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SHAPE SHIFTING PART XXIV (Chapter 24)
~ 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 23 Review
As their climb is beginning Little Wolf says, “Don’t forget all the stories of the great Wolf’s fear of a wet buffalo hide over his head. And what was that stuff about some bear. Never mind, tell you later.” They both laughed. “Shhhhh”, says Wolf, “no more words, no calls, hand signals only be on the lookout. They made haste in a low profile up the mountain side.”
Both are wondering in their own thoughts of what must be told, and the funny stories for the council meeting tonight. They are thinking of fresh meat cooked on a fire. All this wonders of the new beginning and protection from the old life. They are thankful for one more day of life.
They get to the edge of the forest at the top and Wolf stands up in the dark shadows to looks down on the valley to check on the portion of the disbanded tribe. The smoke was gone.
Now the question comes: did they see us or not. We must hurry to the people for there is much unknown that could be just around the next rock they pass. Move swiftly in silence my son, the Morningstar is getting close to the mountain. Soon it will be dark, and we may have drifted a far ways down the river. Little Wolf says: (Hoka-hey) “let’s go” we must save the tribe from those breakaways. It’s so unfair; they don’t even know anyone is coming to take all of everything.
Little Wolf thinks of his girlfriend, and now he’s running, Wolf is running fast trying to stay up. Wolf stops, and calls to stop Little Wolf. Wolf looks at his son and says, “This ground would pass faster if we had four paws, and this a special need.” As they stood there facing each other they smiled and made the change, both dropped to four paws and began to run and jump high over the bushes. They are making good time now and pray, giving thanks for the help and they both ask Creator to watch over and protect their people until they can return and prepare them. Their tongues are hanging, and they are running fast and panting as the darkness of night begins to come upon them. It matters not they just keep running.
Shape Shifting Chapter 24
They continue running until they see the glow of the council fire at their new home. They stop and look at each other; there’s a short pause. Suddenly they shift once again and stand up still breathing fast from the long run. At the same time, they are thinking to calm down the big glow from the fire for fear of giving the camp’s position away to the separated band they spotted earlier.
As they’re walking toward the glow, they are jumped by the camp’s lookouts, guardians of the people. After calling out their names, they stop rolling all over the round and make formal greetings. ‘We’ve been wondering where you two drifted off to.”
“It’s a long story we will share at the fire this night.”
But what is that wonderful smell in the air? It’s making my stomach growl like a bear. The others started laughing; it’s the meat from the buffalo you two had chase you off the cliff. “Indeed,” Wolf says. “First, we must eat, I’m so hungry I could eat the south end of a northbound buffalo.” They all laughed, and Wolf paused them to say, “Lower the glow from the fire.”
“But why? We are in celebration.” It was then Wolf and his son explained, “We could have watchful eyes on us from the disbanded group. You go ahead and do it in a careful way so as not to alarm the people. We will follow you into camp and that will create the distraction you need.”
All agreed as they continued to walk into camp. Wolf and his son held back for a minute as the others walked in and started pulling the big long logs back from the outside camp fire.
Everybody was saying, “Hey, what’s going on?”
They in return said, “Look who we found; just then Wolf and his son walked into the fire light up inside the cave; there was much happiness in the greetings.
Four Feathers walked up and said, “That was some soaking you two took. Here’s some ribs for you.” They looked at each other and back to smile at Four Feathers. They reached out to grab the ribs in her hand. They smelled the fire smoke cooked buffalo meat, (it has been a long time), and with mouths wide open they devoured the meat from the ribs. Four Feathers had her hands on her knees laughing so hard. She turned around and took the fresh stack of more meat from another woman behind her. Wolf and his son threw the rib bones on the ground for the stray camp dogs that had joined the tribe some time ago. They were fighting, snapping, growling, and barking as they grabbed the bones and ran. They all had a big laugh.
Wolf looked up to nod a respectful Wopila (thanks) to the woman behind Four Feathers. Their eyes locked. It was Wolf’s beautiful vision woman. At that very moment a thunder-fire stick hit the top of the tallest tree right by the camp with a blinding flash and instant crashing thunder sound so loud everything vibrated to the residence of the deep frequency as all ears went numb and ringing. Wolf rubbed his eyes to clear his vison and looked up to see only one blurry woman standing in front of them, Four Feathers. She again handed them the extra meat. Wolf had strong impulse, but dare not ask about the other woman he may have seen or maybe not. Wolf doesn’t take any visions lightly but this was new and the real reason had not yet revealed itself.
Wolf remembered they should be bringing down the camp fire glow in hide of the separated band’s fire smoke they had seen earlier over the far hills. Wolf raised up his arm pointing one finger towards the fire and at that very second the skies opened with torrential rain, putting the fire out. Wolf looked at the end of his finger in wonder: what kind of magic is this? or was it his vision woman? or just coincidence? Little Wolf looked at his dad and said: “Please don’t point that finger at me”. They both laughed as the rest of the tribe moved into the cave and started building the counsel fire in the cave for the evening’s words of the day and plans that must be made and most important to smudge and give thanks for all of that is.
The counsel fire is glowing nicely. The counsel is sitting around the fire circle and all the others moved in close to hear and enjoy the warmth that came from the fire and the people all together as one. Wolf is standing looking back around and into the depths of the cave. Just then a new born baby cried out, and it sounded like a baby war-cry. He says: “There seems to be more of us now.” Wolf spins to look in that direction with a big smile on his face. How long was I gone? All started laughing, and from the back a woman said, “It doesn’t take long for a new birth to be-gifted, but it does take a while for the gift to be created.” Everybody was laughing and the smiles were so big. Wolf looked around and said; “This comfort, joy, and happiness is a great thing to see, so great it’s feel-able.” Four Feathers reached out to poke the end of a long and thick white sage and sweet grass braided smudge stick; She smudged with words of blessings and protection then passed on the bundle for all to join and share in the smudging. This cleansing for all the people. It’s blessings from all directions into the council circle. The people feel the negative be gone and are discovering good thoughts of adventure and expansion. They vision what could be as so much more of this land comes out from under the frozen world.
Just then the rain started pouring from the sky, much like a water fall. It was making a loud roar as the bright flashes of fire stick could be seen moving across the land picking and choosing each special place it was drawn to the ground. The rumbling thunder rolled in echo across the sky and down through the deepest depths of the valleys. The vibrations could be felt by every member of the tribe, it came through the rocks and the air, the truth that all things are connected. They were all feeling humble by the strength of Creator’s furious storm. Wolf raised up his arms and gave thanks to Creator for the shelter of the cave and protection of the people. He asked that Creator would be with those that left the band, and help them in a good way.
The people seemed to become estranged by these words. Some asked why Wolf would speak of them. Funny you should ask he said. Truth be known we saw the smoke from their fire over a hill far off into the deeper part of this great valley. “When did this happen?”, was asked.
“It was at the time we went flying out into midair through the water hole.”
Wait, wait, the people were without understanding. Wolf smiled and said, “Hold on I’ve spoken before myself; let me help you catch up.”
Little Wolf off to his side said, “Don’t forget about the great bear attack.” All the people looked at Little Wolf with questions of wonder on their faces.
Wolf begins, “When we were hanging upside down in the cave, and the buffalo hit the rocks a great wave of blood wash over us, dripping from our bodies and burning our eyes. You, our people all moved in to sort out all the parts of body and flesh for the purposes we have learned. Little Wolf and I walked to the small stream just past the buffalo carnage. Looking back, I could see all the tribe knew what had to be done and went straight to work. Four Feathers told us we needed to wash the blood off so we slipped into the stream and started floating with the flow. We were so tired from the run and the excitement of the cliff jump, we must have dosed off while floating on our backs in the stream. We had no idea where the piece of buffalo robe we used went. All we can remember is them flying in the air as we jumped. Asleep and floating one of the buffalo robe pieces came to be over my face”, says Wolf. As he looked over at Little Wolf, who is snickering and said, “Wait for it, starting to crack up now.” Wolf says, “So, I went past some scratchy bushes that gave me the vision of a bear attack, plus I was blinded by, and felt the hairy buffalo robe. All the clues of the vision were so real a stood up to realize what I thought to be a bear was but the vision I was having.” Little Wolf is rolling on the ground laughing so hard he’s holding his ribs. “Your eyes were as big as the moon when you finally struggled to get the buffalo hide off your face. You started screaming and waving your arms all around, it was crazy scary.” Now everybody is laughing and enjoying the funny thought of the great Wolf being all freaked out and scared.
“Okay, okay”, Wolf holds his arms out. “That was just before I pointed to the river flowing faster and down under the bushes into a dark hole. All the rocks were green and we lost our footing both of us bouncing around together, in the dark airless water continuing to flow faster and faster. We thought this was the end of that time as we dropped down into a new time.”
Some of the people gasped and put a hand over their mouth. Wolf looked over at Four Feathers who merely raised an eyebrow with folded arms.
Little Wolf starts talking. “It was at the last minute, just before we thought it was the end, at the darkest time. We flew out of the rocks (water hole), and stopped in midair. I was about to war cry when Dad held up a finger to his lips for silence. We fell down and down into the pool of water at the bottom of the place Earth Mother had made this flowing river water hole.”
Wolf added, “that was because I saw the smoke behind a hill, most likely from a small camp fire which had to be the separated band. Remember they didn’t agree with our plans and made some of their own.”
Four Feathers mentioned, “It was in the dark of the night. They ran away to be on their own. It matters not; we should make contact and be friendly.”
Some agreed, and some didn’t. Wolf said we must sleep on it this night. We will talk of our dreams at the morning’s fire.
Everybody gave thanks for life and the day as they moved off to their own place each have made within the cave to rest sleep and just be. Wolf, Little Wolf, Bear, and Four Feather stood by the fire which has burned down to low glowing coals, looking out at and listening to the pouring rain. Four Feathers said, “We must give gratitude for the shelter and temporary home base camp it has provided.” Wolf silently looked at Four Feathers and then back out at the rain. Wolf said, “Why does it have to be temporary?”
He glanced at Four Feathers in time to see her shoulders shrug. Bear spoke out, “I like this cave.” A few chuckles went around. “Of course you do, bear; we all have grown some fondness of the many ways of protection and warmth it provides”, said Little Wolf, smoothing over the laughter about Bear liking a cave. They all grinned and turned to continue in silence watching the sparks of flashing lightening off in a distance followed by the deep rumbling coming back up through the valley.
Bear went off to set up the nights watch for the tribe’s protection. Soon he returned with a nod to the others; it was done.
They stood in a half circle looking out. All their faces were glowing from the still burning embers. The sight of them was majestic; yet they felt nothing different than anyone else. They looked around at each other when Little Wolf reached down and picked up his pipe and a stick. He lit the stick on the fire’s coals and stood up lighting the pipe, taking in a deep breath, and moving his free hand to spread the smoke over his head. He held the pipe up and then passed it on to Bear standing next to him. He copied Little Wolf’s smoking ceremony. The pipe passed through the circle several times. No words were spoken, but many thoughts were moving and changing within their minds. Little Wolf finally set the pipe down, still no words were spoken. Together they stood looking out into the dissipating rain storm with clouds moving so fast they seemed to vanish into the night sky. The view was for more miles than their eyes could ever see. The ground was glowing and filled with dark shadows and forest outlines that created depth providing a surreal view of the true beauty of this land.
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.
Photo Credit: White Wolf