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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


December 28, 2002 - Issue 77


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Thunderhawk - Winter Blows into Happy Valley - Conclusion

The second storm had been intense but around midnight the snowfall slowed and stopped completely just after 1:00am. The clouds began to clear and a brilliant moon shone down over Happy Valley. The night was bitterly cold. As the first streaks of sunlight appeared over the Great Smoky Mountains the next morning the critters of Happy Valley once again began to stir. The snow was deep and the critters were hungry.

Blaze shook her feathers and was grateful for the beautiful day dawning in the east. Thunderhawk, not too far away in another tree did the same thing. They were both hungry and needed to eat. They both took to the air to find some food. Blaze made a mental note of the spot where she had seen Papa O'Malley and Pat the day before.

Back at the homeground the beautiful sunrise brought a renewed sense of hope to Penny and she tried to encourage the other little mice. As each little mouse awakened they were gripped with fear for their missing loved ones. Penny went around and tried to build each one of their spirits. She encouraged them to have faith in the Great Creator that all the mice would return safely.

Paddy slowly began to emerge from a very deep state of unconsciousness. His little eyes slowly opened. He had no idea where he was, but it was nice and warm! He heard a fire crackling and smelled smoke. As his eyes scanned the area around him, he tried to get up, but was much too weak. He sort of groaned Paden's name. As he rolled over he saw Paden laying motionless next to him.

His eyes bulged out of his head as he feared that Paden had left him for the Spirit world. He was so weak but still tried to move toward Paden. As he moved he heard a dog begin to growl very menacingly. He slowly turned toward the sound of the growling dog and as he did he heard other dogs begin to growl also. Then the dogs began to bark and growl and make a lot of noise. Suddenly Paddy heard Paden scream out in fear. The commotion had brought Paden out of his deep state of unconsciousness as well.

The barking and growling was very loud. Suddenly the dogs went silent. The two little mice lay perfectly still afraid to move as they thought that the dogs would surely devour them. Their eyes were shut tight fearing the worst. Then Paddy felt something gently wrapping around his little body. He was afraid to look, but then a human voice began to speak to him. He was surprised that he could understand it. He opened his eyes and saw Andrew the Apache warrior looking at him. Andrew the Apache had gently lifted the little mouse up and was stroking his head very softly. Andrew the Apache then picked up Paden also. Paden's eyes burst open wide. He also saw his human friend who smiled at him.

Andrew the Apache began speaking to them, saying, "You little guys almost died. It is lucky for you that my camp was so nearby when the storm struck. My dogs had been barking like crazy. They are trained to find creatures that are in danger and if possible to rescue them. I released them and they ran off, obviously to rescue you two! They must have sensed your danger. They brought you back here and you were both very near death. We brought you inside here by the nice warm fire to try to save you. The dogs lay next to you to give you additional warmth from their bodies. Their barking and growling was simply to let me know that you had awakened. They were very happy. You two are very lucky indeed. Surely the Great Creator has smiled upon you today."

The two little mice were very hungry and weak. Andrew the Apache gently laid the two little mice back down. He went and got some grain for them to eat. Even though they were very weak they did eat a little. Then they went back to sleep. Their human friend smiled and shook his head back and forth at how cute they were. The dogs went over and laid down next to them to continue nurturing them.

Meanwhile outside the bitter cold continued. Blaze and Thunderhawk saw each other as they were circling high in the air looking for some food. They were both really glad to see each other. They immediately flew into a tree and wrapped their wings around each other in a deeply passionate embrace. Thunderhawk said, "I was so worried about you. It so great to see you again." Blaze just smiled, sighed a sigh of contentment and melted into his loving embrace.

The brilliant sunshine glistened off the snow and created an extraordinarily bright light. The air was cold but the brilliant sunshine brought hope to every creature. Blaze began to speak to Thunderhawk. She said, "Did you see the little mice?" Thunderhawk slowly shook his head back and forth sadly in a "no" type of expression. Blaze sighed heavily. She told Thunderhawk that she knew where Papa O'Malley and Pat were located, but she didn't know if they had survived the night or not.

They both needed to eat, so they took off to try to find some food. As they flew they saw Andrew the Apache's campsite. They flew into a tree nearby after they had found some food. As they ripped at their food they saw a very surprising sight. Andrew the Apache emerged from his teepee and he was carrying Paden and Paddy. He gently laid them down by the fire outside so that they could get some fresh sunshine. His dogs came and laid next to the little mice once again. Blaze and Thunderhawk looked at each other in complete surprise. They were so happy that Paden and Paddy were alive.

As they looked on they continued to eat. Suddenly Blaze looked at Thunderhawk and said, "Maybe we should go check on Papa O'Malley and Pat and if they are alive, maybe we can bring them here to get help!" Thundehawk's eyes opened wide as he considered this idea. Then he shook his head up and down in agreement with Blaze. They finished their food, shook their wings and took off.

Blaze led Thunderhawk to the spot where she had last seen the two adult mice. As they approached they saw two coyotes busily digging in the snow trying to open the crevice up. They had obviously smelled the two mice and were very hungry.

Blaze and Thunderhawk landed in tree nearby to consider their options. Their commitment was to protecting the young creatures of Happy Valley. These were two adult mice who had gotten themselves into this predicament. Yes, they were both impressed that they had braved the danger to try to rescue Paden and Paddy, but risking their lives for two adults was much different than risking their lives for young critters. After all, this was simply a part of Mother Nature. It was survival of the fittest. The coyotes were hungry and mice are a part of their diet. It was a huge decision.

The hawks were weak from the storm, but so were the coyotes. The mice may already be dead. The two struggled with the decision. Then Blaze said, "I think that we should see if they are still alive." Thunderhawk shrugged his shoulders in a show of uncertainty. Blaze said, "Well, I going to go and see. You do what you think is best." Then Blaze let out a shrill "Skreeee!" sound as she flew directly toward the coyotes. Thunderhawks beak dropped open in complete surprise as he watched his mate fly into danger. Then he immediately launched himself into the air and let an even more intimidating, "Screee!" sound. Blaze smiled knowing that he would protect her.

Thunderhawk was large and powerful and flew past Blaze as she approached the coyotes who were now growling and looking at the hawks. Thunderhawk was very angry and he hit the largest coyote at full speed. The impact sent the coyote yelping to the ground with a tremendous "thud" sound. Blaze flew onto the back of the other coyote and dug her talons deeply into its flesh. It also let out a loud yelping sound. Blaze let go and flew up into the air.

Thunderhawk was now going after the smaller coyote. It tried to run through the deep snow but Thunderhawk hit it just as hard as the first one. Again, the coyote went tumbling to ground, yelping in fear and pain. The two coyotes ran away and Blaze immediately landed at the crevice where the two adult mice had last been seen. As she looked in she saw them lying there motionless. Thunderhawk landed next to her. As she looked at him, he asked how they were. She shook her head back and forth and shrugged her shoulders in uncertainty.

Thunderhawk stepped up to see for himself. As he looked in he saw them also but he couldn't tell if they were alive or not either. He was close enough that he could push his head into the crevice and gently grab the legs of the mice to drag them out into the light. As he gently pulled each mouse out the two hawks saw that they were alive, but just barely. They were totally unconscious.

Blaze and Thunderhawk looked at each other. Blaze said, "Maybe we could take them to Andrew the Apache's campsite and put them there with Paden and Paddy." Thunderhawk thought for a moment. He was more inclined to eat them since he was still very hungry. He said, "Blaze, can't we just eat them? I'm still really hungry." Blaze looked at him with a disapproving look and shook her head back and forth to say, "no". Thunderhawk let out a long sigh and said, "Okay. Let's get them over to the campsite." Blaze smiled and gently grabbed Pat's body as Thunderhawk gently grabbed Papa O'Malley. Then they took off and flew to the camp.

As they approached, Andrew the Apache was sitting beside the fire. He looked up and saw the two beautiful hawks approaching. His eyes opened wide as they landed next to him and gently laid the two adult mice on the ground. He looked at them and smiled. He reached down and gently stroked Thunderhawks head. He said, "Thank you my friends. This is a wonderful thing that you have done. I remember these two mice. They were the adults who were watching over these young ones at their home." He said this as he pointed to Paden and Paddy.

Thunderhawk shook his head up and down in a sign of agreement. Blaze and Thunderhawk took off and flew into a nearby tree. They were amazed as Andrew the Apache gently took the two adult mice inside to care for them. Then he came back out and took Paden and Paddy back inside as well.

Andrew the Apache and his dogs tended to Papa O'Malley and Pat. Paden and Paddy were slowly gaining strength as they slept. When they opened their eyes they were very surprised to find Papa O'Malley and Pat inside with them. They were excited and screamed out loud. The dogs looked at them with their heads tilting back and forth as they tried to figure out what was wrong. Andrew the Apache smiled as the young mice ran over and hugged the unconscious adult mice. The little mice were crying and laughing at the same time. They were so happy to be reunited with the two adult mice. They looked at Andrew the Apache and said, "Will they be okay?" Their adult friend told them that he couldn't promise anything, but that with their love and care it was possible. Then Paddy started crying and said, "I want to go home!"

Andrew the Apache smiled and said, I know little one. I am going to take all of you home today. We just need to let these two adults warm up by the fire here for a little while. Paddy jumped up and ran up the humans leg. When he got to his neck he gave him a big hug and said, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

Andrew the Apache smiled broadly and told Paddy that he was welcome. Paden said, "You are so great! Thank you so much for everything. Without you we would have all died!" Andrew the Apache said, "It wasn't just me." Paddy said, I know, we thank your dogs too!" The human said with a smile, It wasn't just my dogs either." The little mice said at the same time, "What are you taking about?" Andrew the Apache smiled and said, Come over here." He went to the door and pointed to the two hawks sitting in the tree nearby. The mice screamed at the same time. Andrew the Apache said, "There may be a time for you to scream with a hawk nearby, but those two brought Papa O'Malley and Pat here for me to save them." Both little mice said, "What are you talking about? Are you kidding?" He just smiled and said, "No. They really did. Now let's get those two bundled up and get you all home!"

As weak as Paden and Paddy were they cheered and jumped up and down for joy. They were so happy to be going home! They immediately ran to help get ready.

As the group got ready to head back to the homeground, Blaze and Thunderhawk took off and flew high in the sky overhead. As they approached the homeground, Fiona saw them coming and screamed, "Look! It's Andrew the Apache! I see Paden and Paddy on his shoulders!" All the mice rushed out in the deep snow to greet them. Blaze and Thunderhawk smiled as they watched the reunion. Blaze said, "Now. Aren't you glad to see this happy occasion? There's plenty of food out there waiting for us now. Lets' go eat." As they flew off they both smiled as they thought about the days events.

Back at the homeground there was great celebration. Papa O'Malley and Pat would make full recoveries and the lessons learned would be great for everyone. The Great Creator watched it all and smiled. All was well again in Happy Valley!

The End

© 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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