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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 29, 2002 - Issue 64


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Thunderhawk - The Missing Mouse Adventure

by Geoff Hampton, part 4 in our series
As the months passed after Thunderhawks dangerous encounter with Old One Eye things began to get back to normal. Then in July a series of terrible thunderstorms began to drench happy valley. The frightening storms lasted for two weeks with no letup. All of the young mice in the valley were anxious for nicer weather so that they could go out play again. The O’Malley’s were no exception. Papa and Virginia O’Malley had made the little ones remain inside the homeground during the storms because predators are hard to detect and hungry under those conditions.

One day Paddy decided to venture out just a little ways from the homeground to break the monotony of being kept inside. He couldn’t see very far because of the intense rain and he began to get nervous. Suddenly a tremendous clap of thunder caused him to scream. All of the mice in the homeground heard Paddy’s scream and they suddenly became very worried.

Paddy couldn’t see very far and he was unsure of where he was. A blinding bolt of lightening flashed across the sky. As the lightning illuminated the landscape Paddy saw three red wolves sneaking in his direction. He screamed at the top of his lungs and began running away from the wolves and away from his family and home.

One little mouse was not much of a meal to these three hungry predators, but during the prolonged storm that had been going on for so long any food that was available was worth eating. Paddy was in a state of terror as he ran from the wolves. Paddy’s family and friends had heard his terrified screams and were all in a state of fear for his safety.

Papa O’Malley cried out, “Where’s Paddy? Has anyone seen Paddy?” Everyone was sobbing and nodding their heads back and forth to say “no”. Papa O’Malley was frightened and began to call, “Paddy! Paddy! Where are you Paddy!” It was a truly sad scene.

Papa O’Malley began to get angry since he had been very clear about everyone staying inside until the storms passed by. He aggressively tried to find out where Paddy had gone and who knew about it. His mate, Virginia pulled Papa O’Malley aside and had an important talk with him. She said, “Papa. I love Paddy as much as you do and I am so scared. But, getting angry and taking out that anger on the other little ones is wrong. This is not meant to be disrespectful. I love you so much and just want you to think about their feelings also. Just look at their faces. They are so scared and you being aggressive is only hurting them more. Please try to calm down and let’s try to come up with a plan to find Paddy. That’s the most important thing right now, don’t you agree?”

Papa O’Malley looked into Virginia’s eyes for several long minutes as the anger was burning inside him. He had already lost two little ones and did not want to lose another. As he glared into the softness of Virginia’s eyes his anger slowly melted into compassion. She was right. Being angry wouldn’t help in any way and as more time passed Paddy would be in deeper trouble.

Papa O’Malley began to blush a little and said, “I’m sorry Virginia, please forgive me. You’re right. We need to think about how to save our little Paddy.” With this Virginia said, “You know Papa, it would also be nice if you let the kids know how you feel as well. Their feelings are hurt from your reaction.”

Papa O’Malley called the little ones together and asked them to forgive him for taking out his angry feelings on them. He didn’t make any excuses, but simply asked for their forgiveness. They all forgave him and that settled things somewhat. Paddy was still missing and the last thing anyone knew about him was that he had been screaming out in fear and his screams had been fading into the distance as he was obviously running away from his home in a state of confusion.

As Paddy ran through the pouring down rain his heart was pounding. He could hear those red wolves snarling and snapping at each other as they pursued him. With all of the heavy rain they could not follow Paddy by his scent so they knew that they had to move quickly. A red wolf can run much faster than a little mouse. It seemed very much like the end for little Paddy O’Malley.

Thunderhawk and Blaze were roosting high in their favorite tree waiting for the terrible storms to pass. There was no way that they could know that little Paddy was in so much trouble. Even if they did know, it would be very difficult to save him from three large animals like the red wolves that were chasing him.

Paddy was in a great deal of trouble. He could barely see and in the driving rainstorm his tiny body was taking a beating running through thick brush that hurt him as he ran into branches and limbs with all the speed that his little legs could muster. Suddenly Paddy ran blindly into a fallen log. It knocked him to the ground and he let out a loud groan as he fell to the ground. He was a little groggy but as he rolled over he saw the fierce looking snarl of one of the red wolves who was standing directly over him. The wolf growled and some of its saliva fell from his jowls and landed on Paddy’s chest. He had never been so scared in his life! The wolf made a sudden lunge at Paddy. His muscles reacted and he rolled to the side causing the wolf to miss him. The next thing that Paddy knew another one of the wolves knocked the one that had tried to eat him down to the ground. Then the third wolf lunged at Paddy but was also knocked to the ground by the second wolf who wanted to eat Paddy without sharing the tiny meal.

Paddy took advantage of the fight between the three hungry wolves and ran. His body hurt so much from the underbrush and his collision with the fallen log. He called out for help, but there was nothing and no one there to help him. The three wolves fought for only a few minutes and then were back in the chase. It had been a very close call, but Paddy had escaped. He knew that he was still in great danger.

He was running as fast as he could go. He could hear the growling wolves approaching again. The rain began to let up so that Paddy could see a little better but the ground was very slippery. He had no idea where he was. The surroundings were completely unfamiliar.

Papa O’Malley and Virginia were glad when the rain began to let up some. They called out for Paddy but got no answer. They ventured out towards the area where they had last heard Paddy’s terrified screams. They left specific orders for the other children to remain in their safe homeground with the other mouse families.

Papa O’Malley and Virginia were scared but wanted desperately to find Paddy. As they moved cautiously toward the area where they had last heard Paddy they made a frightening discovery. They saw Paddy’s little tracks in the soft dirt, but they also saw the tracks of the three red wolves. Virginia broke into uncontrollable sobbing. The tracks obviously followed little Paddy’s. Papa O’Malley decided to follow the tracks but asked Virginia to please return to the other children. She didn’t want to, but she respected her mate’s wishes. Papa O’Malley cautiously but hurriedly began following the tracks.

As Paddy ran and the wolves closed in on him he suddenly realized that he was heading for a sheer cliff. He cried out, “Whoah!” and tried to stop suddenly. He slipped on the wet dirt and began sliding toward the edge. He cried out, “Helpppp!” Suddenly the wolves came to the same realization. They also tried to stop, but they also slid. The scene could have been comical if it weren’t so serious with the three red wolves sliding into each other and then all into poor Paddy. Over the edge of the cliff they all went. The red wolves were howling in fear and Paddy screaming at the top of his lungs.

The fall was about thirty feet. The wolves all hit the rocky ground first and Paddy fell on top of them. The red wolves had the breath knocked out of them and lay motionless gasping for air. The fall had hurt badly was not fatal. Paddy had the advantage of falling onto their bodies so he was frightened but okay. He lay still for a moment on his furry bed to rest a little. Suddenly the wolf that he was laying on lifted its head and its eyes looked right into Paddy’s. Paddy sort of made a sound like, “Gulp” as he swallowed hard and his heart began pounding again. The wolf showed its long teeth and growled ferociously at Paddy. Paddy screamed and took off running. The wolf tried to get up but was hurt too much to follow. All three wolves were unable to pursue. Paddy ran as fast as he could without looking back. He ran and ran and ran.

Papa O’Malley was searching for little Paddy as quickly and quietly as he could. He was encouraged to see that Paddy was eluding the sharp fangs of the wolves but it seemed like too much to hope for that little Paddy could keep eluding the three hungry wolves for long. As darkness began to settle over happy valley Papa O’Malley became discouraged and knew that he had to return to his homeground without his dear little Paddy. When Papa O’Malley arrived back home he tried to act uplifted that Paddy was still safe at the last point that he had reached before having to turn back because of the darkness. Weeping and sobbing continued throughout the night as all of the little mice worried about poor little Paddy.

As darkness fell Paddy knew that his danger only increased. The rain had now stopped completely and he knew instinctively that the wolves would now be able to follow his scent trail. He began looking for a safe place to spend the night. He spotted a huge tree with an opening underneath some of the roots. The opening went far enough back that he would be safe from the large predators. While trying to get comfortable underneath the roots he detected some movement nearby. As his eyes stared into the darkness he saw a huge ugly spider creeping along under the roots. He hated spiders but knew that it wouldn’t hurt him.

The spider was now between Paddy and the way out. It stopped and continued facing toward him for along time. It made Paddy uneasy because he didn’t have any idea what the spider was doing. His mind began to think crazy things because he was so exhausted. Finally he screamed at the spider and made threatening looking gestures toward it. It didn’t move. Paddy needed sleep and this wasn’t good. Finally the spider scampered out from under the roots and didn’t return. Paddy was relieved but nervous.

As Paddy tried to get some sleep he thought about his family and how worried they must be. He began to worry that they might be in danger because they would surely try to look for him. He knew that they must have heard his screams. It was a night without much rest for the little mouse. He wondered if he would ever be able to get back to his home and feel the love and comfort that he had always felt there. He was so scared and lonely.

The next day arrived in happy valley with a spectacular sunrise behind the beautiful smoky mountains. The sunrise was followed shortly thereafter by an incredibly bright rainbow. The rainbow is a sign from the Great Creator that follows rainstorms. It is a sign that Mother Earth would never again be destroyed by a huge flood which had happened one time a long, long time ago.

Paddy had finally fallen asleep just before the beautiful sunrise. He was almost immediately awakened by the sounds of birds singing loudly. Paddy knew that this meant that the storms had passed for now. He crawled out from under the roots and saw both the beautiful sunrise and the rainbow. His aching little body was telling him to lay back down, but his brain told him it was time to get going.

With the ending of the storms the red wolves now had plenty to eat. They forgot all about little Paddy and began to search for other meals. It had been a strange experience for them and their bodies were aching from the fall off the cliff. Paddy was safe as far as the wolves were concerned.

The ending of the storms also signaled Thunderhawk and Blaze that it was time to begin patrolling the skies over happy valley. It had been a long period of time and both hawks as well as most of the other critters od happy valley were very, very hungry. Thunderhawk and Blaze satisfied their hunger and then began soaring through the skies. They floated on the air currents and effortlessly glided through the heavens above happy valley. They were a truly impressive sight!

As Thunderhawk and Blaze passed near the homeground of the O’Malley’s they noticed that something didn’t seem quite right. With their keen eyesight they saw the O’Malley’s and some of their neighbors running frantically in different directions as though they were searching for something. As the two hawks flew closer they noticed that Paddy wasn’t with the other mice. The hawks saw Virginia O’Malley sobbing and crying as she ran back and forth so intently looking everywhere. Thunderhawk and Blaze decided that Paddy must have gotten lost. They decided to split up and search the valley from the sky for little Paddy. Paddy had been the target of some of their fun in the past and they really liked him. They both hoped that nothing bad had happened to him.

As Thunderhawk split off toward laurel valley, Blaze headed off toward miller’s cove. They slowly circled around and around and around making great circles in the sky. As they circled their keen eyes kept a watch for Paddy.

Paddy was hopelessly lost. He had no idea how to get back home. He sat down and just started crying. He cried and cried and cried. He cried until he thought that he had no more tears left. He was so scared. Suddenly he noticed movement off to his right. His crying stopped and he stood deathly still watching for the movement again. When he saw what had been moving he was scared again. It was a Bobcat! The Bobcat was following his scent. He knew that he had to run immediately. Unfortunately for Paddy the Bobcat saw his movement also. The Bobcat let out a tremendous roar. It scared poor Paddy and the hairs on his back stood up straight. He could never run faster than the Bobcat.

The Bobcat immediately took off running after the little mouse. Paddy was running as fast as he could but the cat was closing the distance quickly. Paddy cried out, “Helppppp!” The Bobcat only got closer.

From high in the air Blaze had heard the roar of the Bobcat. She also saw the cat begin chasing its prey. She flew closer for a look at what the Bobcat was after. As she flew into the woods she saw that it was…Paddy! She found Paddy! Unfortunately, Paddy was in serious trouble and a Bobcat could easily kill the hawk. Normally Blaze would go and get Thunderhawk, but there was no time for that. She decided to try to save Paddy herself!

Blaze let out a loud, “Screeeeee!” that momentarily halted the Bobcat. As it looked up at Blaze she folded her wings back down her sides and went into a fast steep dive. Paddy had also heard the hawk and looked up just in time to see her diving straight at him! He Screamed, “Aaaaaaah!” The Bobcat thought that the hawk was trying to steal its lunch so it roared again and charged toward the diving hawk. Paddy just closed his eyes in fear.

As the Bobcat sprang into the air toward Blaze she grabbed Paddy as softly as she could manage under the conditions in her razor sharp talons. Paddy screamed in fear and pain. The Bobcat got one claw on Blaze and tried to pull her down. She rolled away from the Bobcats claw and instantly came free from its grip. As she came free from the Bobcats grip she quickly climbed up into the sky and safely away from the hungry predator. Paddy just passed out of consciousness.

As Blaze flew she immediately headed toward happy valley and Paddy’s home ground. Paddy was completely limp in her tightly gripped talons. As she approached the O’Malley’s homeground she let out a frightening, “Screeee!” All of the mice headed for cover! As they looked up they saw Paddy in Blaze’s talons. They all screamed out in fear at once. What a ghastly site! Poor, poor Paddy. They all feared that he was dead.

Blaze flew right onto the ground near the O’Malley’s home and carefully laid Paddy down. Pappa O’Malley ran toward the bird screaming things that none of the other mice even understood. He had tears streaming down his face as he ran as fast as he could toward Blaze and Paddy. Blaze watched him come and smiled to herself. Paddy leapt at Blaze just as she took off. He was screaming at her as Virginia ran over to the motionless Paddy. He was bleeding and she was so worried. She cradled his head and sobbed softly. Shannon came running out screaming, “Papa scared the hawk that killed Paddy away! Papa did it! He scared the hawk that killed Paddy away!”

Then Paddy let out a little groan and Virginia screamed with joy, “Paddy’s alive!’ All of the other mice ran over and jumped up and down for joy. It was a glorious day. Paddy was home safe and alive and Papa O’Malley had scared away the hawk that had tried to kill him.

As Blaze told the story to Thunderhawk he just smiled and shook his head in amazement. He thanked his mate for saving the little mouse.

Then the Great Creator, who had watched it all with great interest shook his head and smiled too. It was just another wonderful day in happy valley!

The End

© 2002 Geoff Hampton

Geoff Hampton is an internationally known author, speaker, motivator and business consultant. He is also the Director of Marketing for Indian Voices newspaper and may be reached by E-Mail at Hampton also has a regular wellness/fitness management column at and two others at

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