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SHAPE SHIFTING PART XXXVII (Chapter 37)
~ 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 as directed by Creator.
Chapter 36 Review
Four Feathers greets Wolf in her mind as she goes to the sick man with her helper. They are both working on the sick man to renew his strength and spirit. He is so weak they work swiftly and cover him with a buffalo robe to increase his core temperature.
The women are helping all the warriors with drink, warm food and kind encouraging words. Four Feathers helper continues working on the sick man who is starting to open his eyes and take a few bites of food. He then lay’s back down while chewing. The healing helper is working diligently with the healing herbs and ways she has learned from Four Feathers.
Four Feathers walks over to Wolf with some food and drink. She says: “So did you find any signs of the Big Cat?” Wolf responds in the negative. He asks if the outer warrior camp guards have eaten, and finds out they have, and remain on watch.
We will have a small council fire tonight and a short talk of the journey. Four Feathers smiles and says: “You are all tired and need rest. By the way, did you get any attention from the rainbow fish?” Wolf chuckled and just shrugged his shoulders and smiled tilting his head to one side with a wink.
At the council fire in the dark they talked a little but most wondering about the sick man and what will become of him. They agree that they will help all peoples if they have good spirits and are willing to be friendly and helpfully join the tribe. Much like Earth Mother provides all our needs and willingly helps us all in so many ways. We must tread lightly on Earth Mother leaving little or no tracks.
The guard changes are set in place to remain on watch for the Big Cat and anything else that would threaten the tribe. Soon sleep found them and the night turned into the next morning at first light of the Morningstar glowing over the Eastern ridge line.
The tribe awakens to the new day. The warriors from the journey are stretching their muscles and the women have already got the cooking fire going. They gather around the morning fire and eat as fast as it’s made. Four Feathers looks around smiles and is making funny comments talking about a bunch of hungry warriors.
Wolf asks how the new man is doing. He hears his voice mumble and looks around Four Feathers to see the man sitting up rather tall showing a very fast recovery. He complements Four Feathers and her new training medicine woman on such a good job and that they do show great healing powers.
The tribe is with joy this morning and the outside camp guards have just changed again so they can dig in and eat from the long dark cold night.
They finish the meal and are casually talking around the fire making plans for the day with the biggest question of what the plan is to delete the threat of the Big Cat.
The new man stands up and drops the buffalo rope saying: “Perhaps I can help you with that.” All turn to listen from this man they have saved…. He drops down on his hands and knees and with the flash of an instant; shifts into the BIG CAT letting out a mighty strong loud earth rumbling roar. He’s twice the size of Bear. All shifters have shifted; the lesser in strength, like the deer sisters, have all run off into the woods in fear of their life. Screams and fear full breath gasps come from the people.
They have healed the enemy and he is now among them and there is no defense.
What will they do in this critical moment of survival or death to the whole tribe?
The Wolf shifters surround the Big Cat, growling, barking, and snapping.
The Big Cat standing in the middle walks around in a tight circle a few times and lays down. His mouth open and tongue hung out in a peaceful pant. He was exposing is vulnerable soft underside, the uniform sign of surrender to be subordinate. He rolled on his side and moved his face to lick his out stretched paws.
The whole tribe’s eyes are focused on the Big Cat. All are in anticipation of instant attack. Yet know body knows what direction this might go so they stand ready to defind what is their oneness as a tribe.
The Big Cat just laid there licking his front paws. Slowly he sat upright and all the tribe regained a strong defensive stance, some still growling and some actually never stopped.
The Big Cat shifted back into the man that he is. He’s sitting there in front of the whole tribe offering himself up to prove he only wants to join the good ways of this tribe.
The tribe maintained their defensive stance. The unknown created tension so strong it made the air feel heavy. Mystic energy was bouncing around so fast and flipping directions without care of the truth in this new situation.
The Catman is holding out his right arm and hand. Wolf is the first to trust and shift back to a human man. He reached out and took the Catman’s arm in his hand and the Catman did the same to him. They stood there looking eye into eye and a peace was made. Wolf said later it felt like a peaceful sunset.
The rest of the tribe; one by one began shifting back to human form, but kept their distance and watched the man with caution. Four Feathers came up on the
Catman’s side, so now he stood between Wolf and Four Feathers. The sign that the Alphas have accepted him into the tribe for character testing.
Four Feathers medicine woman helper came up and squeezed in between Four Feathers and the Catman, arms around the waste of them both. Four Feathers looked around in front of them and Wolf looked back and smiled.
The people began moving around getting back to preparing for the day.
Bear walks up and stands in front of the four standing in a row, put his hands on his hips, tummy sticking out, and said: “Well isn’t that sweet, now get your cloths on and let’s get busy.” The tribe was chuckling as the four looked down at themselves and scattered running, seeking out their human clothes, and they knew that this crazy morning has turned into the beginning of a good day.
After clothed, the four gathered back by the morning fire. Some others were already there finishing their morning meal, while others continued on with their chosen task.
They began talking about the journeys they have made and obstacles which they have encountered and in some cases, obstacles that have encountered them.
Through the continuing conversation they discovered that they have had similar adventures and loses of their different tribe members. They have both come from a frozen time and are thankful to be in this new place safe and well.
Wolf inserts that they are preparing to continue their nomadic journey. This place is nice said the Catman, hinting to hang around here for some time. Wolf says we know you are healing but Creator is guiding them and this place is about to be hit by a very big rain storm so powerful it will flood this valley. Wolf looks at Four Feather and asks how many days before we leave, she holds up 4 fingers. So you see Catman you have a little more time to heal. By the way; we need to come up with a new name, let us all think about that for a while and see what words match your ways. What can I do to help; the Cat man asked. Rest for today said Wolf. Four Feathers and her apprentice nodded their heads yes. Wolf adds; tomorrow Bear will show you what tasks remain and you choose what your best at doing.
The Catman was grateful for the connection he has made with the Wolf clan tribe. He expressed his gratitude and was humbled by their generosity and kindness to him.
Catman found his place to rest and Four Feathers charismatic apprentice walked with him. Wolf looked at Four Feathers commenting that they make a good match.
Four Feathers responded; we must wait to see. Wolf and Four Feathers set out to check their youngers, Wolf for the men and Four Feathers for the women. They both knew what their personal responsibilities as the elder Alphas is; to be with the youngers and help them by sharing old wisdom of the elders to accomplish their task with efficiency and correctness. Some of the youngers are devloping new faster ways but it’s up to the Alphas to make sure it is a solid and positive way to evolve, as everything continues to change.
Wolf and Four Feathers set out on their separate ways to visit and help the groups accomplishing the journey preparation tasks. They were very proud of the tribe by what they found. Just a few suggestions of redirection and all was well on its way in the right methods of their ancestors, to be ready before the day of their departure.
That night gathering around the circle council fire the people were happy and talking about their accomplishments of the day. Wolf told them how proud he was of everybody’s efforts. Catman asked if he could help but needed them to help him to begin a different food preservation. Wolf asked what the help would be? Catman explained the he would need many rainbow fish. He said he knows a way from his early tribal memories, to preserve the fish to carry on the journey. They all agree and are kind of excited about the prospect of having a variable diet of different foods on the journey. They all enjoy the rainbow fish but also know they will make you sick if you eat them on the second day after they are cooked on the fire. The people are anxious to learn of his new ways.
Wolf agrees and says some of the warriors will help you by direction. Littlewolf, Oneclaw, and Four Feathers will walk with me together up that big hill right behind us. It’s the tallest hill around and we should be able to layout our path for the journey from the peaks point of view. They all agreed and then started with the old stories and laughing at funny events of the day. It didn’t last long as the tribe was tired from a long day of work. Catman leaned over and said to Wolf. I like the way the tribe talks about the journey and all things are up for conversation. It’s like the tribe speaks in one voice and together agree and accomplish the tasks to the understanding of everyone. This leaves out most of the dissension. Wolf was grateful for his words, and was glad that he is with them, things being what they are, this must be a sending from Creator. The question Wolf has now is what will this bring to the tribes future.
After the morning circle fire and the first meal of the day was done; Catman asked which warriors would help him and several raised their hand. Good let’s go see what our fish traps have captured and begin the preservation task so we can catch some more during the day. As they walked off to task so did the rest of the tribe. Everybody had a task and went directly to accomplish the days jobs of a long journeys preparation.
Wolf, Littlewolf, Four Feathers, and OneClaw started walking toward the tallest hill to scout out the path of the journey as viewed from the highest point in their area.
The climb was a variable degrees of grade. Sometimes it was an easy walk, and other times it was a struggle to climb the big rocks one by one. They had to stop a few time and shared some water four Feathers had brought.
Finally they arrived at the top. They all stood around and their mouths hung open from the view of Creators creations, feeling what was probably true. No man had laid eyes on this or there would be stories from the long past elders.
Towards the South/East it was lush with huge plants and trees. A few small streams, as well as a few small water falls that could be seen through the openings between some of the foliage. Most of the area was covered from their view but did offer them an amazing birds eye view of dark green thick tree top canopy, as far as they could see as it gently rolled downhill and eventually out of sight. The Morningstar was straight up and this lush forest and woodlands looked cool and filled with dark shadows.
After looking around for some time; Wolf broke the silence this natural beauty had brought to them all in awe. “Let us sit on this big rock and discuss what we are seeing to define the true path we must find providing correct direction to the tribe, feel free to speak out what your minds are saying.”
This kind of beauty in the lands has never been seen before by any of the group. They have been stunned into silence.
Wolf looks to the North from where they have come and sees a small dark cloud off in a great distance. A flash and rumble flows across the sky so far away the base thumping can barly be heard by the group, all but one; Wolf. He hears Creators voice deep and clear.
“Look down to the valley of your camp. You see the higher hills on each side of the river. The tops of those hills will be the new river bank.”
Wolf drops his jaw and walking stick in shock from the vison of such high waters in the river where the tribe is now. He looks back towards the dark cloud and sees another flash and ruumble of clear words for his ears only.
“Look down to the new valley. You see how tall this hill is, way above the new rivers depth and the vast blessed land that lays out before you, like an open invitation to explore and seek to find so many new things. Along the base of this hill on the new side see the clear area without deep brush trees and plants. This is the trail until you come across something worthy of exploring the depths of this new world. However, be careful there are some strange powerful creatures down there, all I have made with purpose. Remember to pass the word for all to make a safe journey.”
Wolf turns back to look where the others are; on the new side of the hill. He points out the clear trail along the base of this hill and defines that as the trail they must follow.
They see a big heard of elk running on the ground, through the openings in the trees. The herd seems to go on forever. So many Elk, they have never seen in one group. The new area seems to be rich with resources and life of abundance.
Four Feathers says: “I wonder what has them running.”
Wolf (with a wink) says: “We will just have to go down there on the journey and see for ourselves.” They all laughed. Oneclaw stares down into the lust green foliage and whispered; “I can hardly wait to see.” Their all more confident, excited, and anxious to begin the journey.
Wolf glances at the shadows to notice they are getting longer. “Let us begin the walk back to camp while the Morningstar is still providing light.” They all agree and gather their things to start walking back the best way they now know from this new point of view.
Their walking down in a group, but not necessarily in one line. They needed to dodge and weave then climb over some significant size boulders and sometimes the downhill grade had them moving fast.
Four Feathers at one point was out in front and to the North side. She held up her arm and hand in a fist, all the others know the sign for stop and take cover. She was squatted down and picked up a medium size rock. Wolf saw this and smiled having a clue this could be meat for dinner.
Four Feathers stands up and throws the rock, turns to the others and smiles big as she takes off out of sight around a big bolder. When the others came around the bolder there was Four Feathers smiling with pride as she held up a dead rabbit by the ears and said: “FRESH MEAT” They all laughed and continued on down the hill.
They were greeted with excitement when they reach camp. The people were all talking about the fish being ready soon. They took the group to show them what Catman had shown them, ways of his old tribe. They saw some smoke from a distance which was getting stronger and now they are walking in it drifting through the pine trees, as they walked towards the river. They tilt up their noses and sniff the smoke because it smells so good of fresh cooked fish.
When they get to the river they see stands of branches covered in wet green leaves, leaning against each other so they’re to a point on top and wide at the bottom. Much like a Teepee, and smoke was coming up through the top as it drifted away.
Catman pulled back one branch for the group to look inside. There was cross branches all over and fish split up the middle from head to just before tails all cleaned and laying straddle the cross brances. A fire with wet hickory wood chips on top made the smoke that covered the fish. Catman took one fish close to the fire and brought it out to share with the group. They tasted the most wonderful smoky fish flavor they have ever known. MMM. Mmmmm Mmmmm mmm. I think they like it said Catman and the whole tribe began to laugh, hoot, yelp, and make war cries of excitement. Catman says: “Pack them tight, they will be ready tonight, and they well be good food for half a moon on the journey.”
The tribe is excited to hear about the trail as the signs say tomorrow is the day they will depart. They all walk back to camp and gather by the circle council fire. Some of the women began to serve up what they have prepared for the meal. Wolf told the tribe we are thankful that Four Feathers is good at throwing rocks. Wolf said they should remember that, rocks hurt. They all busted out load laughing, the good medicine of humor was in the air.
Wolf walked back from a short walk in the woods, goes over and sits at his place in the circle of the people around the fire and a big waft of fire smoke engulfed him as he choked and wiped the tears from his eyes. The people all started laughing as the legend is remembered; you have been blessed by the fire counsel of the stars, when the fire smoke comes over you to cover smudge your whole existence and when it gets in your eyes and makes them burn to provide, upon clearing, a better way to see. It also takes your breath away temporarily, to be aware of the large open winds that bring pure thought from all directions. Little Wolf slaps his father on the back while he’s coughing and says; “Surely you have been blessed this night my father, and all the people start laughing harder.”
Four Feather’s Medicine woman apprentice brings out some white sage, and cedar bundles. She lets the people know these are being passed around for everyone to smudge and be cleansed and renewed for the journey to begin in the early morning.
Four Feathers was impressed by her apprentice and lets her know how proud she is and gives her gratitude. The woman smile nods and bows her head in a humble way.
Stories of the other side are told and excitement of the people abounds, like being rewarded for their sincere hard efforts of preparation. Catman mentions that the fish are now ready. The people know to leave at first light they must pack everything this night and then sleep and be ready to get up eat, and go.
The people went to task and finally everything in order for the next morning, so they settled down for some rest. The excitement level was still high even though they were tired from the days work. It took some time for the whispering to stop and all drift into sleep, save for the warriors on watch.
The morning light was close but not there yet when the first of the rain drops started to fall. The people awoke in the wet cold of the promised storms beginning.
Suddenly it was pouring rain and Wolf was directing not to eat; lets us get on the tall hill he advised for them to follow him, and off he went in the dark of the morning light being hindered by the dark clouds of this huge storm.
Wolf in the lead and the tribe strung out behind him all climbed and crawled over and around the wet boulders and now muddy earth. It was muddy and slippery as they continued to struggle at a rapid pace to get up the hill to safety.
Wolf looked back and all the people were on the hill strung out with gaps from the slippery footing. He looks towards the North and a big flash of lightning lending Wolf a short time to see. He is very concerned. He saw a large wave of water coming towards them and it was filling the valley they were climbing out of. He calls out and the word is passed to hurry up the flood is coming.
Looking back once again and another flash of light reviled the flood was almost upon them and the people were not up high enough to keep from being drowned and washed away.
Wolf looks to the sky and calls out to Tunkasila,Wakan Tanka (Grand Father, Great Spirit) and all the ancestors; “Please help our people to live and be passed by the flood of death.” All keep moving and slipping some are crying from the life or death drama. But nobody is giving up even if it does mean their own death, they help others not as fast to get ahead.
There is a roaring sound from the flood front wave racing down the river rolling and throwing boulders, and then it went silent.