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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 14, 2003 - Issue 89


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Thunderhawk - The Great Cross Country Adventure - Part 12

by Geoff Hampton

LittleThroughout that night Andrew the Apache and Jamie continued the journey back towards Happy Valley. Paden and Paddy slept very well. They were worried, but they were also enjoying their new friend Jamie. Jamie was a concerned about the two little mice that she had just met because of the possibility of their family being hurt or maybe even dead. Her mind was filled with many ideas to try to help the little ones keep their minds off what lay ahead.

Andrew the Apache kept a strong pace even in the darkness. It was difficult for Jamie to keep that pace up but she was determined to do whatever she could to help Paden and Paddy get back home. Around 2:00am on the first night the dogs started growling and barking like crazy as the group approached a clearing in the woods. Andrew the Apache stopped and stared intently into darkness as he listened for any sign of what was disturbing the dogs. As the group was downwind from whatever had gotten the dogs attention he also gently sniffed the light breeze for any sign of a scent from the source of the dogs concern.

Red Setter DogThunder was getting very aggressive and it appeared as though he was about to run of into the night after whatever was bothering him. Andrew the Apache ordered all the dogs to be silent and to sit down. As usual Thunder began whining and howling. Andrew the Apache and Jamie were on full alert. The commotion had awakened Paden and Paddy. Paddy blurted out, "Hey! What gives?" Jamie said, "Shhhh!" and whispered, "There's something out there and we don't know what it is yet." Paden and Paddy looked at each other and gulped at the same time. Paden said, "Oh no! Not this crazy drama again!"

Andrew the Apache didn't move a muscle. It seemed like hours to the two little mice. Finally he said, "Up dogs!" and they all began moving again. Paddy said, "Hey! What was it?" Jamie softly said, "We don't know, but it seems to be gone now. Try to go back to sleep for a little while." Paden and Paddy looked at each other a little uneasy. They looked all around at the darkness and they listened to the sounds of the night. They were scared.

The night seemed so long and even though they didn't speak, they didn't sleep either. The scary episode had caused them to think about their families and how much they missed them. They both had tears in their eyes as they remembered all of the love they had always gotten back at their beloved homeground.

Grandmother PennyAs they thought they got more and more upset. Paden couldn't stop thinking about his beloved grandmother Penny. She was the most loving creature that he had ever seen. He longed for her to gently cuddle him in her arms and whisper to him about how much she loved him and how everything would be fine and that he was always safe with her. The memories were beautiful but also upsetting.

Paddy longed for his loving mother Virginia O'Malley. She was always so loving to him and he really needed her right then. It was beyond his understanding that something terrible may have happened to her. His eyes suddenly just started pouring out the tears and he couldn't help but cry out loud. Jamie gently stroked his head to try to settle him down, but his crying only served to make Paden more upset also. Soon both little mice were crying uncontrollable. It made Jamie so sad to see them like that. She wished that there were more that she could do to help them, but at least they were getting closer to their destination.

Back at the demolished homeground Papa O'Malley, Pat, Ian and Sean Jr. all just stared at the devastation in total disbelief. They felt as though they had been punched in the stomach they were so upset. All of them had tears in their eyes. Moose Lee and Two Eagles talked softly to each other about the terrible tragedy that appeared to have happened to the little mice from the homeground. Then Two Eagle spoke, saying, "Little friends. Is it possible that there was a safe place for the other mice that escaped to go to while the flood was too high to stay here safely?" The little mice all looked at each other while they thought and one by one they slowly began to shake their heads back and forth to say that they didn't know of any place. Then suddenly Papa O'Malley brightened up and shouted, "Hey! There has always been stories about a secret place up on Chilhowee Mountain where our earliest relatives would go to seek refuge during times of high water and terrible flooding! That's right! Maybe they're up there!" Ian and Sean Jr. started jumping up and down and cheering loudly. Pat just stared up at the heavens and gave thanks to the Great Creator for the renewed hope of finding their loved ones alive.

In the distance they heard a familiar but faint sound. It sounded like Paden yelling at the top of his lungs! Suddenly Pat screamed out, "Paden! Is that you Paden?" Then all kinds of commotion broke out as Paden and Paddy started yelling as loudly as they could and Papa O'Malley, Pat, Ian and Sean Jr. all started screaming with all their might! They were so excited!

Loving Mice Before long there was the most joyous reunion that happy valley had ever seen! All the little mice were crying and laughing at the same time and running back and forth hugging each other over and over and over. The dogs were barking and howling and even Jamie, Andrew the Apache, Two Eagles and Moose Lee joined in the jubilation.

After a long while they all started settling down again. Papa O'Malley started talking to the other mice saying that thanks to Two Eagles he had remembered that there was secret place somewhere up on Chilhowee Mountain that the first mouse settlers of happy valley had made to use during times of extreme danger and flooding. All the other mice yelled with joy and thanked the Great Creator and asked him to help them find the secret location. After all of their fears and frustrations there might be hope after all. It was just as their human friends had said, "There is always hope until there is conclusive evidence that all hope is gone." Now, there was hope once again.

Bird's NestThere was very little sleep that night for the little mice as they anxiously awaited the coming morning and a trip up Chilhowee Mountain to try to find the ancient safe spot. As the first streaks of morning light shone out from behind the Great Smoky Mountains the group quickly arose and prepared to head off for Chilhowee Mountain. It was a beautiful day and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The beautiful sound of the birds waking up was really invigorating. Not too long after the first streaks of light were dawning a gobbler let loose with a loud gobble very near the group. Paden and Paddy looked at each and smiled broadly. They knew all about the turkeys and their early morning rituals thanks to Andrew the Apache.

As the group began moving Jamie picked up the younger mice one by one and placed them oh her shoulders. Ian, Sean Jr., Paden and Paddy were beaming with huge smiles at her attentiveness. Pat and Papa O'Malley just smiled and were grateful for the beautiful Apache girls help with the little ones. As they began to climb the base of Chilhowee Mountain Two Eagles asked Papa O'Malley if he had any idea where the safe spot was located. Papa O'Malley slowly shook his head from side to side to say that he did not. Chilhowee Mountain was a big place and it might be difficult to find the spot.

Acrobatic MooseThe group had been on the trail for about two hours when Pat saw what looked like a familiar site in the distance. His mouth dropped wide open and his eyes bulged out of his head. All at once he shouted, "Penny! I see Penny!" and he took off running like a streak of lightning. Penny had heard his voice and she called out, "Pat! I can't believe it! It's really you!" as she ran toward him to embrace him. Ian and Paden screamed out for her too and jumped down off Jamie and ran full speed to their beloved Grandmother. It was an incredibly joyous scene and even the humans and Moose Lee smiled broadly as they watched the little mice.

All of the commotion had caused many other mice to appear from an opening in the side of the mountain that turned out to be the safe spot of days gone by. Then Virginia, Baby Shannon and all the other relatives began to run as fast as their tiny legs could carry them to be reunited with their loved ones. The joyous celebration continued for the rest of the morning. All of the mice were so excited and each one had their own story to tell about the terrible recent flood and how they had lost hope about ever being together again as a family.

MouseIt was one of the most glorious days that had ever occurred in happy valley and Thunderhawk and Blaze who had been watching from above landed in a nearby tree and simply enjoyed watching the jubilant celebration. The Great Creator looked down on it all from the heavens and smiled. Once again all was well in happy valley.

The End - Part 12

© 2003 Geoff Hampton

Geoff Hampton is an internationally known author, speaker, motivator and business consultant. Hampton is the Executive Director for St. Mary's Health and Fitness Center in Powell, TN and is also a regular columnist for the wellness/fitness Website and Canku Ota. He can be reached by E-mail at His national anti-obesity/diabetes campaign, The Wellness Wakeup Challenge can be reviewed at Many of his health/wellness past features can be located at by looking in the Library of Articles section under Management Advice - Online Column and Management FAQ's - Online Column

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