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SHAPE SHIFTING PART XXXIV (Chapter 34)
~ 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 33 Review
It was a great meal all were satisfied and happy, excited as well. They are in anticipation of the stories to be told at the circle fire tribal council tonight. The people want to hear what everything is all about. There is concern of leaving this place and are sure, the stories will tell them why.
At the nights council fire when the tribe had gathered to hear of the new guidance in directions and the tribes feelings to stay united in agreement as one. They’re waiting for the stories to begin. All have found their place and the talking sound lowers as One Claw stokes the fire by tossing a couple of large logs on.
They all watch and look up at the tiny sparks from the logs dropped on the fire. The twinkles are rising as well as the spirits of the whole tribe. When they looked back down everybody for some strange reason are all smiling big and looking around at each other. They looked back and forth; some would put their hands over their mouths and bend over laughing not wanting the attention. It was a magical bonding moment for the whole Tribe, not to go un-noticed by White Wolf and Four Feathers sitting across from each other close to the fire; faces glowing smiling big the same as the rest of the tribe. They glance at each other and eyes lock. Their personal smiles get bigger. Wolf pics up the sacred white bone Buffalo skull holding it in his hands he stands up and with his arms razing it above his head to the sky.
All goes silent, save for the wind in the pines and some background river flowing water noise can be heard.
Wolf speaks to the ancestors medicine council in the sky…..
“Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds of time, and whose breath gives life to the entire earth, hear me, for we are small and weak and need your strength and wisdom. Let us walk in beauty to make our eyes ever behold the sunsets of Reds, Purple, and Gold. Make our hands respect the things you have made and our ears to hear and know your voice. Make us wise so that we may understand the things you have taught our people, to know the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
We seek the strength, not to be greater than our brothers and Sisters, but to fight our greatest enemy ~ ourselves.
Deadly quiet abounds. Suddenly there’s a very loud cracking branch sound followed by another, and another all in different places. Wolf says: “Something is coming thru the dark woods towards the tribe, and its more than one...”
The warriors all draw their weapons to protect the tribe. They turn to look at Wolf for the example to follow.
Wolf is not there; also Four Feathers, Little Wolf, and One Claw have vanished - all that remains are their clothes on the ground where they stood or sat just a blink of an eye ago.
They instantly shifted and ran like the wind to circle behind the sounds of whatever is approaching thru the dark forest.
Bear steps out front and the remaining warriors line up on both sides of his center. They make ready to do battle with whatever comes into the fire light out of the dark forest.
Everybody is flexed and ready to pounce into action, when out from deeper in the forest they hear Wolf and the other shifters begin to howl.
Immediately the adversaries came running into the fire light, and froze in place. They were but a few women and one young man with such a strong look of fear on each and every one of their faces. They looked at the warriors facing them all in line, and heard the wolves howling behind them. The fear of the wolves' howls had them step forward, closer to the warriors looking back over their shoulders.
Bear broke the stare down when he smiled and stepped out two more paces. It was his kind heart, looking at the thin, hungry, worn out people, easy to tell they had been on the run for sometime. All the rest of the tribe started smiling with friendship and compassion.
The tribe's women came out from behind the warrior line, helping the new people come closer to the fire. They fixed them some food that was left over from the feast. The people ate it down so fast; others had to tell them to slow down so it doesn’t knot up in their stomachs.
One woman jumped back and the other women and the young man looked up and they all crowded together back to back in a protection circle. Bear and a few of the others wondered what was happening.
Just then it became obvious. Wolf and the other shifted wolves were walking among them; passing by to grab their own clothes from the ground with their mouths and walked into some nearby bushes in the dark, and shift back to human form to dawn their apparel. The new people just sat there with their mouths hanging open. One new woman said: “We have forgotten about this.” Bear grabbed his big belly and roared out big uproarious laughter which was contagious and soon everybody was enjoying the humor of the situation.
While all continued to laugh Wolf, Four Feathers, One Claw, and Little Wolf walked out of the dark bushes in full dress with questioning looks on their faces. Where had these new people come from? What do they know? Are they part of the estranged tribe? But, what is first on their minds is how they can we help them?
The tribe had moved in around the new people, as the four leaders came walking up. They made a friendly smile. Yet the new people show some fear of the unknown on their faces. One new woman spoke up; “We are afraid of the powers in the dark.” Wolf looks at her and smiles. He says: “Power comes from within. Within the soul of a human being when he realizes his relationship in the great circle, his oneness with the universe and all its powers. When he realizes at the center of the universe there’s a power greater than his own self. This power cannot be worn like a shirt, it cannot be carried like a tomahawk it’s within each person’s soul and yet a little bit different for each, but the same.”
There’s a period of silence as all the people process what Wolf had just said. Slowly they begin to nod and it goes around when they each, through contemplation, get the true meaning of his words.
The new ones began talking, describing what they had been through. Wolf looks up at the stars and back down to the people. He proclaims: “You are the ones we called the estranged tribe. What happened to your leading men? I remember some discontentment many moons ago when you all ran off to separate from us. We were concerned for your welfare as none of your small band are shifters. Perhaps that was the root cause of personal discontent.”
The tribe fell silent, looked at Wolf, then back down at the new people sitting at the fire. They recalled also, now that Wolf had mentioned it. This could be the separated band that ran from their tribe to break away on their own. But where are the warriors that were threatening to attack them and take their winter stores and claim their home cave and this whole area of this land? That point was of no matter now. They will be leaving the sacred valley at first light, to escape the great lake flooding that is definably coming.
The new people’s eating is slowing as they are becoming more comfortable with the Tribe and their stomachs are filling. They have less fear in their eyes. Wolf noticed this and was talking in his mind to Little Wolf. “They have a story to tell, we must let them tell us, we will use that knowledge to direct our way.” Little Wolf used the same way to answer his dad in agreement.
Then an amazing thing happened. A woman’s voice in the heads of both Wolf and Little Wolf was speaking. It was Four Feathers, they both looked at her, she looked at them, smiled and in her mind said: “I’ll get the story started, you both plan ahead.” Wolf and his son stood there with their mouths dropped open, in disbelief. They hear her voice again: “Close your mouths boys, before you swallow a bug.” The three of them started grinning; laughing hard inside. The people around the fire heard a snorting giggle and looked their way. Four Feathers started talking and walking up, to the new people. Wolf was thinking: “The distraction of redirection.” Yet he heard Four Feathers voice again says: “Yes and I’m very good at it.”
Their smiles and Four Feathers welcoming tone of interest in their adventures walking to sit with them created a new beginning of this gathering with lighter hearts it did facilitate their stories to start flowing.
They talked about how scared they were when the ground shook them off their feet. Then their warriors became confused and led them in many different directions. They had no food so the women began to gather. The men went off to hunt on their own. They looked at the boy. He began to tell of the hunt. They came upon a small herd of elk and started stalking them. That’s when the long toothed Cat came jumping down from a tree landing on the warriors and started tearing into them. The elk herd bolted in a run up over several hills out of sight headed towards the big mountain.
Wolf was thinking; that explains the elk herd that came running across their path up on the big mountain. Little Wolf and Four Feathers both looked up at Wolf. Wolf said in his mind “Did I just think, or say that out loud?” The three of them giggled and looked back at the boy.
The boy said: “It wasn’t funny; I started running as fast as I could while the men fought with the big toothed cats, and was thankful to get away, but sorry the warriors were all taken down by the big toothed cats.”
Wolf says: “Wait; two times you said Cats, was there more than one?”
The boy said: “Yes, there were three big toothed cats.”
Simultaneously you could hear the intake breath of the warriors that went on the exploration journey to the big mountain; they looked around at each other, in shock of belief. One Claw says: “Three big toothed cats!” Bear speaks up: “That means there are two big toothed cats still out there.” The boy inquired, “What do you mean?”
One Claw and Bear began telling of their journey up the new tall mountain and how Wolf had killed a big toothed cat. All the people are listening to hear of their own warrior’s journey learning from what they saw and did.
Wolf, Four Feathers, One Claw, and Little Wolf all look at each other at the same time; roving eyes between them, looking for sign. Wolf moves his head briefly so as not to be noticed and turns to begin walking back towards the dark forest. Bear and the other warriors carry on with the stories of their journey. Soon the other three followed one at a time slowly slipping away out of the fire light, one by one to go un-noticed. They walked back into the dark forest where they shifted and dressed a short time ago.
They gather in the dark forest unseen by the others, yet they can faintly hear the voices of the story tellers still continuing with their journeys tale.
They are explaining now what they saw from the tallest point in this valley and the fact and reasons they must move out and begin a new journey out of this place they love and have learned to call home. Four Feathers ears are up and she heard every word from the story tellers. She hasn’t missed a thing.
Wolf begins by saying, “Remember how we can hear them, they can also hear us, so speak softly and we will make talk of the change in our plans to include the new people.”
One Claw explains that he will set up the nights watch, we must be aware that two big toothed cats that still remain out there somewhere in the dark, and they can see fine. Wolf explained to pick Wolf shifters and have them on watch as wolves. Their senses and sight will be strong enough to pick up anything that approaches in the dark. Have them make a low howl on occasion and pass it around to send the signal/the-sign that all is good. That might even keep the cats at bay, but if the cats come; start barking fast to alert the tribe! The others grunt and nod in agreement.
Four Feathers says: “We will set up shifts for the women to change out and get some sleep yet keep cooking flat bread all night to have more food to carry on the epic journey that begins at first light. We need to stay strong and healthy on this new quest.” All agree and smile at the wisdom she shows in planning, as a leader would.
Little Wolf speaks up saying: “We have come far and this valley has been good to us, our tribe has grown now in numbers and the quest to new lands is part of our journey. We are nomadic and will continue to roam the lands of our Mother Earth to follow the game and foods for gathering. We are a proud people and must instill this feeling within all the whole tribe. Together we are many, and all connected on this wonderful time of adventure; that makes life exciting and very worthy of living.”
Wolf says: “I like your encouragement son. Besides, who wants to live at the bottom of a big lake?” They all laugh holding their hands over their mouths to muffle the noise. Straight faced Little Wolf says: “Good Medicine.” They must use both hands now to silence the laughter. All thinking indeed it is good medicine, as they head back to the circle fire with lighter hearts.
They walk up to the tribe. The mountain journey warriors are still talking of what they saw, and did. Soon it was understood they had already finished the story, this was but another warriors memories. When the group walked up and stopped at the edge of the circle, so did the talking stop. Everybody looked up at the four leaders waiting to hear the plans. Wolf lays out the plan and One Claw starts naming the night’s watch warriors. Four Feathers gathers the women together and begins to assign their sequence of cooking up as much flat bread all night, and gets them started right away.
The new women come up to Four feathers asking what they can do to help: “We are with you now if our acceptance is given.” Four Feathers says: “There are no orphans in wolf clans. They are automatically accepted to be with the tribe, like wild wolves do. But first we need to walk over to the small waterfall and get you all cleaned up before the people start calling you the dirty face people.” They all smiled and some giggled as they walked behind Four Feathers leading them towards the small waterfall where Wolf cleaned up earlier.
When they walked around the cliff, they heard a roaring sound. Wolf was already standing at the waterfall. It was very big now and flowing too hard to stand under, but it did make a shallow creek running towards the big river at the bottom of the camp. Four Feathers pointed to the creek for the women to wash up. She walked over to Wolf who had a concerned look on his face. He talks about how much bigger the waterfall was in just the short time since he was under it. They both look at the strong water getting stronger and wider by the passing of such a short time. The melt is increasing and the necessity to escape this valley is confirmed to be urgent. They watch for a while and decide they should be okay waiting for the first light to begin the quest out of this fast filling valley. They dismiss the idea of trying to beginning the walk on the dangerous trail with the big cats out there somewhere on the hunt. Four Feathers stays with the women to be their guard for the women as the Alpha. Wolf hurries on to check the watch, as the women begin to disrobe and clean up.
Out of sight Wolf shifts and starts running towards the sounds of the closest watch, to check. His vision is bright and clear as he jumps through and over the bushes and trees. All is well with the shifted wolves on guard.
White Wolf runs out through the dark forest to his favorite lookout rock; he slows to a walk when he arrives to where the trees start clearing and he can see the night sky. He’s looking up at the stars as he walks forward slowly turning his head to see the whole sky with more stars than there is dark sky.
Standing on the extended big flat rock he looks down into the dark forest of the valley and as he raises his head to see the black new mountain stands out from all the bright shining stars that surrounding its outline. He’s thinking of the way it was and how it is now, everything does continue to change. He tilts his head back and lets out a mighty call, howling out thankful appreciation to the sacred valley. All the wolves on watch howl in turn; returning the call. The sign that Wolf had directed to mean everything was as it should be.
The tribe worked in shifts thru the night. Everybody had time to rest and sleep if possible. The excitement of the beginning of the new quest hangs in their thoughts.
Just before first light the whole tribe was up and ready. Wolf, Little Wolf, Four Feathers, and One Claw walked among the people helping to be sure everything they carry is set in a way to be easiest on the carrier. They also make joyful talk of new things to come to keep the peoples' spirits up. They discuss the lead of two shifter wolf warriors in front to scout out the best safe path, and two at the rear to protect and guard the tribe for they know the big toothed Cats are still out there.
The Journey begins and in such amazing silence they move through the bush trail toward the land bridge. Wolf walks backwards as he looks back and smiles noticing even the dogs have been packed using drag poles to carry supplies.
They come to the clearing where the land bridge was. The scout warrior leaders are standing there waiting for the tribe to catch up; for this is something they must see for themselves. Wolf and Bear are first to see. Wolf turns and holds up his hand and signs for the tribe to take cover under the trees. The land bridge was intact but the river below has risen twice or more from what it was, taking a larger amount of the bottom of the land bridge out. It doesn’t look stable to cross. Wolf and the lead warriors are considering the safety of the people crossing without the land bridge failing and bringing catastrophic consequences. It doesn’t look safe, and the decision to find a new way settles in as the continuing changing of plans ensues.
The river is cascading down on the outside of the valley containment. The roaring water fall has washed away the trail they had marked to take, following the pathway to the South. They must find a new way to escape this valley, but Wolf still has confidence that Creator will provide the path, even though he has no idea what it is right now. Suddenly the Morningstar blinks from light to shadow and back to light. Wolf looks up to see storm clouds are coming in from all directions to cover the sky. Wolf remembers this was the sign just before the big earth shake.
The people are mumbling among each other, there’s a building fear of the unknown. Wolf signs for the people to wait in place and the mumbling stops. All eyes are on him.
They hear the big toothed cats roar in the forest on the opposite side of the land bridge. In a stitch of time the two cats jump out of the bushes at the base of the hill path and move quickly down towards the land bridge. Wolf and the warriors drop their clouts and shift into the Wolves they are; as well as Bear, to protect the tribe.
The big cats quickly walk towards the beginning of the land bridge and pause to look down at the narrow land strip holding up the path. Wolf starts turning in circles and barking snarling and snapping towards the cats. He’s thinking to attract the cats. “I’m the one who took out your brother.” The cats must have heard him because they started swiping their front paws with claws out with snarling growls. All the Wolves are turning around mostly showing their backside to the cats. This flipped the cats switch and they started running across the land bridge together charging at the wolves. Right in the middle of the land bridge gave way and collapsed. The big toothed cats fell, turning around on their way down to finally splash in the river far below and disappeared out of sight. Wolf is thinking loud enough for all to hear: “Creator, we are thankful that worked. They wanted to get us so bad they forgot to consider their own safety.” “Cats; grrrr, grunt.” Bear said. The warriors around him shifted back and started patting his back chuckling and grinning.
Wolf looks in the opposite direction of the land bridge. This came from his memory of many dreams where the opposite is the true path. He’s on the run still shifted as the White Wolf he is, now running up the steep sand hill he saw. Sand is flying as he runs fast to the very top. He pauses and sits looking in the South Eastern direction. The people can see him and know he’s making contact with all that is. This must be, for that’s where their directions and guidance comes, their faith is renewed. The new people aren’t familiar with this and look at Wolf with question of doubt that there even is a connection between Wolf and Creator.
There’s a big flash, the thunder beings are loudly rolling across the sky as the people look all around at what the great mystery of this could be.
Wolf hears not thunder but, the words of new directions from Creator, disguised as the thunder. A deep rumbling voice hits his ears: "Do as is now heard and all will be fine. The warriors must cut branches in the forest as long as your leg, one for each person and pass them out among the people. Bring the tribe single file quickly up this hill you sit at the top of, all should dig in and bury the branches to leave enough sticking up for them to grab on with both hands and lay down on the West side of this hill crest, holding firmly on the branch.”
There’s another flash and more Thunder as the skies grow angry with threatening rotating clouds, Wolf hears the voice continue: “When the Morningstar is covered have the people hold on in place laying down, only, on the West side of this hill. There will be another big shake, and an explosion, nobody should move no matter what happens, don’t fight it; let it flow until the sky clears. The new shift will be complete and all will be safe.” Wolf turns and runs back behind the big pine tree, where he dropped his breach clout, shifts back to human form and dawns his clout before walking out to guide the people by what he received from Creator. He explains it all in great detail emphasizing the need to hold the branch tight and lie on the West side, and points out which side that is. Wolf loudly expresses Creator warning; “NO ONE IS TO GET UP TO LOOK AT WHAT’S GOING ON ALL AROUND.” The warriors ran off into the forest and shortly came back with a branch for each tribe member and passed them out quickly. Wolf calls out: “Hurry, Brother Wind is blowing harder and increasing rapidly.”
Single file they walk quickly as they can, and stay close together up the hill, Wolf is in the lead and Bear is right behind him. Wolf stops a little over the top, yet he can still see back;
all the people are now on the hill. He looks up towards the Morningstar and sees the clouds are starting to cover the light. Shade of the dark shadows covers them. Wolf signs back to the people to get down and be close to the ground. A cold wind blows through them as the sand is a blinding force; all are covering their face and eyes.
Wolf is still reviewing Creators words in his mind, pausing at his thought of wondering what an explosion means.
One huge bolt of lightning hits the top of the new mountain, and the earth begins to shake gaining intensity. The top of the mountain explodes and spits out fire rocks flying over the people’s heads, directed by the blast from the east side of the new tall mountain. They hit the sand hill but only on the east side. The sand on the east side begins to collapse, little by little sliding down. So much it starts filling the washed out land bridge. The hill they’re on is shifting its position, pouring sand down directly into the river. It’s stopping the flow of the river into the new mass expansion of land to the south they are making journey into. It’s being redirected back into the Great Lake continuing to rise.
The fire balls from the explosion are hitting the East side of hill they lay on. The force is so strong on impact it’s causing the people to bounce up off the ground moving them around.
Not fully believing in the gifts of Wolf, the new young man can’t resist looking up and getting on his knees to watch this booming event. His Mom reaches up and grabs his arm to pull him back down for his own safety. Wolf looks up to see the commotion. He sees the boy and his mom both up on their knees, and Four Feathers reaching up to grab the mother's arm as the protective instincts of a true Alpha. A big fire ball lands just below them and all three are bounced up in the air landing on the East side, each one pulled in by the one falling in front of them. One last quick glance to see they are gone swallowed by the cascading sand on the East side.
Wolf puts his head back down and is thinking of what he heard the elders once say: 'We all must lose what we love sometimes. It is the way."
The wind has slowed down and the people look up for an instant. A quick glance at the mountain sees the hot red and orange color flowing liquid down the sides from the big hole in the East side. They look down at their arms, feeling the hairs standing up all by itself. Wolf calls out: “This is the center; all hold on and get down low.”
Almost instantly he sees a long spinning cloud reach down from the sky and touch the top of the ridgeline to the East, the mountain, it’s tearing up the trees rocks and ground, drawing everything it touches up into the air as the spinning worm like cloud runs down the side of the ridgeline tracing its outline, like it’s feeling its way around the land.
The new mountain explodes again and fire balls are flying even higher landing all around them, but mostly on the East side. The all of everything is acting with anger, save for the people who have fear.
What kind of madness is this? Will it stop long enough for them to escape, but which way will they go. The wind is so strong the people are bouncing around more than they can believe could be real. Wolf prays to Creator for desperate help and renewed guidance. As his last words run through his mind the East side of this hill gave way and the ear piercing Thunder beings following one lightning strike after another deafening all their ears.
They’re all wondering how they can possibly survive this shifting change of Earth Mother. Maybe they can’t, maybe this will be the end. Shuddering fear of the unfamiliar new harmonics vibrates strong doubts through them, as rocks and debris showers down on the people.
Wolf shouts out louder than ever before; “Hang on and have faith. Believe in hope.”
They all cuddle tight into the ground and wait, processing Wolf’s last words.