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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


October 19, 2002 - Issue 72


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Thunderhawk - Cowrate - Ancient Art of the Bovine's - Part 2

by Geoff Hampton
Cartwheeling MooseAs Moose Lee was telling the little mice about the history of Cowrate he became aware that the little ones were getting fidgety. He paused and asked if the little ones would like to take a short break. Paddy said, "Yeah! I gotta' go to the bathroom!" This was echoed by several of the other little mice. Moose Lee looked at Two Eagles and he nodded his head up and down in approval. Moose Lee dismissed the little ones and told them to be back in five minutes if they wished for the story to continue. All the little ones ran away, anxious to get back to hear more about Cowrate.

As Moose Lee had been telling the story, Thunderhawk and Blaze had noticed the gathering and had flown into a large oak tree nearby to see what was going on. As the break started they looked at each other in amazement, as the story was so interesting.

Other adult mice and some of the other little ones from the home ground had been drawn to the gathering out of curiosity and were amazed as well. The story was incredible, but so was the huge critter that was telling it. They had never seen anything like Moose Lee.

As Paddy and Ian were getting ready to rejoin the group, Paddy said, "Thunder Jack could kick Moose Lee's butt!" Ian looked at Paddy with an angry look and said, "No way!" Paddy said, "Uh huh!" Ian said, "Unh Unh!" Paddy said, "Could too!" Ian replied, "Could not!" Paddy said, "You're stupid!" Ian replied, "No I'm not Paddy. If you think that Thunder Jack could kick Moose Lee's butt you're stupid!"

Paddy made a loud grunting sound and jumped on Ian's back. Ian screamed out loud as Paddy bit him. Pat, who had been close by ran over and pulled Paddy off of Ian. He said, "Paddy! What is wrong with you?" Paddy said, "He said that Thunder Jack was stupid!" Ian immediately yelled back, "I did not!" Pat sternly warned the two little ones to stop it or they wouldn't get to hear the rest of the story from Moose Lee. Ian apologized politely. Pat looked at Paddy who still looked defiant. Pat said, "Well Paddy. Do you want to hear the rest of the story about Cowrate?" Paddy shook his head up and down meekly and apologized.

As everyone returned to where Moose Lee and Two Eagles were standing Moose Lee spoke gently to Ian and Paddy. He said, "My little friends, fighting is no way to settle differences. Fighting is something that you do if there is no other option in times of extreme danger. Now let's get back to the story." And Moose Lee began to tell more of the story of Cowrate.

The Journey Begins
Japanese FanMooses's next task at hand was to make the trek to China where in human form she would spend three years studying their karate styles. The first thing that Mooses had to accomplish was in itself an awesome task. In order to get to China she would have to cross the imposing Himalayan mountains. Mooses transformed herself into a Chinese girl without extraordinary beauty. This way, she knew that she would not be bothered as a source for romantic interruptions. She would simply be seen as a plain looking peasant girl with what would seem like extraordinary "natural" karate abilities. As she worked her way into the Himalaya's, it became obvious that she probably would be better served in another form. Mooses opted to change her form into a snow leopard. As a snow leopard she was able to successfully make the crossing of the mountains. Once on the other side she changed back into the Chinese peasant girl.

When she first arrived in China she acted as though she could not speak since she did not know the language. Slowly, she began to learn important words and phrases and began to use them very sparingly. As Mooses could not use her real name, she accepted the word "peasant" as her name. While Peasant was trying to find her way through the mountains in China, she ended up in northern China at the famed Shaolin Monastery on Songshan Mountain, in the Honan province. The karate form which was practiced by the Shaolin Buddhist monks was called "Kung Fu". "Peasant" appeared to be very tired and seemingly starving to death. The Shaolin monks took her in to try and nurse her back to health. Peasant was allowed to stay with the monks as she was a very hard worker and never created any problems. In fact, they were impressed with the level of attention and respect that Peasant had for the monks.

Karate GirlOne day, while Peasant was busy working in the fields, a group of bandits attacked one of the Shaolin monks. While the monk was quite capable of fending for himself, Peasant immediately sprang into action, intervening physically on the monks behalf. At first the bandits roared in laughter at the tiny little peasant girl who was challenging them with such aggressive behavior. Suddenly Peasant attacked. The bandits had never seen anything quite like the physical display that Peasant demonstrated or her unusual techniques from the intense mootial arts training back in India. The bandits obviously were "in over their heads" and ended up running away. The monk who was attacked by the robbers was fascinated by Peasants knowledge & skills, as he saw something that looked remarkably similar to what the Shaolin temple had been introduced to in it's origin of karate training.

The Shaolin temple's original karate was actually brought from India, by a man who was a member of India's royalty. The monk harbored strange feelings about Peasant and who...or what she was but it was something that he did not actively pursue. He had clearly seen that her intentions with the Monastery and the monks were pure. Peasant spent her three years in China at the Shaolin temple. She was able to learn more than she ever could have imagined in her three year stay thanks to the Shaolin monks. They always appreciated her simple, quiet, hard working way. When her three years were up, she simply thanked the monks and left without any fanfare. She would miss those kind men, but she was committed to her journey. The monks all wished her well and thanked her for her excellent hard work during her three years there.

Now, it was on to Korea for three years of study of Korean karate. Korea was a long way from Songshan Mountain, so as Mooses began the long, long journey, she decided to travel in the form of an eagle. The journey to Korea was long and tiring. When she arrived in Korea, once again she assumed the form of an unattractive & thin peasant girl. Again, she did not know the language, so at first she remained silent, learning a few words and phrases as she went. At the time of her arrival, Korean karate was in a state of decline. Many of the most outstanding Buddhist monk karate masters had fled to the mountains to live their lives in seclusion in order to continue their practice of the martial arts. Mooses again opted the simple name of "Peasant". She made her way out into the mountains, in hopes of working her way into the confidence of a Buddhist karate master. As she traveled, she kept a very low & unassuming profile. There was a certain degree of lawlessness in some of the remote regions that was traveling so occasionally she did run into trouble. Thanks to her training in India and China, most were no match for her advanced fighting skills.

Karate GirlOne day, as she traveled near a small mountain town, she encountered two bandits who were aggressively threatening an old man. Peasant softly approached taking the old man by the arm in hopes of simply leading him away to safety. One of the key elements of karate training is awareness. Peasant was aware of the location of both bandits the entire time as she began to lead the old man away from them. Suddenly, one of the bandits tried to grab her from behind. Peasant immediately fiercely counterattacked the man and broke his left arm. As she counterattacked, she was aware that the other bandit had taken out a large knife and was approaching her rapidly from behind. Again, Peasant attacked swiftly and powerfully, knocking the knife out of the hand of the second bandit and then knocking him unconscious with what looked like a lightning speed attack of punches and kicks. As she turned to make certain that the old man was alright there was an enormous smile beaming across his face. He simply bowed and thanked her. The old man noticed that she was looking terribly thin and frail so he offered her a meal in repayment for her assistance. Peasant gladly accepted the offer.

Although communication was awkward, Peasant could tell that the old man was inquiring about her karate knowledge. Peasant smiled and shrugged her shoulders very innocently. The old man was very pleasant and Peasant was enjoying his company. After they ate, the old man encouraged her to follow him. He led her into a heavily overgrown area that at first made her a bit uneasy. After a short walk though the thick vegetation, Peasant's eyes beheld an unusual sight. Her mouth dropped wide open as she looked at the old man's very sophisticated, well-equipped karate training building. The old man smiled broadly from ear to ear as he bowed and motioned for her to enter. Peasant smiled in return, bowed graciously and took off her sandals before entering the dojang (Korean term for training studio). Upon entering, she bowed to the old man. The old man simply began to do a series of karate movements. Then he smiled at Peasant and indicated that he wished for her to repeat the movements. She smiled, bowed and did as he wished. Her execution amazed the old man who smiled broadly again as she completed the exercise. He bowed again and this time he shook her hand as he bowed. Peasant realized that the "old man" that she thought that she had protected was, in fact a Korean karate master. She was thrilled with her stroke of good fortune. She worked hard for the old man and in return, he fed her and gave her a place to sleep. Every day the old man spent hours with her training her in the Korean martial art form known as soo bahk.

Karate ManPeasant spent the next three years of her life with the old man and she learned more than anyone could have expected. The old man had been a wonderful companion and instructor. When the time came for her to leave, the old man simply nodded his head and smiled broadly as if he understood her mission. He bowed deeply and meaningfully and shook her hand again. This time he shook her hand with his left hand behind his right elbow which signified an extremely high level of respect. As Peasant made her way down the mountain from the old man's home her mind was reeling with thoughts of how wonderful the experience had been. The old man was a real character but an even greater instructor. She would truly miss him.

Her thoughts turned to the next part of her journey, which was on to Japan. Japan is a series of islands. Mooses felt that the best option would again be to assume the form of an eagle and fly to Japan. That is exactly what she did.

When Mooses arrived in Japan it was late at night. She landed on a beautiful beach and transformed herself into a plain looking, very thin, Japanese peasant girl. She went a short way into the vegetation beyond the beach to spend the night and rest for this final and important phase of her journey. At daybreak she awoke. She performed her morning exercises and made her way back to the beach in order to try to get her bearings. As Mooses made her way back to the beach she heard men's voices. When she emerged from the vegetation there were five men in some form of unusual body armor. They immediately saw her and began yelling something at her in Japanese and pointing towards her. Mooses knew that she could not escape, so she acted as though she passed out and fell to the sand.

Japanese Samurai WarriorThe men that she had seen were Japanese samurai warriors. The samurai warriors took Mooses back to their hillside village. The men laid her down on some hay in a barn structure. Several Japanese women came in and began to take care of her. She of course knew no Japanese, so again she stayed silent, simply listening and trying to learn key words and phrases. She was fed and given water. The Japanese women washed her face with water and spoke softly to her. She was left alone that night but with the door to the barn locked. She felt as though she were a prisoner. In the morning she heard martial arts practicing so she knew that this place may hold the Japanese martial arts secrets that she sought. She had done her own exercise and practicing late that night in complete silence.

The next day, about mid morning, the women again came to the barn where Mooses had been kept. They were accompanied by one of the samurai warriors who unlocked the door to let the women enter. The warrior stood in the doorway looking long and hard at Mooses. She was uncertain of the man's intentions. After the women had fed Mooses, they helped her to her feet and brought her out into the daylight. The place was beautiful. It was set high on a hill overlooking the ocean. There were sounds of beautiful birds singing all around. The women who had helped her wore brightly colored beautiful clothes. They seemed to be very friendly. They laughed softly and spoke amongst themselves as they led Mooses up a narrow trail that had the most beautiful fragrant flowers that Mooses had ever seen. There was a small waterfall. Beautiful goldfish were swimming in the pool at the bottom of the waterfall, which was filled with plants and vegetation.

Japanese Samurai WarriorAs the women rounded the last turn of the trail they entered into a large courtyard. There were men in the courtyard practicing martial arts, with an important looking man in brightly colored clothes looking on. There were four large tough looking men standing beside the important looking man. As the women came into view the training stopped and all eyes turned to look at Mooses. She instinctively dropped her eyes toward the ground so as not to be disrespectful to anyone. The women continued their walk. They continued to lead Mooses toward the important looking man. As they brought Mooses directly in front of the man, Mooses bowed instinctively. The man spoke to her in a very harsh manner. Mooses was not sure whether he was angry or just a gruff sounding man. She simply responded by bowing again and keeping her eyes toward the ground. One of the large men came forward and yelled at her and then threw her to the ground. She did not cry out but simply stayed where she had landed and kept her eyes to the ground. The large man came toward her again. He again yelled something and reached down as though to hurt her. The important looking man grunted a word and the large man immediately backed off.

One of the women came to her and put her dainty little hand under Mooses's chin and softly lifted her head so that her eyes would see the important man. The important man seemed to indicate that he wanted her to stand up with a hand gesture. Mooses immediately stood up. The man then indicated that he wanted her to come toward him. Mooses did so, meekly and slowly. As she got close the man signaled for her to stop. The man again spoke to her. This time more softly but still in a gruff manner. As Mooses could not understand him she meekly bowed again. The man stood up and approached her. Mooses was very nervous at this point. The man walked directly up to Mooses and put his hard tough hand under her chin and lifted her head. Her eyes now unavoidably looked directly into his. He spoke again to her. The tone was again gruff but he obviously was trying to be as gentle as he seemed capable of being. Mooses did not know exactly what to do, so she simply smiled meekly at the rough looking man. Surprisingly, he smiled back at her. The man turned his head toward the women and spoke very gruffly to them. They immediately bowed and came forward to get Mooses. They spoke softly to Mooses and led her away. As they led her away, she couldn't help but slowly looking back over her right shoulder to see what the man was doing now. The man was watching Mooses. He smiled and gave her a polite nod of his head.

FanMooses was not brought back to the barn but this time was brought to the most beautiful home that she had ever imagined. The women brought her to a luxurious looking bath and she went ahead and bathed. After her bath, the women gave Mooses a royal pampering treatment. She was feeling very uncertain about what was actually happening. After Mosses's bath and pampering treatment, the women dressed her in a beautiful kimono, which is a robe type garment tied with a wonderful Obi sash. They put her hair into a beautiful bun on top of her head and fixed it with ornate pins. When she was completely dressed you could hear her wooden geta sandals slapping the floor as she walked.

Suddenly there was a great commotion outside with the sounds of men arguing and then fighting. The Japanese women who had been attending Mooses shrieked and ran out the room in terror. Mooses went toward the sound of the fighting. As she got to the door she saw men fighting with swords, in hand to hand combat in the courtyard. Her eyes scanned the scene, she saw the important man, with three of his large bodyguards lying on the ground, caught up in a fierce fight with the intruders. Mooses immediately let out a loud yell and attacked the intruders who were trying to kill the important man. Her attack was spectacular and the intruders were momentarily stunned by this little woman who was attacking them. Mooses immediately knocked one man unconscious which gave the important looking man the opportunity to regain the upper hand against the intruders. Mooses attacked a second intruder, knocking him unconscious also, but in the confusion, one of the intruders was able to deliver a serious blow to the back of Mooses head and she fell down unconscious.

FanMooses was very near death. Kali appeared to her and comforted her saying, "Mooses, you have done a wonderful job so far on your journey. Jakob and I are very proud of you. You were very seriously wounded today, but as I promised you, many years ago, whenever you needed me, I would be there for you. While you sleep, I am going to teach you the language of the Japanese people. I will make sure that you survive this serious wound and your Holy journey will continue. Thank you Mooses, for your outstanding efforts. Good night for now my dear friend. Sleep well. When you awake again, you will feel groggy and there will be a terrible pain in the back of your head from your wound. You will be tended to by the Japanese women and they will take great care of you. When you awake, you will be able to speak Japanese fluently but use good judgment. Listen a lot and speak but a little. Farewell Mooses, and I wish you the best!" With that, Kali was gone.

Mooses slowly came out of her deep fog of unconsciousness early one morning. She was completely surprised to see the man whom she rushed in to help, sitting next to her looking very concerned. She slowly opened her eyes. His eyes opened wide and he called for the women to come at once to help her. She smiled very meekly at him and he smiled back at her. He immediately thanked her for her help against the intruders. Mooses nodded meekly. Mooses noticed a horrible pain in the back of her head, just as Kali had forewarned. She learned from the women that one of the intruders had hit her squarely with the broad side of his sword in the back of her head. If he had hit her with the sharp edge she would have died immediately. As it was, the wound was very serious and they had been uncertain that she would survive. They said that it was as though a Spiritual being must have intervened because with that type of wound she should have surely died. Mooses smiled meekly.

Her recovery was much faster than anyone could have imagined. She had a horrendous scar to the back of her head that would never go away but she was very happy to have survived. Throughout her recovery many Japanese medical specialists were brought to help her. She learned that the man that she had saved was named Yoshitaka Nishioka. Mr. Nishioka was one of the leading masters in jiu-jitsu. His samurai warriors were his personal students and protectors. Mooses learned that there were many lawless samurai who traveled around terrorizing towns and villages. Generally they knew enough to leave Mr. Nishioka alone. What had happened when Mooses intervened was a very rare occurrence. The master had no reservations about his thankfulness for Mooses's actions and skill. Mooses told them that her name was "Peasant" when they asked her.

Master Nishioka went far outside of tradition in his appreciation for Peasant's actions. He invited her to live at his home in comfort and actually train with his highly regarded samurai's. Peasant was stunned but happily accepted. Many of the samurai's disapproved but would never disrespect their master through an exhibition of disapproval. A few did however, decide to make things very tough for Peasant. This actually was to her benefit. She needed to gain as much knowledge and skill as quickly as possible, so the tough treatment would only serve to make her tougher!

WaterlilyOne day, as Peasant was walking toward the house after a session of mind relaxation near the waterfall, she encountered Master Nishioka walking by himself. They each smiled and bowed to each other. Master Nishioka politely invited Peasant to accompany him to his favorite spot in the garden for a few moments of quiet, peaceful reflection. She bowed and silently agreed to go with him. They walked together up a trail that Peasant had never been on before. The trail was more beautiful and fragrant than anything that she had ever experienced before. As they reached the end of the steep trail, Peasant's eyes beheld a glorious sight. There was a beautiful terrace lined with bonsi trees and a picturesque rock wall separating the terrace from a sheer cliff that cascaded down to the ocean. It seemed as though from that high vantage point, you could see forever. It was breathtaking.

Whistling BirdAs the two walked quietly toward the rock wall, a beautiful breeze blew in off of the ocean. It rustled their hair and felt wonderful! The moment was as splendid as any that Peasant had ever known. As they stood next to each other gazing off at the ocean, they both felt waves of attraction sweeping through every inch of their bodies. They each knew that physical attraction was not appropriate, but the strong, emotional feelings were hard to deny. As they stood there, their hands accidentally, ever so gently brushed up against each other's. Their minds felt a rushing of feelings that was hard to describe, it was so powerful. They were afraid to look at each other for fear that they may be overtaken by this powerful surge of emotions. Then, as if by some divine calculation, a beautiful songbird suddenly landed in the tree right next to where they were standing. The bird began an absolutely beautiful song, breaking the tension and they both looked at the bird and smiled, then they looked at each other. There was a deep, longing look that each saw in the other's eyes. Master Nishioka spoke softly to Peasant saying, "In nature there are many splendid and wonderful moments. This songbird for example has lifted our hearts in a way that we will each remember for the rest of our lives. Such a simple pleasure, yet such deep meaning for you and I. Yet, our encounter with this beautiful bird, as our encounter here today is so finite. In only moments it will all pass away but will live forever, as a very special part of our souls." As Master Nishioka finished speaking, the bird flew away. They both stood in silence, cherishing that special moment. Then the special moment was over and they walked together silently back to the house.

Peasant spent three wonderful years at Master Nishioka's home. She excelled at the Japanese martial art of jiu-jitsu and was thankful for the time there and Master Nishioka's kindness. She knew that there was no way that she could ever thank him enough for all that he had done and all that he had given her. One day she asked to meet with him privately to announce that the time had come for her to leave. He agreed to meet privately with her and was saddened by Peasant's announcement. As tough of a man as he was, Peasant noticed tears welling up in the master's eyes. This made her sad but she knew that the time had come to continue her journey. This time it was back to her family, friends and her beloved India!

Master Nishioka offered his hand to Peasant and bowed very respectfully to her. He asked how soon she would be leaving. She told him that she was leaving right away. Master Nishioka told Peasant that he would make her fairwells to the others and she thanked him and appreciated him for that. Peasant bowed one more time, turned around and departed. As she made her way down from the beautiful home of Master Nishioka, she felt a few tears of her own streaming down her pale white cheeks. This had been the most emotionally intimate experience in her life and she could never forget it!

FeatherAs she arrived at the beach, she drew in a deep agonizing breath and let out a very long sigh. She prepared herself mentally for the long journey home. Again, she chose to make the long trip in the form of a bird. As she took off, she decided to fly over Master Nishioka's home as a final farewell. As she did, she saw the great man standing on his beautiful private terrace garden overlooking the ocean. He was alone and as she flew close by she saw tears streaming down his cheeks. She flew into a tree nearby and called out with a beautiful bird song. Master Nishioka looked at the bird and smiled; he knew. Then the bird flew away.

The End Part 2

© 1997 Geoff Hampton

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

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