds to cook and Wolf can see them speed up their task. Little Wolf walks over to his Dad and says we should eat for strength and get back fast. Wolf says you’re right Son but we must rest here while the food brings strength to our friends, it seems they haven’t eaten in several days. But you’re also right we should get back.
We will stay the night as the shadows are all but gone. This will be safer for them. You take four of the Best Wolf shifters, eat before you leave and shift to run faster. Return like the wind on the clouds to make watch over Four Feathers and the rest of the clan adding more warriors to protect our Home Land and the round Cave our sacred place of life and protection. Tell the story of the man & woman rouge warriors of a bad way so they may be ready with understanding.
Little Wolf did as was spoken all were huddled around the camp fire with full bellies. The four warriors walked to the edge of the bushes and forest and Wolf walked with them. Everyone knew what must be, so they gave Wolf a nod and as they began to shift they hear Wolf’s words. “Go and do with peaceful prayer my son and relations.”
The shift was fast and they were gone, Wolf heard a howl and smiled, turned and walked back to the camp fire.
He sat in the circle they had made and looked to OneBull and asked of the bird with black blood. OneBull pulled it out of his side bag.
Wolf says I’m happy to see we didn’t eat it, all had a good laugh.
Wolf began to tell the Story of the bird as it lay on the ground in front of them. He talked of the plan map drawn with a stick in the dirt. He told how his son had made a funny by drawing a circle at the river level end. Proceeding to tell of the bird they shot and how its blood turned black as it flowed down into the river on the stick drawing and the hole that was made filled up, they noticed it looked like a big black snake.
4words was looking up to the stars as she said. I remember a story burning generations counted and it was some connected to the sign of the black snake. She has pause as she seems to finally spot the batch of stars she was looking for. There, right there she says pointing up. They all look at the constellation she is pointing out. They, our ancestors, called it the Seven Sisters. I think it has something to do with that prophecy.
Wolf stared at the Seven Sisters Constellation and thought how wise the statement was to put things together ahead of time itself. Perhaps Four Feathers can provide more light for this discovery.
One man watch, to change during the night is set up among the braves.
As Wolf closes his eyes giving thanks for this day and all that was provided and the wisdom to know why she is called “Forward”.
Photo Credit: White Wolf