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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


November 16, 2002 - Issue 74


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Thunderhawk - Cowrate - Ancient Art of the Bovine’s - Conclusion

by Geoff Hampton
MooseAgain, due to the length of the story, the children needed another break. All were fascinated by the story and the children began “practicing” during the break. Andrew the Apache spoke gently to them all and suggested that they wait to try Cowrate later, after they had received proper instruction. The little mice were disappointed, but understood.

As all the little ones gathered back at the spot where Moose Lee was telling the story, they all found a place to get comfortable and eagerly awaited the rest of the legend. Then Moose Lee smiled at them all and continued…

The Home Stretch

Like Mooses, Ryka had assumed the form of a large woman. Her training by the monks had increased her abilities significantly. They both still knew that danger and rough traveling lay ahead so they quickly started moving again. Ryka, through all of her experiences and training had lost her silly questioning demeanor that she originally had when Mooses met her. She was now a very wise, mature and spiritually enlightened being. She was happy that Mooses had asked her to come along.

As the two progressed, it was on through the Kunlun Mountains and into China. They pushed on through the Altun Mountains, the Bor Ul Mountains and into the foreboding Gobi Desert. While this portion of the journey was very difficult, their crossing was uneventful. Their concern about Mongolia was real but through great awareness and stealth, they made it with no real complications. Then it was on into Russia and the Eastern Siberia Plain. The two had a few potentially dangerous encounters with people but were able to navigate the circumstances successfully. As they pushed on near the Arctic Circle in Russia, they became very tired and food had become scarce. The two were struggling. The weather was bitterly cold and that, coupled with hunger had caused their keen sense of awareness to let up.

CossackOne particularly bitterly cold night the two made a great fire and then fell off into a deep sleep. They were both awakened at first light by the sound of voices. As they opened their eyes they beheld a frightening sight. They had been surrounded by about fifteen very rough looking men who were carrying spears. The spears were pointed at Mooses and Ryka. The man who appeared to be the leader was shouting something at them. It was very obvious that it was not a friendly greeting. The two stood up immediately. They looked at the men surrounding them and then at each other. It was a trying situation with no easy answer. The men were obviously threatening them. Ryka looked at Mooses (who could change form in an instant) and implored her to save herself at once. Mooses declined, making an oath that she would never leave Ryka alone to face such danger. Ryka reminded Mooses of the importance of the mission and begged her to flee at once. Again, Mooses declined.

Suddenly Mooses shouted aggressively at the leader and moved menacingly toward him. One of the other men immediately threw a spear at Mooses. Mooses stepped to the side and caught the spear in mid air. The group of men looked on in amazement. Mooses again made an aggressive sounding assault on the leader. She threw the spear to the ground and pointed at the leader, motioning for him to come and get her. The leader looked at the other men. Suddenly they all burst into laughter. The leader looked toward Mooses. The laughter immediately left him and his face turned into a menacing, hate filled snarl. He said something obviously antagonistic to Mooses. Mooses again shouted, this time violent and with a deranged look on her face. She beckoned for the leader to “come get her”. The leader suddenly charged. Mooses assumed a defensive position and as the attacker approached, she struck like lightning, knocking the man unconscious.

The other men looked on in anger. Mooses was looking down at her victim while emitting a low growling sound. Then she looked up at the other men. She slowly looked around at each one. Then she screamed out another verbal assault; choosing the most formidable looking man as the target of her words. His face turned to a vicious looking snarl and he then attacked with his spear. Again, Mooses quickly assumed a defensive position. As the attacker approached she disarmed him like lightning and thrust his spear straight through his heart. She pulled the spear back out and turned glaring at the others with a demented look on her face. Then she laughed with a hysterical, evil sound. Even Ryka was a bit concerned at that point. Mooses jumped up onto a big rock and aggressively challenged anybody else to come get her.

LionAt this point, the other men were looking back and forth at each other. They were tough wild men, but this particular scene was a bit extraordinary. Suddenly, three other men attacked Mooses. As the others looked on in disbelief, she quickly disposed of the three attackers. She had still yet to sustain even as much as a scratch. She looked down at the three men and laughed, again in an evil, unsettling way. This caused her eyes to appear as wild as possible. Then, she slowly lifted her eyes to the remaining men. They were bewildered. She again screamed out a furious assault, motioning for someone else to do something. The men were looking back and forth at each other. A few more screamed and threw their spears at her. She easily deflected them and laughed sadistically. Obviously the men were now very unsure of themselves and what to do. Mooses teleported herself right next to another one of the men and immediately knocked him unconscious. She then teleported herself back by the man that she had killed. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, Mooses changed herself into an enormous lion. She let out a blood curdling roar. The men were now transfixed. Frozen in their tracks. Fear sweeping through their superstitious veins. Mooses leapt on the man that she had killed, picking his body up like rag doll, swinging it back and forth & shaking it violently. Then she threw it at the men. As they saw the body coming toward them she roared and sprang toward them also. The men dropped their spears and ran off in terror, screaming as they went.

After a brief chase, with Mooses emitting blood curdling roars as she pursued the men, she turned around and ran back to Ryka. Mooses immediately changed back to her human form. Ryka was in a state of shock. The scene had been so ghastly that she was mortified. Mooses shook her and yelled at her. They had to get moving immediately. Mooses hastily led Ryka by the arm away from the scene. It took Ryka a few hours to snap out of her state of shock which had overcome her earlier that morning. As she began to regain her senses, Mooses sat Ryka down in order to explain to help her what had happened and to help Ryka understand why she had done things the way that she did. “Ryka, we were in imminent danger. Those men would have killed us and our journey would have been over. If I had left you, you would be dead now. I don’t like to kill but in this case, the killing outweighed the potential consequences that you and I faced. That’s all behind us now and we must move quickly. We are entering the last portion of our land journey before I have to part the sea, in order for us to cross over to our final destination! Take heart now, and let’s move it. This part of the journey has been dangerous, and we must continue to move quickly.” Ryka nodded her head in approval and the two began their trek in earnest.

Jack FrostThe wind howled and the temperature was bitter cold as the two crossed the frozen tundra moving ever closer to the Bering Strait. After a week and a half of horrible conditions (which severely challenged their will) they began to sense that they were drawing near their destination. One morning as they awoke at first light, they could see the rising sun glistening off of the water in the distance! They both jumped up and down in glee. They screamed out at the tops of their lungs! They couldn’t believe their eyes. They were finally near their journey’s end.

The two hastily broke camp and headed off to meet their destiny. The last portion of their journey leading up to the Bering Strait was uneventful but bitterly cold. As the water came closer and closer, their will increased in intensity. Mooses knew that the drain of parting the sea, which is very deep water at the Bering Strait, would be overwhelming. She also knew that they must cross quickly because she would not be able to hold the sea back for long and if the water came crashing down on them they would surely die. The scene was joyous but filled with apprehension and concern on the part of Mooses.

Mooses Parts the Sea

The two were exhilarated looking at the sea as they approached it. They were both smiling and silently praying, thankful that they had endured and survived the grueling journey, which was now behind them. They each thought a thousand thoughts about all of the things that they had experienced along the way. The sound of the sea grew louder and louder with each passing step. The day was brilliant & beautiful filled with great sunshine and a crystal clear sky. It almost seemed divine, the beauty of the moment, the beauty of the day, the strange warmth that penetrated the formerly bitter cold air. Both Ryka and Mooses were smiling, yet in a complete daze. Neither one could have ever prepared themselves for the glory of this moment! The two carefully chose their path down to the waters edge. The sea seemed very rough and there appeared to be a tremendous current in the water. It was a frightening sight. The power of the sea was awesome!

As they approached the sea, Mooses reached into her Spirit pouch and took out the sacred crystal cow figurine that Jakob had given her so long ago. She got up onto a large rock and began an eerie chanting. Ryka simply looked on in amazement. As the chanting reached a very loud point, Ryka noticed that the sea had begun to move violently in many different directions all at the same time! Mooses slowly began to lift her arms skyward while continuing the chant. Now Ryka noticed the crystal figurine in Mooses’s right hand. It began to emit a radiant glowing along with a loud roaring sound. The sea began to splash in huge waves all around them. Something extraordinary was definitely occurring!

Suddenly, the sea, in a deafening roar, began to rush to the north and the to south at the same time! Mooses seemed to be in a deep trance, yet her chanting continued, all the while growing louder and louder. Then there was thunder and lightning in the beautiful clear sky. Ryka had to put her hands up to cover her ears and even then she still had to cry out in pain as the noise was so loud. Then, suddenly, the sea parted! The opening appeared to be about one hundred fifty yards wide, and stretched ahead of them for as far as the eye could see! It looked like a huge canyon. The water seemed restless on both sides. The scene was very frightening yet spectacular.

Mooses suddenly collapsed and fell from the rock, striking her head as she fell. Ryka ran over to her. She was bleeding and groggy but otherwise seemed alright. After about 20 minutes the two stood up and immediately began crossing through the strange opening in the sea. The sound in between the walls of water was eerie. It’s sound was penetrating. It was a loud and constant roaring sound. The two moved quickly, knowing that there was a long way to go and only a short time to get there. They had already lost around twenty valuable minutes!

Sun ReflestionThe water was very deep and the scene was quite surreal. The light of the morning sun barely lit the path that they must follow. It seemed that no matter how far they went, the opening ahead of them never ended. The actual distance was a little more than seventy-five miles so they had estimated that it would take at least fifteen hours to cross. 15 hours under these conditions was going to be very difficult especially with the shorter days near the Arctic Circle. Fortunately, the two had brought enough supplies to maintain their strength along the way. They took very brief breaks and moved as quickly as possible. At the deepest point the side walls looked extremely frightening as they towered so high above their heads. They both knew that death would be instantaneous if the walls collapsed before they arrived at the other side. As the 16th hour passed, they both began to get justifiably nervous. The roaring sound was becoming more pronounced and the walls were visibly moving back and forth as if they were going to collapse at any moment.

The two began to run. Then, suddenly from behind them, they heard yet another sound. As they glimpsed back over their shoulders, they saw what appeared to be approximately one hundred men from the tribe from which Mooses had killed the leader. The men were chasing after them! They had their spears and were chanting and cheering as they ran. It was a frightening sight and Mooses and Ryka knew that this also meant certain death if these men caught up to them.

As they ran, they heard another very alarming sound far off behind them. It was a deafening, crashing, thundering type of sound and it was rapidly getting closer! Then the wind began to come up the canyon from behind them. The intensity of the wind increased just as the crashing & thundering sound from behind them also increased. Then, suddenly they began to feel what at first felt like a slight movement of the floor of the sea beneath their feet. The rumbling feeling of the movement began to rapidly increase in intensity. They both instinctively knew that the sea was collapsing behind them and it was moving toward them at a frightening rate of speed.

CossackBoth Ryka and Mooses began to panic; their adrenaline was flowing. Just as the situation seemed the bleakest they noticed that the wall of sea on either side of them was reducing in height. They now knew that they were nearing the other side. They must make it! They both saw the shore on the other side at the same time. Their eyes opened wide and their feet moved more swiftly. The thunderous sound behind them was getting too close as were the sounds of the men chasing them! It was looking very bleak. They could now feel moisture in the wind blowing from behind like the morning dew on their skin. The sound of the ocean walls collapsing behind them was unmistakable. The sound had become deafening. Unfortunately, the two were over exerted and very tired. Every muscle in their body ached and they were now forced to run uphill as the North American coast was so close by. Then they saw the rocks along the beach on the other side. All they needed was a few more minutes!

The walls beside them were getting less and less imposing. The depth was reducing with each step that they took. Then, suddenly, the distance became immaterial. The deafening roar behind them was upon them! The walls beside them collapsed and the water came crashing down on them. It threw them to the bottom of the ocean floor breaking various bones in both of their bodies. The temperature of the frigid water took their breath away. They no longer even thought about the men who had been chasing them. Now it was simply to survive, if at all possible.

One of the benefits of the walls collapsing from behind them was that the force of the water, while hurting them badly, also pushed them in the direction that they wanted to go! Suddenly, they both fell into unconsciousness. Whether they would survive or not was now no longer within their control. The bitterly cold & violent water tossed them around like grains of sand. Later they learned that Members of a North American Native American Indian called Aleut tribe were on a fishing mission and had found their battered bodies lying on the beach. Both Ryka and Mooses had sustained seriousinjuries internal and external and they were suffering from hypothermia. The tribesmen built a huge fire, along with a shelter not far from the beach, in order to get the two out of the elements and into some warmth with hopes of reviving them. Ryka was very near death and the tribesmen held out little hope for her recovery. Mooses, while seriously injured, at least seemed like she might survive.

While unconscious, Ryka, was in extreme pain. She could not bear it. Then, suddenly, the pain left her body and a bright glowing light appeared before her. It as Kali. Kali softly spoke to her saying, “Ryka, my dear, sweet child. Jakob and I are so proud of you. You have been a wonderful part of fulfilling our destiny, for the bovines of North America. You will forever be revered as a truly Holy leader of the bovine world. The injuries that your earthly body sustained are severe. There is no way that either Jakob or myself can assist you on earth any longer. Your time has come. It is now time for you to come home with us. You will live forever with Jakob and I in the Spirit world.” With that being said, Kali extended her hand to Ryka. Ryka smiled and took her hand. Ryka felt a rushing feeling. She looked back and saw her terribly injured body laying lifeless in the crude shelter next to her friend Mooses. Suddenly her human form transitioned back into a cow. Then the scene disappeared from her sight and she was gone.

Mooses Continues The Journey

CowMooses was in state of unconsciousness and could not know what had happened to her dear friend Ryka. The Aleut tribesmen had been asleep when Ryka passed away and they were frightened next morning when they discovered her body gone and a dead cow in its place! The tribesmen had fled as they could not understand what had happened. How could a dead cow have even been brought into the shelter that they had built? The shelter had only one opening and the opening was not large enough to fit a cow’s body through it. They, out of superstition, fled the scene leaving Mooses behind with Ryka, the dead bovine.

Mooses was badly hurt, but the tribesman efforts to medically assist her had been very helpful. As Mooses emerged from her state of unconsciousness, it was early in the morning. The morning sun was streaming through a small opening in the top of the crude structure. She felt horrible. Her head was pounding, her ribs ached, her arms and legs hurt all over and at first her eyesight was bleary. As she tried to focus her eyes, she shook her head from side to side a few times in an attempt to clear her blurred vision. Her head hurt horribly so each time she shook it she felt worse. She sort of moaned a few times and then called out softly for Ryka, whose lifeless body lay right behind her. As Mooses tried to turn herself over, her hand brushed against the cold, lifeless body of Ryka.

Although painfully, Mooses rapidly turned over only to see the horrible sight of poor Ryka’s shattered remains. Mooses screamed out in horror. She started crying hysterically, repeating, “No! No! No!” over and over again. She thrust herself onto Ryka’s body, wrapping her arms around her dearest friend’s neck. Tears rolled uncontrollably down her cheeks, falling onto Ryka’s sweet, lifeless face. In her grief, she turned her eyes toward the roof of the structure. Through the small opening the beautiful light of a gorgeous day shone through. Mooses’s eyes continued to stream tears and she moaned loudly. She cried out to Jakob and Kali, beseeching them as to how they could have allowed this to happen, saying, “My dear Jakob, my dear Kali, why? Why hath thou foresaken me? Why would you allow this horrible thing to happen to such a dear, precious creature? Why? Why? Whyyyy?!?”

The experience was overwhelming and Mooses soon fell into a deep, deep, restless sleep. In her sleep, Kali, Jakob and Ryka all appeared to her in a blinding light. Ryka was so beautiful! Mooses could never have imagined how beautiful she would look in her Spiritual form! Ryka was smiling. She said, “Hello Mooses, my dearest friend. You and I had a wonderful time together. We will always be connected through the will of Jakob and Kali. However, you are the chosen one. The mission is yours. I was but a small part of the greater picture. I will always be with you in your heart. You must refocus your efforts and energies on your mission. I am very happy. Kali and Jakob have rewarded me greatly for my part in this Holy mission. I will always be with them! Please, my dearest friend, gather your energy and bring this mission to a successful conclusion!” Then, they were gone.

EagleMooses slept for two days. After the vision, her sleep was much more therapeutic. When she awakened she felt much better. Again, the daylight was streaming through. Ryka’s body was gone and in it’s place was a stone with Ryka’s Spiritual image emblazoned on it. It was so beautiful! Mooses picked it up and held it tightly against her chest next to her heart. Her eyes lifted up to look out the opening in the shelter’s roof. As she looked, a beautiful bald eagle landed and looked right at Mooses. Mooses smiled. The eagle and Mooses simply looked at each other for a long time. Then the eagle made a screeching sound and flew away. Mooses, smiling softly, just stared at the opening where the eagle had appeared for awhile, thinking about her friend Ryka. Then she looked at the stone and knew that it was time to go.

As Mooses emerged from the shelter she was feeling much better but still hurt all over. Her headache was subsiding but still hurt. Every muscle in her body ached and she was very stiff. As she moved from the shelter the sun was blinding to her eyes, as she hadn’t seen direct sunlight in awhile. She held her hands up to shield her eyes. As her eyes came into focus she saw the beautiful woods. Her ears heard the sea in the near distance. The woods were so beautiful! As her eyes scanned the scene, she noticed around 40 or 50 structures that were raised up on four wooden legs. The top of the structures looked like a woven bed of some sort. There was wood and brush piled below each one. The structures appeared to be about the size of a humans bed. They all sagged in the middle as though there were heavy objects in them. As she approached the nearest one she climbed up to look in it. As she reached a vantage point where she could see in her eyes burst open wide. There was a lifeless body in it! The body was dressed as the tribe from the other side of the sea had been dressed. She immediately jumped down. She surmised that these men’s bodies must have washed up on the shore and whoever had helped her had also prepared these lifeless bodies for their journey to the spirit world. As she continued to look around she realized that there were not as many bodies as the number of men who had been pursuing them. She saw perhaps 40 or 50, maybe even 60. However, she and Ryka had estimated that there had been about 100 men chasing them. While it was a ghastly sight she wondered if any of the other men had survived. Regardless, it was time for her to move on.

Mooses had specific instructions up until this point in her journey. Now she was somewhat unsettled because she had grown accustomed to having Ryka with her and now she was alone. She stared at uncertainty. She immediately began to meditate in order to soothe her thoughts. After meditating, Mosoes was refreshed and immediately headed east to continue her journey.

BullMooses traveled across the North American continent and trained bovines and even some large creatures called moose in her cow-rate arts. While in Canada she learned that the tribe who had rescued her was the Aleut tribe. Mooses also had the opportunity to meet other tribes along the way. Just as she had been told so long ago, the tribes of North America were in balance with Mother Nature and did take great care of their animals.

As the years went by Mooses began to get older. She entered the area known as the United States in upper New York State. She made her way south spending time with different bovines along the way. She trained them as she went and told them of a time when she would return to set them free. She told them that they would know when that time had come as Mooses would appear to them in her human form and softly call out to them with a mooing sound. That is why to this day, whenever a human stops by a field and “moos” at the cows, the cows look so intently at the human form, trying to determine if it is just another human or if it is Mooses returning to set them free.

Along the journey Mooses had trained a moose in Canada whose famous descendant, Moose Lee became the last critter in the line of cow-rate specialists. Mooses had worked hard to fulfill her mission but it never reached its final conclusion during her earthly stay. While her return would always be greatly anticipated by the bovines of North America, there was no way to know when her return may occur. In the meantime, the bovines remain a docile group of animals that anxiously await her return.

Cowrate seemed as though it would simply fade away. Only Moose Lee remained alive trying to continue the journey that Mooses had begun so long ago. As Moose Lee was nearing the end of his earthy existence he befriended a Cherokee warrior in Eastern Tennessee. The Cherokee warrior, whose name was “Two Eagles” was from the beautiful smoky mountain town of Sevierville, Tennessee. Two Eagles offered to help Moose Lee and asked in return if he could take Cowrate and make it into a program that he would use to help the youth of Native American Indian tribes as a means of enhancing their lives. Moose Lee agreed and helped Two Eagles convert Cowrate into a fun, educational and motivational exercise program that would lift up the spirits of Native American children from all over North America.

Aerobics ClassAs the Native American Children tried Cowrate, they loved it! They had a uniform that was white with black spots and made them look like Mooses. The movements and stretches were fun and were exactly like Mooses had learned from Kali, the monks of the Shaolin Temple, the old man in Korea and Master Nishioka so very long ago. The program would go on to become a wonderful part of Native American Children’s lives everywhere, just as Two Eagles had imagined it would!

Jakob and Kali looked down on Mother Earth and were pleased.

The End

This concludes the background for the Native American Children’s Fitness Program called Cowrate. Interested communities, businesses and individuals may contact Geoff Hampton for additional information at Next issue resumes the standard Thunderhawk tales.

© 1997 Geoff Hampton

Geoff Hampton is an internationally known author, speaker, motivator and business consultant. He is the Marketing Director for Indian Voices newspaper which serves Southern California and Nevada. Hampton is also a regular columnist for the wellness/fitness Website and can be reached by E-mail at

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