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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


November 30, 2002 - Issue 75


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Thunderhawk - Winter Blows into Happy Valley - Part 1

by Geoff Hampton
Acrobatic Moose LeeAs Moose Lee finished the incredible story about the history of Cowrate, all the little mice simply sat for several minutes in complete amazement. Even Thunderhawk and Blaze who had been sitting in a tree nearby were mesmerized. There were so many incredible things that were a part of the days events.

Blaze looked at Thunderhawk and asked, "How is it that these human creatures and the huge animal with the huge antlers that they called Moose Lee could communicate with each other? I mean the little mice could understand them and even you and I could understand them!" Thunderhawk shook his head slowly back and shrugged his shoulders as if to say that he had no idea. Blaze continued, "Thunderhawk, think about it. Not only could all of us understand that big critter but it could understand the little mice! I mean, all I heard was a bunch of squeeking when they asked questions, yet the critter answered and I could understand the answer. How can that be?" Thunderhawk just sat there looking perplexed and again shrugged his shoulders and made a gruff sound as he again shook his head back and forth. He couldn't explain it.

Dancing MouseOn the ground, Penny and Pat went up to Moose Lee and thanked him for telling them all about Cowrate. They also thanked Two Eagles and Andrew the Apache. Then Moose Lee told them that he, Two Eagles and Andrew the Apache had to move on in order to spread Cowrate to other areas, but that one or more of them would come back periodically to see their new friends. In the background the little mice jumped up and down and said, "No! Don't go! Don't go! We want you to stay!" Moose Lee smiled and thanked them for their enthusiasm, but told them that they had to leave. The all bid farewell and slowly moved away into the woods.

Pat and Penny stood looking at them as they faded into the trees and then looked at each other in amazement. Penny expressed to Pat the same questions that Blaze had asked Thunderhawk about being able to communicate like that. Pat had the same basic reaction. He had no clue how they could understand Moose Lee or how Moose Lee could understand them. As they turned around to go back to the rest of the mice from the homeground, the little mice were looking very sad. Penny asked, "What's wrong?" Ian said, "I don't want our friends to leave!" Then all the other little mice shouted at the same time, "No! We don't want them to go either!" Penny smiled and shook her head at how cute they all were. She said, "Do you know how very lucky you are? That was the most incredible experience I've ever had! How about you?" They all shook their heads, "yes", but still all looked very sad. Then Penny said, "This is a time to count your blessings and be appreciative of the wonderful gift that you received. This is an experience that you will remember for the rest of your lives! Right?" The little ones all sadly shook their heads up and down to say "yes", but still looked sad. Then Penny told them that it was getting late and that they all needed to get to bed. The little ones all let out a loud groan at the same time, but did what they were told.

ThunderhawkBlaze and Thunderhawk, who were still sitting in the tree nearby could hear the squeeking coming from the little mice. They looked at each other in complete amazement! Thunderhawk said, "I have no idea! Now things seem to be back to normal I guess!" Blaze smiled and shook her head up and down to acknowledge his words. What an incredible experience it all had been. Then Thunderhawk and Blaze flew off to their favorite roosting tree as darkness was descending upon happy valley.

That night the little ones were very squiggly. They all were thinking about the incredible events of that day. Their little minds were running wild with thoughts about Cowrate, Moose Lee, Mooses, and all the other parts of the incredible story. Ian and Paddy were playing Cowrate loudly and had to be told to settle down repeatedly. Finally Pat and Papa O'Malley went into their room and told them very sternly to settle down and go to sleep. The two little mice groaned loudly and fell down on their beds to go to sleep.

Meanwhile, Michayla had been sort of frightened by the story and was having a great deal of trouble going to sleep. She kept thinking about all of the different parts of the story and some of it had been very frightening to her.

Evil DragonMichayla's mind began to wander as she drifted off to sleep. She thought about the Cowrate story, she thought about the story about the evil dragon named Lorcan and the super hero Thunder Jack. She thought about Ian and Paddy's argument about whether or not Thunder Jack could "kick Moose Lee's butt." Her thoughts were wandering all over the place!

In the middle of the night, Penny had to come into Michayla's room and wake her up as she was screaming in her sleep. Penny, who was gently shaking the little mouse asked her, "What's wrong Michayla? Are you alright?" As Michayla slowly came out of her deep uneasy sleep she looked around and blinked her eyes a few times and then shook her head to try to wake up. She looked at Penny and burst into tears. She said, "I was so scared! I thought that my dream was real!" Penny tried to calm her by stroking her little head gently and asked, "What were you dreaming baby?" Michayla tried to calm down and she haltingly answered through tears and sobs, "I…I…I thought that the devil dragon Lorcan was here in our homeground and he was going to burn us all up! Then Paddy and Paden came running out and ran defiantly toward towards the nasty critter screaming something about Thunder Jack. Then the devil dragon blew fire on them and they disappeared! Then Ian came running out screaming something about Moose Lee and how he was going to kill the devil dragon. Then the devil dragon blew fire on Ian and he disappeared. Then Pat came running out screaming at the devil dragon and you were trying to stop him. You were screaming and crying and he was dragging you as he ran toward the dragon. Then the dragon blew fire and you both disappeared too!" Michayla began crying hysterically. Penny pulled her little head into her chest and said, "Shhhhh! It's okay Michayla, it was only a dream."

Penny stayed with Michayla until she drifted off to sleep again. She continuously stroked her little head and rocked her gently back and forth as she sang a soft Irish lullaby to her. Finally Penny looked down and Michayla was sound asleep with a little smile on her precious little face. Penny smiled as well and gently laid Michayla's head down and went back to her own bed for the rest of the night.

Storm CloudVery early the next morning there was strong breeze blowing out of the north and the barren branches on the trees in the mountains swayed back and forth making an eerie creeking sound under the strain of the blustery wind. Fallen leaves blew into the air as if they had suddenly come to life with an ability to fly with each puff of the strong wind. There were dark foreboding clouds on the northern horizon and Papa O'Malley and Pat ventured out to see what they could find out from the others creatures in happy valley. Their sense was that a big winter storm was probably blowing in from the north. As they left the safety of the homeground to investigate they saw many deer feeding in the fields and saw other critters hastily gathering food. Animals have a strong sense for when storms are approaching and they go out and prepare by gathering or eating enough food to last for several days.

As Pat and Papa O'Malley returned to let everyone know that a big storm was rapidly approaching and that no one should go out, they discovered that Paddy, Paden and Ian had already left without letting anyone know. Immediately there was tremendous concern for their safety. Michayla became upset and worried that her dream may have been a foreshadowing of what was to come and she told everyone about the dream and about how Paddy, Paden and Ian had all been killed in it. Sometimes dreams can be ominous warnings, so there was real concern.

Rain CloudThunderhawk and Blaze took their morning fly-by over happy valley to make sure that the little mice were okay. They both sensed the coming storm and knew that they may have to roost up to weather the storm depending upon its severity. As they flew over the homeground of the little mice they saw that there was something going on and that the little mice were frantic about something. They landed in a tree nearby to try and see what was wrong. The winds were getting stronger and there was a feeling of moisture in the air. The temperature was dropping rapidly. As they looked on they did not see the three missing mice and due to the frenzied activity they guessed that Paddy, Paden and Ian had wandered off with the storm approaching. The rapidly changing weather was going to make it very difficult for the two hawks to search.

Meanwhile, Paden, Paddy and Ian were having a great time! They were running through the woods playing a combination of the superhero Thunder Jack and Moose Lee. They were running and jumping and loudly and aggressively mooing like Two Eagles and Moose Lee had done when they were demonstrating Cowrate. They felt great! Not a care in the world…so they thought!

Mouse in StarAs the little mice ran and played through the woods they suddenly became aware that except for the cold wind blowing through the tree, all of the other creatures had disappeared. As they stopped, they looked keenly in every direction and saw no other creatures. A tingling sensation ran up and down their little backs. Suddenly they were gripped with an uncertain feeling and fear. Ian asked, "What's going on?" They all just stared blankly around themselves and suddenly a light snow began to fall. They all said, "Uh-oh!" at the same time. Ian said, "We need to get back right now!" Paddy said, "No way! Thunder Jack is never afraid of anything!" Paden said, "Paddy, this is dangerous. We need to go home." Paddy said, "Get going you scaredy cats! I ain't going nowhere!" Ian said, "Paddy! Cut it out! You need to come with us!" Paddy laughed and ran off singing, "La La La La! See ya' chicken chumps!" Paden said, "Paddy! Come on!", but Paddy just kept running. Then he stopped and looked at them and stuck his tongue out, put his little fingers next his ears and wiggled them back and forth and made a "thhhhh" sound and ran off out of sight.

Paddylooked at Ian and ran after Paddy. Ian said, "Stop Paden!", but Paden kept running and was shouting, "Hey Paddy, wait up!" Ian turned and ran for the homeground. He was scared and worried about Paddy and Paden.

Jack FrostAs he was crossing the field next to the homeground he heard Michayla shout, "Hey! There's Ian!" All the other mice ran over to greet him. They all asked where Paden and Paddy were. Ian just shook his head slowly from side to side in a show of disgust and said that they had kept running off into the woods. Papa O'Malley and Pat were just about to go to find them when the tremendous snow storm struck. The snow was blinding. The mice had to reluctantly retreat back into the safety of their homeground.

Thunderhawk and Blaze had just taken off in the direction that they had seen Ian coming from when the snowstorm hit hard. Thunderhawk and Blaze were forced to land in a tree as they couldn't possibly travel safely under these conditions.

Blowing WindAs Paddy and Paden were frolicking through the woods the snowstorm struck with a fury. Suddenly they realized that Ian had been right. They looked at each other and Paden said, "What do we do Paddy?" Paddy said, "I don't know! This is scary." Paden said, "I'm freezing!" Paddy shook his head up and down in agreement and it was only getting worse. They both looked all around in confusion, trying to figure out what to do. In the distance a sound that was muffled by the snow and wind was unmistakable. It sounded like a pack of wild dogs howling! As the hair stood up on the back of their necks, the two little mice looked at each other in sheer fright, suddenly realizing the full extent of their careless mistake! They must find a safe shelter right now!

They slowly began to move around to find some shelter. The snow was accumulating very rapidly. Paden said, "Pat has told me stories about how creatures die in heavy storms like this!" Paddy said, "I know! I know…Papa O'Malley has told me the same thing."

SnowflakeAs the snow began to get deeper and deeper, the little mice could barely move. The temperature continued to drop and the wind chill factor made the situation very dangerous. The wild dogs were less of a concern at this moment than the weather itself.

Both of the naughty little mice began to sob in fear. Paden said, "This is your fault Paddy!" Paddy said, "Shut up Paden! I didn't force you to come with me!" You should have just gone home like the little chicken chump that you are!" Paden said, "Don't say that kind of stuff to me Paddy!" Paddy said, "Why not? You are a chicken chump!"

Muscle MousePaden made an aggressive sound and jumped on Paddy. The two began to fight each other and were really angry. They bit and scratched and kicked each other. Paden was getting the best of Paddy and pinned him to the ground. He said, "Paddy, we need to stop fighting with each other and get to cover. We will die out here! Now stop it!" Paddy said, "You started this you chicken chump and I'm going to finish it!" Paden said, "Paddy! Stop it! I mean it! We need to get to cover!" As Paden held Paddy down, the cold suddenly chilled them down to their bones. In fact it was so cold that both mice began to feel dizzy and were shivering uncontrollably. Finally Paddy said, "Let me up Paden! I have to go to the bathroom!" Paden let Paddy up so that Paddy could do what he had to do.

Jack FrostThen they agreed to stop fighting and try to find cover. They started to slowly move off into the unknown again. Both were freezing cold and really scared. They really could die. It wouldn't take long in these terrible conditions. They needed a miracle and Thunderhawk and Blaze would not be there this time. Suddenly Paddy fell to the ground and groaned loudly. Paden ran over and saw that Paddy's face was turning a blue color and he seemed to be moving in and out of consciousness. Paddy began to mumble incoherently and Paden was really scared. He tried to help his little friend, but he began to feel like he was going to pass out as well. It looked like the end for the two little mice. Paden called out soflty, "Helppppp!" Then there was silence.

The End of Part 1

© 2002 Geoff Hampton

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

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