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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


December 13, 2003 - Issue 102


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The Curse of the Robin Redbeast – Part 7


Michayla and Paddy were really upset. They knew that they were in for some serious trouble. Their minds were racing, thinking all different types of thoughts in rapid succession. Michayla was thinking that it would be best to avoid the coming trouble by just running away as fast as she could run. Then she thought about what had happened to Paden when he ran away and how he had come so close to leaving the physical world forever as a result of whatever happened to him after he ran away. Then she tried to imagine just how awful it was going to be as she would be on display in front of all the mice from the homeground. To make matters worse, she was going to be revealed as a liar and then judged by the elders with every other mouse looking on. She imagined how some mice, like the hateful one named Manuel Mouse would laugh at her misfortune and make fun of her for the rest of her life for what she would have to endure. All of these thoughts were making her feel sick to her stomach.

Paddy was just as anxious and wondered what he was going to do. In addition to the types of thoughts that Michayla was having, Paddy knew that Papa O'Malley was going to punish him severely. As he thought about all of these events, his eyes began to water and tears began rolling down his cheeks.

Suddenly both Michayla and Paddy were startled by a loud banging sound right behind them. As they turned around with their eyes bulging out of their heads, they saw Tanasi standing by the sacred turtle shell collection of the great mouse elder named Swift Warrior.

Swift Warrior was an old mouse, known as an ancient, that had been around for a very long time. In his advancing age he had decided to live alone secretly somewhere out near Laurel Lake and no mouse in the homeground had seen him in about seven years. He had made it clear when he left there to go and be one with Mother Nature that he was never to be summoned except in the most extreme circumstance. Tanasi, having taken the sacred fighting club of Swift Warrior and struck his sacred turtle shell collection that had remained there next to the sacred spot where loved ones were sent on their journey to the spirit world, was assurance to the little mice that this situation was even more serious than they had at first imagined.

Thunderhawk and Blaze were not too far away and they heard the eerie sound of the striking of the sacred turtle shells, followed immediately by three sharp and very loud whistles. They did not know exactly what it meant, but they thought that it must be something very serious, so they immediately flew to a nearby oak tree to watch what was happening.

As they landed in the tree they heard many more whistles from other adult male mice. This was their assembly signal and all knew, after the striking of the sacred turtle shells that they were to stop whatever they were doing and go at once to the sacred assembly mound.

The sacred assembly mound was a large mound of dirt that was very old and the ancients had created it for a sacred place to pass judgment on the most serious violations of the social code of moral conduct. At the top of the mound was the single rock where the ruling ancient would sit to judge these serious violations. In this case the only surviving ancient was Swift Warrior.

To the right of the ruling ancient rock were four other rocks that were set up on top some larger rocks for those mice that had been accused of the serious violations. These were called the rocks of judgment and any mouse who ever had stood (mice were not allowed to sit on these "rocks only" stand) upon them would never forget the horrible feeling that happened as they sat there humiliated and on display in front all the other mice.

Then to the left of the ruling ancient rock were seven other impressive looking rocks that resembled big chairs. These were the rocks for the ruling elders and were called the rocks of justice. From the rocks of justice the ruling elders would hear the case to be presented against the mice that had violated serious social laws. One elder, or a medicine mouse would make the presentation of the evidence of the violations to the ruling elders who would then look to the ruling ancient for approval of action, change of action, or rejection of action. It was a complicated process, but it helped ensure that the homeground would remain a safe and honorable community.

As Pat and Penny and Papa O'Malley and Virginia O'Malley heard the alarm they were puzzled, but didn't think much about it since there hadn't been this type of assembly in many years. Pat whistled his assembly call for Michayla and he knew that they would have to leave Paden alone for awhile. Papa O'Malley sounded his assembly call for all of his little ones as they waited to head out for the sacred assembly mound.

The mice waited and waited and waited but Michayla and Paddy did not join them. This was troubling and they wondered what could be wrong. Pat and Papa O'Malley sounded the assembly call one more time and the result was the same. The could hear all the mice gathering in the distance and decided that they better go so as not to get into trouble for being late.

As they approached the sacred assembly mound they heard mice shouting mean things to whoever was about to be tried. They head voices saying things like, "Banish those nasty mice from the homeground forever!" They also heard, "Let us punish those dirty little rodents!" It was really upsetting, because they knew that the mice yelling these things wouldn't even know what had happened yet. It seemed like they were just trouble makers.

As they got closer they could hear loud crying coming from the sacred assembly mound and they all thought about the mice who were crying, knowing that they were about to tried in front of every mice in the homeground. It seemed frightening to them. Then as they got closer their hearts started pounding. They looked up on the rocks of judgment and saw something that they could never have prepared themselves for. There stood Michayla and Paddy in front of all their friends, relatives and neighbors.

It was stunning and Penny fell down and passed out of consciousness. Virginia O'Malley screamed out and fell into the arms of Papa O'Malley and started crying hysterically. Pat Pilgrim and Papa O'Malley looked at each other with anger and frustration on their faces. They shook their heads back and forth in a manner that showed their displeasure.

Then they heard a dreaded sound. They heard the beating of the drums of justice and the chanting of a medicine mouse seeking approval from the Great Creator for the trial that was about to take place. It was too late to find anything out about what Michayla and Paddy had done. The ceremony had begun. It was a fearful moment beyond description.

Michayla looked around, crying uncontrollably. She was trying to find a friendly face that might smile at her and reassure her that everything was going to be alright. All she saw were angry mice making hateful gestures at her and screaming mean words. Then suddenly her eyes caught the stare of her beloved uncle, Pat Pilgrim. She saw how angry he was and she cried even more. She screamed out, "Please! Please! Help Me! Help Me!"

Tears came immediately to Pat's eyes as he knew that there was nothing that he could do to help her at this point. It was completely out of his control. The worst thing for Pat was that he didn't even know what Michayla could have possibly done to be in such a mess. It broke his heart, and he wept openly.

Paddy was doing the same thing. He was crying, but hoping so much that he might see just one friendly face in that huge crowd. There was none. Then, he finally saw his daddy, Papa O'Malley and noticed the angry, disgusted look on his face. It also made him cry harder as well.

Thunderhawk and Blaze looked at each other and shook their heads. They weren't sure exactly what was going on, but it was obviously very, very bad. Then they detected movement to their left and their heads whirled quickly in that direction. There, coming down the path from Laurel Lake was Swift Warrior. He was moving quickly for such an old mouse and as he came into view of the gathering of mice a loud cheer went up to celebrate his arrival.

Michayla and Paddy looked at each other and cried. They knew that there was no escape now. This was the final moment and the trial was about to begin. They both wondered what would become of them and it was a very scary thought. They knew that they would find out soon enough!

To be continued

© 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 & Fitness Center in Powell, TN and is also a regular columnist for the wellness/fitness Website as well as Canku Ota. He can be reached by E-mail at His national anti-obesity/diabetes campaign, The Wellness Wakeup Challenge can be reviewed at

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