Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


August 10, 2002 - Issue 67


pictograph divider


Thunderhawk - The Legend of the Dragon’s Tail - Part 1

by Geoff Hampton
Little Paddy O’Malley had always been fascinated by the ancient tales of a great beast that was said to have once lived in and around Happy Valley. The beast was claimed to have been a huge dragon. The dragon was said to have been banished from the circle of good dragons in Ireland due its hateful and murderous ways. According to the story, all of the good dragons had chased the evil dragon out to sea. It flew all the way across the great body of water and decided to live in the Great Smoky Mountains where there were no other dragons, where there was plenty of food and he was free to do as he pleased. His name was Lorcan, but he was called the “Devil Dragon”.

The stories about the Devil Dragon were scary and interesting. Paddy had seen the pieces of scales that various mice had brought back from adventures up that way. All of the creatures of Happy Valley knew the tales and most were afraid to go back up into that section of the mountains because the Devil Dragon was expected to return one day and upon his final return he would, according to the legend, become immortal and could never be killed again.

One night as the O’Malley family attended a local mouse gathering, one of the elders was asked to tell the story about the Devil Dragon. Paddy’s ears perked up as he would love to hear the whole story. The mouse elder, named Brogan was reluctant to tell the tale, but was implored to do so by the other mice who were cheering and yelling for him to tell it.

Brogan moved close to the fire, slowly looking around at all who were willing to listen and he started with a terse warning. “The Devil Dragon is no funny story. It is true and there is great danger ahead for all creatures that live in these beautiful mountains. It is unwise to even mention his name, but since you all seem determined to hear the story I will tell it. May the Great Creator forgive me,” he uttered as he looked up toward the sky with a solemn look on his rugged old face.

All the little mice shivered in fear. They were surprised at how truly scared Brogan was to even mention the Devil Dragon. They all had suspected up until that point that it was just an old wives tale that had been made up to scare the little ones into staying away from that section of the mountains. As Brogan again looked slowly around the fire at the other mice he slowly let out a very long sigh. Then he began to tell the story about the Devil Dragon.

“Many, many years ago far across the great ocean in our mother country of Ireland there lived huge creatures that stood as tall as trees and they could breath fire out of their mouths. They were very powerful beasts with long sharp claws and long sharp teeth that looked like spears. The creatures also had wings so that they could fly. They had huge scales covering their bodies that were as hard as a rock. The scales protected their bodies from injury. They were called dragons. The dragons were formidable creatures, but generally only responded with violence when they or their families were threatened by danger.

The humans of Ireland lived in fear of the dragons, but usually stayed away or hid from them. The dragons lived peaceful lives and bothered no one or no thing. One sad day an evil dragon, whose father named him “Lorcan” was born into the world. Lorcan was, unbeknownst to the other dragons the seed of the darkest evil that haunts this lowly world. Lorcan’s mother, Shauna was so proud of her little baby. However, it wasn’t long before Lorcan revealed his evil side. He began to kill other living creatures. His fire was used in the most evil of ways. His long terrible claws were used to shred his prey into little pieces. He gained a thirst for the taste of blood and grew larger and more powerful quickly. The other dragons began to call Lorcan the “Devil Dragon.”

As his evil grew stronger and stronger, the Devil Dragon discovered human creatures. They were pathetic compared to his might and he discovered that he could easily kill them. As a result of the Devil Dragon destroying the human creatures a great hatred grew in the humans hearts against all dragons and they began to retaliate.

This greatly upset the other dragons of Ireland and they decided to kill the Devil Dragon for his evil ways that had changed their world forever. Even though the Devil Dragon was the most powerful dragon on Mother Earth, the other dragons banded together and attacked him. A terrible battle began and lasted for two weeks. Every dragon was hurt and many died. The Devil Dragon was being worn down as the other dragons attacked him fiercely in waves of three or four at a time. Finally the Devil Dragon was forced to flee. Out over the great ocean the other dragons pursued Lorcan. Finally they turned back for Ireland and the Devil Dragon kept flying. He ended up here in our beloved mountains. His taste for death was still strong. The Devil Dragon actually grew stronger every time he killed another living being. Sadly, back in Ireland the other dragons all perished at the hands of the human creatures that Lorcan had filled with anger.

Lorcan was the last dragon left alive and his heart raged with hatred. He killed all creatures that he saw and grew even stronger. One day he saw a beautiful human creature that he fell in love with. The human creature was a beautiful Cherokee woman named, “Autumn”. Autumn was a very powerful Spirit Woman. She had been cast out of her tribe to live alone because she used her powers for evil instead of good. She was at first frightened by Lorcan. His size and physical features were very scary. As she saw his hesitation she also noticed that the great dragons eyes were looking intently into her mesmerizing emerald green eyes. She knew that this strange opportunity may not last long so she stood up straight and stared directly back into the huge beasts eyes. She could see the evil in his heart as plainly as if it were being demonstrated before her. She forced herself to hide her fear. They looked into each others eyes for what seemed like an eternity. Lorcan was giving up power to the Cherokee woman. She saw the signs as his mighty shoulders began to droop down and his eyes began to soften. His mouth began to slowly drop open. He shook his head in an effort to bring his mind back to reality but it was too late as he was overcome by submission. He had become her servant.

Autumn felt a smile slowly creeping across her beautiful face. She snapped her finger and pointed to a spot next to her. Lorcan looked toward the heavens and let out a sound so tremendous that it shook the mountains. The smile momentarily vanished from Autumns face as she thought that maybe she had failed to gain control of the enormous beast. A few seconds later Lorcan looked back down at the Spirit Woman and slowly made his way to her side. The ground shook at the thundering of his incredibly massive feet as he walked. Lorcan sat obediently beside his new master and Autumn grinned with a wicked smirk that reflected the evil thoughts running through her mind. She imagined the control and power that the beast added to her powers. Her tormented mind began to reflect on past situations whereby she felt that she had been wronged by other Cherokees. Then her mind flashed on the man that she had loved so deeply but who had completely rejected her. She had cast a terrible spell on this man and had turned him into a huge and powerful wolf. The wolf was named Thunder Jack.

Thunder Jack still loved his fellow Cherokee’s and worked hard to serve them in any way possible. He knew that he would probably remain in an animal form forever, but he still put his people first. He despised Autumn and her evil ways and had considered killing her many times. Autumn hated Thunder Jack and all the other Cherokees of her tribe. She longed for revenge against them and now she had the perfect means to do so. She imagined Lorcan killing them all and leaving Thunder Jack alive just long enough for her to let him see her power over the great beast that, according to her vision, would have already killed his family and friends.

Autumn worked hard for many months perfecting her commands over the Devil Dragon. She discovered that when she made him lie down and put his head to the ground completely motionless that he simply resembled a huge rock like formation. His scales provided the perfect camouflage for the terrain of the mountains.

One day as Autumn was practicing her control over Lorcan she saw a band of people moving in her direction. They had not yet noticed Lorcan or her. She ordered Lorcan to lie still. She told him that humans were approaching and she was going to let him destroy them. Lorcan smiled a huge evil smile as he thought about how glorious that would be.

As the people got closer Autumn noticed that they were a band of Creek warriors. There were about 25 men and they were moving quickly. As they approached Autumn jumped out from behind a huge tree on a hill in front of them and shouted, “Stop!” They were momentarily startled and stopped. Then the leader told her to leave at once or she would die. Autumn let out an enormous evil laugh that infuriated the Creek warriors. They shrieked out a battle cry and charged as she shouted, “Arise Lorcan!”

The warriors were horrified as the huge beast rose up before them. Lorcan let out a tremendous bellow and stood up on two legs. The warriors had never seen or heard of such a creature and even though they were fierce warriors, they were filled with terror. The leader threw his spear at Lorcan’s heart; it bounced off and fell to the ground. Autumn laughed hysterically as Lorcan breathed fire into the face of the leader who disappeared from sight as the powerful flames consumed him. The others were frozen in fear. Lorcan lunged toward them and quickly shredded the remaining warriors. Autumn laughed and laughed with an evil sound that even made Lorcan uncomfortable. As she finally stopped her demonic laughter she glanced at the great beast. She said, “You have done well my pet. We have even greater adventures waiting for us over in Deals Gap.” Lorcan smiled as she climbed up on his back.

Unbeknownst to Autumn, one of the Cherokees from Deals Gap had seen what had occurred and immediately returned to tell the others of the approaching danger. The other Cherokees would have thought that he was crazy except that he was obviously frightened.

As Brogan paused he slowly scanned the tiny mice who had been listening so intently. Their eyes were bulging out of their heads and they were fixated on the elder mouse and his tale of long ago. With the pause in the story, one of the little mice, named Gregory shouted out, “Mr. Brogan! May I go to the bathroom?” Then several other little mice chimed in also, “Yeah! Me Too! Don’t say anything else ‘til we get back! Okay? Please?” Brogan slowly shook his head back and forth in a totally disapproving manner. He thought, “Well I remember back in the old days. We would never say a word when an elder was speaking. These little ones today are so unruly.”

As the little mice returned and settled back into their places around the campfire there was some pushing and shoving and arguing as they tried to get comfortable. Brogan emphatically said, “AND THEN…” This got the little mice’s attention and the story continued.

“Aaaah Hmmmm,” said Brogan as he cleared his throat and tried to remember where he had left off. “As I was saying…then Lorcan flew all the way across the great ocean.” All the little mice laughed out loud. They said, Mr. Brogan! You were way past there! You were saying that the Cherokee man got back home and told his friends about the dragon and the bad lady!”

Brogan looked really indignant but said, “Yes. Yes…I know. I was just seeing if you were paying attention.” One of the little mice mumbled, “Oh Brother!” But…Brogan did continue and the little mice again became entranced by his words…listening intently to every thing he said.

“The other Cherokees in Deals Gap were stunned. What was this terrifying creature that Autumn had under her control? How could it possibly have breathed fire? How could it possibly destroy 20 or more battle tested warriors like that? How could a perfectly placed spear simply hit its mark and fall harmlessly to the ground? There was a lot to think about and not much time to do it in. The Cherokees could feel the ground shaking as the huge beast walked toward their camp. They instinctively sent the women and children off into the deepest mountains to one of their secret safe havens. Thunder Jack came running up in time to have heard the story and was alarmed also. The Cherokees needed a plan to go with their courage. They were ready to face the beast but they were really uncertain what to do to kill it. They had about seventy-five brave men that were ready to do battle with the beast. Thunder Jack was ready too. He said, “No matter what else happens, we must kill Autumn!” All the others agreed.

Their leader, “Raven Feather” decided to plan an ambush for the beast. He divided his men into groups of five, giving him fifteen strategic attack units. He slowly and deliberately drew his attack plan in the dirt. All the warriors watched intently. Once the plan had been drawn up he asked a medicine man to come forward and pray to the Great Creator for success in their upcoming battle. The medicine man began a slow chanting that slowly increased in intensity. He then began to dance a sacred dance that was designed to give the warriors extra strength and courage. A soft slow drumming began to accompany the great man as he methodically danced and chanted. Then he stopped and looked to the sky, slowly lifting his arms in praise of the Great Creator. Then after a time he looked at Raven Feather and simply said, “It is time.” With the light of a full moon to guide them, they took the positions high on the slopes of the surrounding mountainsides from where they would attack the dragon.

As first light began to break over the mountains to the east the air became deathly still and a bitter chill crept into the valley. An eerie haze hung over the valley. The ground had stopped shaking from the beasts walking and they all silently wondered what was going to happen.

Suddenly the stillness was shattered by a terrible demonic sounding laugh. The laughter was coming from the sky! They all looked up at once and saw the huge dragon flying through the air with Autumn standing on his back! She was screaming, “You’re all going to die…you’re going to pay for banishing me! I am going to rule the world with my new pet!” The Cherokee’s mouths dropped open wide as they stared in disbelief at Lorcan. Suddenly their hastily prepared battle plan seemed foolish. The dragon was in the air! “Now what?” they all thought to themselves. They were frightened. It all seemed like a nightmare and they wanted to wake up.

The Raven Feather sprang from his hiding place and shouted at the dragon. This bold move momentarily made the others feel more confident. Raven Feather was a fearless leader and a powerful warrior. Suddenly all of that meant nothing. The Death Dragon immediately shot fire at Raven Feather and he disappeared from sight…never to be seen again. The others were stunned.

Thunder Jack sprang into action, assuming command of his beloved brothers, “Fear not my brave men! We will kill this beast and spread its remains throughout our homeland like fertilizer!” At that moment Lorcan directed his fury at Thunder Jack. With a loud bellowing sound the dragon turned toward the wolf and flew at him at full speed. The other Cherokees were amazed at how fast the dragon could fly. Thunder Jack lifted his head toward the heavens and let out a blood-curdling howl. Then he shouted, “I hate you Autumn you wicked wench!”

Lorcan drew his head back and prepared to send another fiery blast from his nasty mouth. This one was aimed directly at Thunder Jack. If Thunder Jack died, the others knew that a retreat would be all that was left. Their future was hanging in the balance.

To be continued.

© 2002 Geoff Hampton

Geoff Hampton is an internationally known author, speaker, motivator and business consultant. He is also the Director of Marketing for Indian Voices newspaper and may be reached by E-Mail at Hampton also has a regular wellness/fitness management column at

pictograph divider


Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Thank You