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SHAPE SHIFTING PART XXXI (Chapter 31)
~ 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 Creator.
Chapter 30 Review
Wolf sees Eagle Two Hearts flying up the new canyon headed his way. He raises his hand and hears the proud Eagle call. She flies up and lands on a big rock close to him. She explains the other tribe went scattering, back in the direction they came away from this place, must have thought they were walking into the shaking event. Wolf laughed. No worries about them Eagle Two Hearts says; it will be as many Suns as you have fingers and toes before they get even close to this area. Wolf is consoled as Eagle says; come on we need to explore this new land as your plans might need to be changed. Sounds about right says Wolf, everything continues to change. With that Eagle makes flight; hurry it’s amazing. Wolf yells out; is it as majestic as the sight of your flight on the wings of my friend. She spins a tumble thru the air and smiles back at Wolf and the others are all waving with anticipation this new plan of discovery might bring. Wolf remembers the death fall which he thinks Eagle might be doing in reference to. He smiles and looks forward to exploring.
Wolf turned around to the people and says: “Follow me. We must look around to see the many changes the shaking and stretching of Earth Mother has made to the land. It looks from here we might have some plans to change. The people looked up and saw the big tall new mountains through the trees. Everybody was amazed at Mother Earth’s strength and powers. Anxiously they gather some things for the long walk and some stayed back to start digging out the cave and maintain watch over the people’s safety. The people are excited about what they might find. Together they designated groups that set out to explore the new Earth lands changes in several different directions. Many wonder on many different things and what has become of the home cave. Wolf knows that Eagle Two Hearts will find them ahead on the trail to the new mountains, plus so much more she can see from the high flights above the land. Wolf asks if some staying back would please go check out the original home caves condition.
They start walking to go look off the ledge that has fallen away and become a cliff. Excitement and anticipation plus some worries are setting in as they leave to go see what they have never seen before.
This has been a good day, many changes and new ways to find, they are giving thanks in their minds that they all live and have butterflies in their stomachs at what they might find.
As the last of the clouds are clearing the skies, Wolf hears a deep rumble of thunder in a distance. All look up towards the thunder they heard. Wolf hears the difference as words from Creator to his ears only: “I’m proud of the tribe. You all followed my signs, but remember this is only the beginning; more important signs to come that will be the difference between life and death of the tribe. Listen and watch with caution and care to always be safe by watching out for each other.” Wolf smiles in knowing they have been pleasing to Creator. The new exploration begins.
Wolf gathers the people to make flexible plans united by the expressions and feelings of all the people. Some warrior groups are separated to make the journey in quest of discovery that the tribe may get benefits from what Creator has provided. But still the whole tribe has strong curiosity to discover what the changes will bring.
Little Wolf must stay back, with the women, (from his sprained ankle), with a few other warriors to guard protect and provide for the women left to coordinate untangling the mess that this event has created. To have both their caves cleared and retained as their original refuge, and be ready when the separated tribe comes to move through their area.
Wolf sets the plan of three groups to surround the new tall mountain and ascend to the top discovering what they can to provide the substance they need to survive as winter approaches. The three bands wave to signal they are on their way, and each group sets off. One group in the direction of each side and Wolf leads the group in the middle and they all will forge upward to the new mountain summit and meet at the top. Their all excited to think and see this is the tallest mountain around for as far as they can see and they can’t help but wonder how far and what they will see; when they reach the top.
4Featers turns to look at the women. Some begin to argue about what they will do and give directions to others, making choices without definition of direction. The women are in dissention filled with personal disagreement combined by the fact that they seem to be struggling, because each are attempting to be the leader only adds to the confusion. They need a true Alpha to take over and not be questioned of who is in charge. Never before during any shifting has there been an Alpha She-Wolf defined since Wolf’s wife had been swallowed by the fast rising waters during the big melt and ice break up.
4Feathers looks down in the valley to see the three groups of warriors well on their way. The women shifters around her have all slipped from dress and dropped down in their own personal shift. The dear Sisters aren’t of much help jumping off into the bushes as many of the women have shifted to the Wolves that they truly are. Four Feathers holds a secrete she has never revealed before, yet in her time has practiced away from all the others.
FourFeathers stands strong and starts giving directions to accomplish what they must get done together not separated by some; who’s in charge power issues. The many She-Wolves surround her showing teeth in disagreement, snarling and barking at her moving in to do their worst. FourFeathers is a little taken back for this is the first time of the now tribes misdirection and she has decided it’s time for her to set things straight.
FourFeathers picks up a rock and throws it over their heads to resound a large thump on a tall tree. They all look at the tree and turn back to suddenly feel the ground rumbling begin again all the wolves lay down and whimper in fear and ready to run in all directions. But as fast as it started it was still. The other wolves looked at and even started snapping at each other as if there will be fighting to declare the leader, the Alpha She-Wolf.
They all look back to the center where FourFeathers was. They see that FourFeathers is now on top of a tall rock close to them but much taller.
FourFeathers is now above them with her arms held out and they see the fresh dirt from the rumbling must have been the rising of this big rock all around it straight up out of the ground.
FourFeathers has all their attention now, even the deer Sisters, rabbits, squirrels, and all shifters peek out from hiding to see what they find hard to believe. There on top of the new taller rock than any could reach that must have just come up out of the ground; stands FourFeathers with her hands out. The other She-Wolves all around the tall rock now with front paws up on it they run around the rock only to find there is no way up from the ground that they can reach. Their paws on the rock looking up and growling at FourFeathers, She thinks hard to herself it is time to become.
Four Feathers seems to be glowing a gold color from a fractured ray of the Morningstar shining through a tree behind her. All the other wolves back up and stop snarling to see better what is going on. FourFeathers lowers her arms and looks around at all the she-wolves surrounding the tall rock. Was this some kind of magic or was it just that she was standing in the right place at the right time. They already know she is a powerful medicine woman.
Her very first shift in front of the tribe, and they never even knew she was a shifter. She begins to get taller and bigger as her dress falls away and she drops to all fours paws with hackles up on the back of her neck still glowing golden from the Morningstar’s reflection, or is that part of what could be a sacred magical event. She has shifted into a stunning seeming mystically larger She-Wolf than any of those on the ground around the rock. She jumps down to the ground and as she walks around the others it’s clear she is at least one and a half times the size taller than any one of them. Fact is she is almost the size of White Wolf.
With her hackles up fur standing on end as the threat that she was slowly walking around them; one by one the others started laying down rolling over to expose their vulnerable stomachs. All complied to acknowledge her leadership, until she came to the last one that was refusing to yield, standing on all fours at least two hands shorter. Four Feathers knows this woman who has caused problems before. The woman snaps at Four Feathers in defiance. Immediately so fast almost un-seeable Four Feathers jumped on this wolf and had her pinned to the ground with her front paws on her neck and FourFeathers had her teeth on her ear ready to bite it off. The last defiant wolf closed her snarl, turned to expose her stomach and gave yield to confirm that FourFeathers will be the Alpha She-wolf of this tribe and pack.
Four feathers jumped back up on the tall rock grabbed her dress up in her mouth and jumped off the back side out of sight. All the remaining wolves looked around at each other nodding acknowledgement that went around the circle.
Within a nod of the last head FourFeathers walked out from behind the rock with her dress on like she had never shifted. She stood in the middle of the wolf circle and said: Are there any questions? No body answered they just all pick up their clothes and walked off into the brush and shifted back. Slowly they came back to stand together, all looking at Four Feathers waiting to hear her directions.
Being confirmed at that point, FourFeathers started giving suggestions not directions of what must be done and giving each the option of what they choose to call their task. The women all look around at each other talking about this being the way of the true Alpha, all but one; the larger woman who didn’t want to yield. Four-Feather just told her to get in the new cave and start digging it out. She walked like she had a tail between her legs in submittal and went straight to work. Four Feathers looked over at Little Wolf and the 2 other warriors, all in shock with their mouths open. FourFeathers said; “Close your mouths before you eat a fly, and don’t you all have something to do? Little wolf stay here, make a plan and see if you can bring some food for the night’s meal. You other two go check out the home cave and if it’s open enough to start digging it out. We have our belongings in there, things we made, and can use as we need without making them all over again.
Still looking at her they closed their mouths and went to the tasks she had spoken, how could they not it made the best sense.
The warriors are out on the trail of discovery, a journey to find and see what the big shake has modified or redirected by building mountains where there was none. Wolf leads his group to the first investigation; find the noise of that big loud water flowing. They walk towards the sound and it continues to get louder. When they reach the rushing water it is discovered the river flowing by home cave is now flowing in the opposite direction, and roaring water defeats all sound around and it’s even louder just up around the next shear rock wall corner. They slowly move with care on the slippery river edge to work their way around and see with their eyes what type of water fall this has made.
They find the source which is a very large water fall. The sound is deafening as the river cascades off the edge of a cliff that seems to have no bottom. They can’t cross over here it’s far too dangerous. Wolf signs for them to follow the trail back so they can move towards the new mountain and walk their way to the top, but first they must find a safe way to cross this rushing water. All three groups are in this plan but going up different sides to see more and talk of what they have discovered on the day’s journey when they meet at the top.
Wolf sees the group has stopped so he moves his way up to the front on the narrow path to investigate the site and what direction to take. They have found a place where the slope of the land down to the base of the new mountain can be walked, but they still have the river to cross to get to it. He looks up river and sees that the cliff becomes steeper and discourages the attempt to cross, for there would be no place to walk down without just jumping off the cliff. The roaring river is not as load in this spot. They sit down to make a plan and rest for a bit.
Wolf looks up at the new mountain peak, the point of their quest to walk this day. He hears a King Wood pecker behind him and remembers the sign they used to maintain connection during the big shake. Staring at the mountain he sees a few birds fly over him and smiles at the wonders of flight. Again more birds flying right over him. Now he is wondering if this might be a sign from Creator. He turns to look behind them and sees a tall tree leaning way over their path. He stands up and walks to the base of the tree and sees it has been up routed and barely holding itself up. Once again the King Woodpecker knocks on this very tree. Wolf looks up and down the leaning tree and hears a deep voice in his mind: How many signs do you need? Hmmm Wolf knows this must be the way; then he has an idea. He signs for the warriors to gather by this big leaning tree. They all walk around it to notice as Wolf pulls a warrior out from walking under the leaning tree. It’s hanging there held only by a few roots exposed and up in the air, it would crush any or all of us if it fell when we were under it.
He directs the warriors by example of hitting the holding roots with his tomahawk. The others look to see where the tree will fall. It will be right across the river they need to get to the other side of. All the others join in and some start pushing leaning hard on the tree. It’s starting to make cracking sounds and leans over just a little bit farther. Bear looks at it and turns his head sideways as if to be analyzing the perspective of speeding up this process. Bear growls out load all turn to see what’s up. He walks back up the hill from the leaning tree and in a flash shifts into the very big bear that he is. Then bear moves his arms in front of himself like he’s doing the breast stroke and the warriors get the message, by this sign, and back away from the tree. Bear starts running fast down the hill and jumps up to grab onto the tree, with all his weight hits it with a force of more than twice as many of the men. His claws dig in and he climbs up a few jumps, but the tree has already started making sounds of roots, wood, and branches cracking. Dirt was flying up into the air from the roots pulling out of the ground, it’s falling over. Bear digs in his long claws, holds on tight, and the tree crashes to the ground splintering dust flying up into the air and a thud so loud it made all the warriors feel it vibrate up through their bodies. The tree lies across the river and has created a bridge of sorts for the warriors to cross.
Bear stands up on the tree and he’s over the river. He turns one way to look over the edge then the other way and turns to look at the guys. He jumps up and down pushing the tree with his heavy weight and big feet. The tree is strong and safe for the warriors to cross. Bear walks across and swipes his big paws breaking off the branches to make a path in the middle of the tree yet the other surrounding branches remain for the warriors to hold and steady their balance as the all in line move quickly across the river on this new bridge that bear has made. Wolf says: We will call this “Bear’s Bridge” They all had a good laugh just as Bear shifted back and he was laughing too and said; “I’m honored,” smiling big.
They continued on down into the deepest part of the valley at the base of the new mountain. They paused at Wolf’s arm up and all turned into a circle to rest and speak. Wolf said this is a sacred time. “We our tribe has made the first tracks of any kind on this new land.” They’re all sitting down to rest from the long walk. Wolf leans back and his hand touches something hard and he turns to see. It was a bone looking to be an ancient short leg bone. He held it up and said: “The first prints right after these guys.” They all had a great laugh. The little bit of humor gave them strength to recover soon and they continued to make the push all the way up to the top.
One Claw leads one of the other two warrior groups traveling along the East edge. They’re now looking for a good place to make rest before walking up, in the middle or somewhere about there, he saw a tree up ahead to be their point to ascend. Since they were on the edge of the upturned earth, they stopped under one of the remaining tall wide trees for the shade and cool breeze. Just as they settled down to rest a bit they heard a loud call, it was an Eagle. They walk out from under the tree, look up and see, her circling above, it’s; Eagle Two Hearts. She makes a hard bank and comes down on a large rock, majestically folding her wings to her sides making it easy to see her name from the size where they are she could easily have two hearts, but they know there’s deep meaning in her name. She shakes all over and comes to a still saying: “There you are, I’ve been looking for you guys. It seems that One Claw has a reputation that pre-seeds himself.” They all look at each other like what are the meaning of these words? Eagle clears her throat and kind of giggles. “Wolf said to get up out of the shade and start heading up the mountain” OH they all nod looking around; how did he know? Eagle started laughing as she made flight and looked back to say; “watch out for the big cat up in that tree. Get going boys Eagle is watching.”
All the warriors turned so fast to look up in the tree you could almost hear the sound of, whoosh. “What big cat they said almost simultaneously.”
They made a plan for one man at a time would run in the tree’s shade and grab his gear and run out while all the others watch for the danger of the big long toothed cat. Finally the last man had his gear which consists of water bags, skins and fur to sleep on plus the other weapons they always carry. They all started moving a little more quickly to the mountain base and hurry up the side while they kept looking back to keep from being attacked. They can shift into Wolves and chase the cat away but first they have to see it and then they would be running in the wrong direction, and their gear would just be dropped right there. Half way up the mountain they stopped for a bit to catch their breath and have a quick drink of water. They looked around at each other and One Claw said: “Did anybody ever see a big cat?” All shook their heads no. Looking deeper into the event they started laughing and one warrior said; that darned Eagle, but she sure got us moving. One Claw mentioned not to be so quick to judge. Things aren’t always as they appear. The last man should keep a watch out for anything that might be tracking us as we move on the best path towards the top of this virgin land.
It was but a short time later when the last man tapped the man in front and each passed the warning up to the front. As each man was touched he immediately touched the next and they all went down, low to the ground, some moved behind the big rocks that had been brought up to the surface from the shake, they looked down the trail.
They all focus back to the big tree they came from and there at the bottom was a big cat sniffing the ground and looking around; the warriors all froze in place hoping not to be seen. The big cat looked up and was sniffing the air. One Claw noticed the wind was coming down the mountain and pushing their sent towards the big cat, that was beginning to pick up the smell of them. The warriors were on full alert so all held up their spears by their sides standing straight up tall towards the sky. The big cat looks straight at them. One Claw sees the cat start moving slowly towards them and soon it starts running to get there faster. One Claw picks up a good size rock and slams it down hard on a much bigger rock the rock he was holding exploded from the force and made many smaller rocks which was his intent to give them pieces to throw.
The exploding rock made a loud noise and the big cat stopped and lowered to the ground. The other warriors seeing this started copying One Claws move to break rocks. The loud exploding noise had the cat’s full attention. This kind of noise is not normal in nature except for the time of the big shake. So perhaps that was what frightened the big cat that soon stood up tall and ran fast away from the warriors. The cat went up over a hill and out of sight. The warriors were surprised and sat in a small circle to talk about what just happened.
One claw begins; I wasn’t trying to scare the big cat I was trying to make rocks into weapons to throw if it got to close. We all saw what happened. So we take the lesson that while we are doing one thing it can become the distraction of another. But still we were becoming more prepared to defend ourselves from such a big cat; that would surely have created a big fight to the death of us or it, and nobody wanted that. All life is precious. Always think ahead and be prepared. One warrior added; and listen to Eagle Two hearts; Eagles have far better eyes than us and she could see from way above. Point be true to always listen to the words and signs from the animals they are us, we are as one and together we should pay very close attention to each other for all our sake of survival.
They hear Eagle call from far above and they look up just in time to see her diving towards the mountain up ahead of them they saw a big rock rolling down towards them the same time they felt its rumbling thunderous bouncing down the mountain. The men all scattered as the big rock tumbles past and misses all of them. They freeze in place and look at each other. Nobody is talking, when One Claw speaks up; Eagle is watching over us. Let’s get going it’s a far ways to the top yet.
Wolf’s warriors are getting close to the top. The grade is very steep and from the struggling they have stopped to rest. Wolf looks out to scout around with his eyes. He sees another group walking up a steeper part on his right side and because of the harder climb they’re father down the mountain than Wolf. He turns back to his men and says; Look around and see how high we are, and look how far we can see, imagine what it will be like on top. We can get a good view all around to make plans for the tribe’s future.
They hear Eagle call and see her in flight high above. A crow catches up gliding on the draft of her thermal jet stream to make its flight easier. Eagle looks back and thinks; everybody is looking for a free ride. The crow and eagle laugh together and begin to spine flip and turn around in flight. Eagle would call and the crow would respond, caw, caw, caw. Wolf smiles and the others ask what’s going on? Wolf says; Eagle is telling crow what where doing and where we are to crow. Crow will carry the message back to Four Feathers. In unison they all nod their heads. Wolf points at the crow that has peeled off from the flight path and makes a hard bank to head back towards the camp they had left to begin this journey. Wolf nods his head and smiles. Soon Four Feathers will know we will not return tonight. From the time we are walking up this mountain it will be close to sunset and we must sleep on top. It will be good to see all around when the Morningstar first comes up.
Back at the Home cave FourFeathers is helping the other women inside removing by digging out the weapons, tools, and possessions the tribe has been working to create for so long. Somethings are still in the making but so much time can be saved if they can save what they can. She explains this to the women working inside and they all nod their heads in agreement going straight back to work. FourFeathers picks up what she can carry and walks outside the cave. She lays down the things she was carrying. Bending back with her arms bent to place her hand on her hips she stretches her back. She hears the crow cawing, and turns to see it sitting on the buffalo rock on top of the home cave. There sat the crow and now he’s really calling as his head bobs up and down with each call. Caw, Caw, Caw. I hear you FourFeathers says, (Wopila) thanks for the message. She turns and all the other women are looking at her with big question marks on their faces. Four Feathers say: “The men won’t return this night they are getting close to the top of the mountain.” FourFeathers along with the others walk to the edge, past the trees to look towards the new mountain. They see the majestic mountain there standing taller than any mountain around. FourFeathers says; “Be well my brothers, the survival of the tribe rests on you.”
FourFeathers looks over at the bushes shaking when out pops Little Wolf with but a small limp and the good news is he has four rabbits over his shoulders. The women all start whooping and calling in joy as they go over to Little Wolf. Some take the rabbits to clean, others go to gather more wood and start the nights fire while they can still see as the Morningstar continues getting lower in the sky. Four Feathers points to 3 other women and says follow me. She leads them down the old game trail and turns into the bushes coming out in an overgrown area of potatoes and other eatable plants. She doesn’t say a word but lays down 3 extra woven bags on the ground and starts to work on gathering the needs for the dinner putting it in the one bag she had for herself. The others pick up a bag and begin to follow her example. She hears some of the women talking of the way of a good leader. It’s to lead by example and this is proof that Four Feathers was born to be the true Alpha. They smile and so does Four Feathers as they all continue until their bags are full Four Feathers was first and held the bag up over her shoulder to carry back the short distance to the home cave camp fire. The rabbits have been skinned and cleaned. She picks up one of the skins smiling and looking it over to think of what can be made from this. Another woman comes to Four Feathers and takes the rabbit skin/fur and says she’s going to make a branch hoop to stretch it out and clean it to cure out usable for whatever they need.
The group of warriors that encountered the big long tooth cat reach the top of the mountain just before the Morningstar is about to touch the Western horizon. They look over the other edge and see Wolf and his group is almost there.
Wolf steps up on the new mountain summit and looks over to see the ones already there and then the last of the three groups come over the crest of a few smaller big rocks. They have all made the journey to the top.
Their all sitting down some lying back, it was a long steep climb. Wolf stands up on a big rock and looks towards the Morningstar as it slowly goes down behind the far horizon. The sky turns a brilliant yellow orange and then turns to deep red, turning to purple. The colors are magical and seem to renew their energy. They are all excited to be on the top and as the ground gets dark they know they will be sleeping up here to get a grand view; as far as they can see from this tall mountain top. Wolf say’s I was just thinking this could be what the Eagles sees from this high up in the air. The others are nodding and start talking about how hungry they are. Wolf takes a skin out of his side bag and opens it spreading the skin out on a the big flat rock. It’s filled with dried Deer strips of meat and the warriors are happy to see he brought food, they reach out carefully taking some meat to help them regain their strength during the night.
They have no wood to make a fire but as the darkness gets stronger they find that they can still see pretty good. It’s the light from the stars shining so brightly. They sit in a circle and continue eating the dried chewy meat, talking about all the things that happened during their climb. Each man has a little bit different story to tell.
Wolf looks around and asks; where is One Claw? One Claw peaks up from looking down the side they walked up kind of in the direction of the big tree down at the base. Wolf says; there you are. Yes says One Claw, I will take the first watch and we will change during the night so nothing will sneak up and try to eat us. He’s warrior group remembers and starts talking about the Big long tooth cat and how Eagle was watching out for them.
They continue talking and decide the watch and who will be next and so on until the dawn arrives.
They settle down, tired from the tall climb in such a short time.
Wolf remains sitting on the top rock looking towards the East as he sees a glow in the sky where the moon will be showing up in a very short time. The sky is bright and continues to getting brighter. Suddenly the moon peeks up and its bright light reflects across the home camp and comes as a bright glowing ray shining all the way up to the Mountain top they are on. We are connected he says.
In but a short time the moon is full and up in the sky far enough to light up all the land around. He feels like the great mystery of all that is has provided this display to shed light on them all. He walks down and relieves One Claw by saying; go lay down and get some rest we have much to do tomorrow, I’ll stand watch for a while. One Claw nods and walks up to the top where the others are resting. Wolf looks out and sees the big tree that One Claw was talking about, it’s glowing a brighter green than all the surrounding area mostly just brown earth. He sighs from this beautiful site and is excited to see what comes to their eyes when the Morningstar rises.
Back at home cave; feeling connected, Four Feathers stands on the cliff edge looking up the mountain top knowing that’s where they rest this night and she strains her eyes to see by the light of the stars, but it’s far away to see. Yet she feels the connection. She turns to walk back past the camp fire burned down to embers and starts to go into the cave but stops and thinks she would better like sleeping under the stars tonight.
This has been one unforgettable day.
All their dreams mingle of the warriors on the mountain top as the night and their dreams continue. They are all so excited about the new discoveries that the Morningstar will bring and anxious to hear the stories on the men’s return.
How far can they see? What will be there? Which way and how will their plans change? So many questions and things to remember yet there will be so much more they will know to make it a better tomorrow. She lies back looking at so many stars, there doesn’t seem to be a place for the dark to be clear, it almost like they are all touching each other. They make a good light just as the starts drifting in thoughts. Suddenly the mountain on their East side starts getting brighter. She turns to look and in a glance she sees a shooting star and makes a wish before it goes out. She remembers from the elders talking in the circle; to finish the wish before the falling star light goes out means your wish will come true.
She wished the men safety on the journey. Now she’s thinking what will we begin with tomorrow, they may all be looking for my guidance. First we will eat; I know they will all agree to that. The brightness of the full moon just now hitting their camp was surreal. One more look to see so many different shapes the brighter stars made in the sky; then sleep found her.