Blue-winged Teal
Painting by Coastal Artist (AKA Kicking Bear)
Wednesday Night Camp Fire Story And Prayer As Told by Kicking Bear

Tonight we gather to honor our lost loved ones
and our loved ones that are ill or facing obstacles.
I shall now pray ….
when I mention our lost ones
take a moment of silence to remember them
and their families

O Great Spirit,
Creator of all that is we stand before you a proud but humble people.
We give you thanks for your never ending love and care.
We stand with heavy hearts. We have lost three of our loved ones.
Gilisi ageyv (Ann) we mourn with you the loss of your beloved father.

Dasquaalodi Gvdodi Anisoquili (Runs with Horses / MysticDragyn) we
mourn with you the loss of your dear mother.

 

Saquu gago Widuyugodv (The One who leads / Joni) we mourn with you
the loss of your dear brother.

 

The proper ceremonies have been performed as taught to us by our elders
and we know that they are safely in Your arms and at peace. We look forward
to hear them sing and dance in that “in between time” and know when we gaze
upon the heavens we will see a new star for each.

O Great Spirit
Forgive us for our selfishness. Forgive us for not listening and understanding
Your way.
We forget that we, like everything else, is Spirit. We are a Spirit within a
physical form. Help us to remember that it is Spirit we come from and it is
Spirit that we return to for all of eternity.
That is the way of things. It is good.

O Great Spirit
We give you thanks for your comfort at these times.
Times that we see as a loss but yet we know are to our good.
We rejoice and welcome our new ancestors and know that their Spirits
will watch over us as you do.
We ask that you wrap us in your blanket of peace and comfort.
May our tears become rainbows for all to see …
 to see that our loved ones live … in our minds … in our hearts and in our Spirits.
We give you thanks
Through our tears, we know,
It is all good.

A legend is a story passed by word of mouth from generation to generation.
Legends live because of the truths in them. They are important parts of the
culture of a people, perhaps because they help us understand the questions
and concerns of related communities. Stories tell us how to live and treat others,
stories of the trickster rabbit, the bear and beaver and so forth.

A myth is not a made-up story. It is a special story of the relationship between
the Creator and the creation. Myths are not false. Myths, whether of the Greeks
or the Hebrews or the Native Americans, tell the relationships of God’s creation to God.

This is a myth, truth spoken to be shared and repeated.
Although I have added what little story telling talent I have to make the
myth more interesting …. It speaks truth and what is to come.

A tattered blanket covering his fragile frame, Chunitch slumped closer to the
smoldering embers of the fire. It seemed wrong that a tribal elder should have more
questions than answers. Tonight would it be answers or just more unanswered questions?
A plume of blue-white smoke rose as he scattered sage on the coals.
What would he see tonight … the past, the present or the future? Chunitch pulled the thin
blanket closer around himself as he gazed into the smoke.

The distant sound of the wind moving through the ripening corn relaxed him.
He felt at peace. Had it been hours or just minutes that had passed since the owl
landed in the tree? Did time pass or did time stand still? He didn’t know.
Staring up into the darkness of the night Chunitch spoke to the owl.

“Osiyo dinadanvtli ugugu,” (It is good to see you again brother owl).

Chunitch knew he would have to be careful. He would have to be quick
in determining if this was an anitsasgili or a atsasgili (ghost or witch). He hoped
calling the ugugu (owl), brother, would set him at ease and at the same time confuse
 him. Now the ugugu would have to figure out if it was Chunitch that was a ghost or a witch.

Chunitch waited for the ugugu to speak. He knew this was a dangerous time with
each one testing the other’s worthiness. Since the time the People began walking
upon Turtle Island they had feared the ugugu. It was only the wisest of the People’s
medicine men that were able to talk with the ugugu. It was to only those few that the
Ugugu shared its revelations. He knew the ugugu would test him to see if he was worthy
of a revelation.

Chunitch sat with his eyes closed. There was nothing for him to see. Suddenly
he heard the sound of fluttering wings and knew that the Ugugu had landed by the
fire. He kept his eyes closed not wanting to see what would be revealed. As suddenly
as the Ugugu had landed a voice broke the silence.

“Gado detsadoa?” (what is your name?) The Ugugu spoke with a voice that pierced
the night air with the sharpness of a knife but with the gentleness of a baby’s lullaby.

It was as if the air itself was holding its breath waiting.
Chunitch opened his eyes. A gasp of surprise escaped from deep inside his being.
He closed his eyes and opened them again to make sure that what he was seeing was
real. There across the fire from him sat an old man. With a face that looked like old
wrinkled leather worn by years of weather. He tried to control his surprise but he knew
 it could be seen on his own face. He stared at the old man in disbelief. Long grey braids
surrounded the weathered face and a single ugugu feather hung down from the side.
Chunitch shivered not from the coolness of the evening but from the shock of what he saw.

“Gado detsadoa?” (what is your name?) This time the gentleness had left the voice of the
old man and was replaced with impatience.

“I am Chunitch, a Tsalagi of the Aniwodi clan.” Just the use of the word Tsalagi
caused him to sit up straighter. He was proud of who he was and what he was.

“And what does an old Tsalagi want of me?” spoke the old man.

“I seek knowledge of the future that I might share with my people.”
Chunitch spoke with all the authority of a wise elder. Fear was not in his voice.

“And you think you are worthy to lead your people down this road?”
The old man’s voice now seemed to take on a tone of quiet introspection.
 As if the old man was asking himself the question rather than Chunitch.

“I am not worthy to lead the people only worthy to share the stories and legends,
that they may grow and not make the same mistakes as in the past.” Chunitch
knew his tongue spoke straight. He never saw himself as anything other than a
medicine man and a storyteller.

“I see your heart, Chunitch, a Tsalagi of the Aniwodi clan. This night,
I will be the storyteller and you will listen and remember. Tonight the future
of your people will come to rest on your shoulders. Tonight it will become the
responsibility of Chunitch the Tsalagi to pass this story down through the ages
that the people may know and prepare for what is to come.” A deathly seriousness
had crept into the old man’s voice.

“I will do what is needed that my people not perish. I will carry any burden that is
required of me that my people prosper.” Chunitch felt a seriousness in his voice
 that he had never felt before. As if his entire being were taking a sacred vow.

The old man reached out and handed Chunitch a leather bag.
“Chew these leaves and prepare to listen with your spirit.” The old man said.

Chunitch took the bag and opened it, a pungent odor escaped from the bag
as he put his hand inside. He placed a small amount in his mouth and began
to chew the dried plants. He felt sleepy but yet wide awake, more awake
perhaps than he had ever been in his life. It was as if he sensed ever
particle of everything near him. The grass, the fire, the trees, even the
bugs crawling near his pile of wood. Chunitch was no longer there but
instead a part of everything that was there. He had become one with everything.

Chunitch no longer heard the old man’s voice but heard everything around him
speak as one. He closed his eyes and listened with his spirit. ……

“In the long ago when Turtle Island was new and fresh, there was the
age of the Aninvya. (stones) There was the age of the Digakohidi.(plants)
Then there was the age of the Gantlai.(animal) And now we are in the
age of the human being and it is coming to an end. The age of the
human being is when the highest and greatest powers that we have seen
have been released to us.

At the beginning of this age of human beings, long ago, the Great Spirit
made an appearance and gathered the peoples of Turtle Island together,
and said to the human beings,

“I’m going to send you to four directions, and over time I’m going to change
you to four colors, but I’m going to give you some teachings, and you will
call these the Original Teachings; when you come back together with each
other, you will share these so that you can live and have peace on Turtle Island,
and a great civilization will come about.

During this age of time, I’m going to give each of you two stone tablets.
When I give you those stone tablets, don’t cast them upon the ground.
If any of the anadanvtli ale anadalv (brothers and sisters) cast their tablets
on the ground, not only will human beings have a hard time, but almost
all of Turtle Island itself will die.”

And so He gave each a responsibility, and we call that the Guardianship.

“To the Indian people, the gigage (red) people, He gave the Guardianship
of Turtle Island. We were to learn during this age of time the teachings of
Turtle Island, the digakohidi (plants) that grow from the Turtle Island, the
foods that you can eat, and the herbs that heal so that, when we come
back together with the other anadanvtli ale anadalv (brothers and sisters),
we can share this knowledge with them. Something osda (good) was to
happen on Turtle Island.

To the Uganawu (south) He gave the dalonige (yellow) race of people the
Guardianship of the Ganolvsgv (Wind). They were to learn about the sky
and breathing and how to take that within ourselves for spiritual advancement.
They were to share that with us at the time of coming together.

To the Wudeligv (West) He gave the Gvhnage (black) race of people the
Guardianship of the Ama (Water). They were to learn the teachings of the Ama,
which is the chief of the elements, being the most humble and the most powerful.
Their elders would bring the teachings of the water.

To the Uyvtlv (North) He gave the unegv (white) race of people the
Guardianship of the Atsilv (Fire). If you look at the center of many of the
things they do, you will find the fire.

And so a long time passed, and the Great Spirit gave each of the four races
two stone tablets. Ours are kept at the Hopi Reservation in Arizona at Four
Corners Area on Third Mesa. The black race keep their stone tablets at the
 foot of Mount Kenya. They are kept by the Kukuyu Tribe.
The stone tablets of the yellow race of people are kept by the Tibetans.
If you went straight through the Hopi Reservation to the other side of the world,
you would come out in Tibet. The Tibetan word for sun is the Hopi word for moon,
and the Hopi word for sun is the Tibetan word for moon.

Each of the four races will go to their directions and learn their teachings.”

When Chunitch awoke he knew that the world around him had changed.
He slowly opened his eyes and saw things as they were. The change was
not in the physical realm but in the spiritual. Chunitch looked toward where
the old man had sat and saw nothing there but an ugugu feather.

Never had Chunitch felt so alive. It was as if every part of his body was moving
and filled with a strange energy. He placed sage on the embers of the fading fire.
As the blue smoke curled skyward he reached for the owl feather and waved it
 through the fading blue smoke. He placed the feather on the ground and sprinkled
sacred tobacco on it and thanked the Great Spirit for the revelation he had received.
As he placed the feather in his turban he heard the cry of a distant ugugu.

Chunitch smiled and said, “ Wado, dinadanvtli ugugu”

Once again he placed sacred tobacco on the dying embers and thanked
the Great Spirit. As he rose on weak legs he felt the revelation he had been given.
Every word was now a part of his being. Chunitch finally had his revelation.
 Chunitch finally had his purpose in this life. Now it was up to him to deliver
the message to the peoples of Turtle Island.

Next week I will follow up on this story and explain what has happened
since the time Chunitch received this revelation and what is to come.
Many of you have felt the change coming and don’t understand, while some do.
Next week you will all know and will know what you will need to do.

If I never tell another story or speak with you again, know that this is the
most important of all the stories and revelations I have shared.

I speak with a straight tongue
I have spoken
It is all good

pray much this week to come

Kicking Bear
Elk Hunter
To view the work of Kicking Bear please go to
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