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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


March 8, 2003 - Issue 82


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Thunderhawk - The Great Cross-Country Adventure - Part 5

by Geoff Hampton

Muscle MouseBack at the homeground the day was filled with the other younger mice playing their little childish games and the older mice doing their regular day-to-day chores. Ian wanted to play Cowrate all the time. He even played by himself if no one else wanted to join it. It helped him keep his mind occupied and gave him confidence that Paddy and Paden were okay. After all, he thought, they were with Andrew the Apache, one of the greatest Cowrate experts in the world.

One day while Ian was playing Michayla came by and started watching him. Ian was pleased at first because he thought that she was watching him because he looked cool doing his Cowrate techniques as he pretended to be saving Paden and Paddy from some unseen enemy. Then she stunned him by saying, "Ian, quit being so stupid." He said, "Huh? What the..?" She said, "You know what I mean! You sound like an idiot! You can't do anything to change the truth." Ian was stunned. He didn't have any idea what his cousin was talking about. He just stared at her without saying a word. Then she said, "What are you lookin' at Ian?" Ian was surprised at how aggressive she had become. He replied, Michayla, what are you talking about? What am I doing wrong?" As he looked at her, he saw her eyes filling up with tears. She said, "I'm sick of listening to you act like you're saving Paden and Paddy. They're dead!" Ian looked stunned but then he got extremely angry and defensive. He said, "You're crazy! You're a liar! SHUT UP!!!"

Scored MouseVirginia and Penny weren't far away and they overheard the aggressive conversation. They ran over just as Ian was running toward Michayla. Penny shouted, "Ian! Stop!" Ian stopped dead in his tracks, looked at her and tears welled up in his eyes as well. He said, "She's telling lies and I'm going to make her pay!" Penny spoke up saying, "I want you two to come with us right now. We are going to have a family meeting and this nonsense is going to stop!" Ian complained, "Hey! I didn't do anything! I was just minding my own business and she came over and started messing with me and telling lies!" Penny said, "Ian, be quite. We are going to discuss it together. You will get your chance to speak." Ian looked down at the ground and his ears drooped down in sadness. Michayla just looked angry and defiant.

As the four mice walked towards the family meeting part of the homeground, all the other mice saw them and starting murmuring amongst themselves. When Baby Shannon saw the mice walking by she blurted out, "Ha! Michayla and Ian are in trouble! Ha ha ha ha ha!" Penny stopped and scowled at Baby Shannon. Then said, "Baby Shannon, now you're going to be included, so let's go." Baby Shannon's eyes bulged out of her head as she realized it wasn't appropriate for her to have made fun of Ian and Michayla in that instance. She gulped deeply and meekly said, "I was just kidding." Penny demanded, "Let's go!" Baby Shannon joined the procession and like Ian, looked at the ground with her ears drooping.

Pat Pilgrim and Papa O'Malley saw the procession. Pat asked Penny what was going on. She told him about what had happened. Pat and Papa O'Malley joined in as the mice headed on toward their destination. As they walked Pat looked at each of the little mice. He saw the remorse plainly written across Ian and Baby Shannon's face and he also saw the defiance on Michayla's face.

MouseAs the group of mice reached the area set up for family meetings, the adult mice got up on the little mounds that were built for adults when they were trying to teach the little ones. Michayla, Ian and Baby Shannon sat quietly on the ground and awaited the words of the adults. The male mice are the leaders so Penny and Virginia, being female mice politely awaited the direction of the Pat and Papa O'Malley.

Pat looked at Penny and politely asked her what had happened. Penny explained what she and Virginia O'Malley had overheard and observed. She looked at Virginia and asked her if what she had said was accurate. Virginia O'Malley shook her head up and down as to agree with her. Then Pat looked at Papa O'Malley who was an elder in the community to see if he wished to speak first. Papa O'Malley looked sternly at the little ones and simply indicated, "Proceed."

Pat Pilgrim looked at the little mice and said, "Alright, who wants to speak first?" None of the little ones replied. As Pat looked at their faces he saw the obvious defiant look stretched across Michayla's face. He said, "Michayla. What is the problem here?" Michayla's face suddenly changed from defiant to distraught and tears streamed down her cheeks. Emotion completely overcame her and she couldn't even speak. Ian and Baby Shannon were looking at her in complete surprise. Pat waited but Michayla could not regain her composure.

Scarred MouseThen he looked at Ian and asked the same question. Ian now felt awful because he saw how distressed his cousin really was and realized that her nasty behavior had absolutely nothing to do with him personally, she had just been venting her frustration on him. Ian spoke meekly, "I was playing Cowrate and pretending that I was saving Paden and Paddy when Michayla came by and started watching. The next thing I knew she was saying mean things to me and it made me angry. Then she said that Paddy and Paden were dead and I really got mad." Ian's eyes filled with tears as he said the part about Paddy and Paden being dead. Then his voice began to quiver as he tried to talk. He said, "I..I..I..don't believe what she says. That…that was a lie. They're not dead!" Then he began to cry uncontrollably.

Baby Shannon started crying too. Pat waited for the little mice to calm back down. No words were spoken for a long time. Finally they all settled down. Pat looked at Penny and then at Virginia O'Malley. He knew that they were upset as well. He tried to think of the right thing to say but he just couldn't find the right words. Then he looked at Papa O'Malley and said, "Papa O'Malley…please help us out here. This really is upsetting both families more than we can bare."

ShamrockPapa O'Malley slowly looked at each mouse present. Then he tipped his Green Irish beret back on his head and scratched the fur right in the middle of his ears. He was shaking his head back and forth and mumbling as if he was arguing with himself under his breath. Papa O'Malley lifted his eyes to the sky and stared long and intently at the sky. All those present looked up too trying to see if he saw something or if he was just thinking. They didn't see anything out of the ordinary and their eyes returned to staring at Papa O'Malley.

Finally Papa O'Malley spoke saying, "We have no way of knowing if anything has really happened to Paden and Paddy. I would never try to say that visions are never true but we cannot be held captive to a vision. No matter what is happening out there, we must continue to live our lives in a healthy and productive way here at our homeground. Michayla, you have every right to be upset if you feel as strongly as you obviously do that something is wrong, but you have no right whatsoever to take that frustration out on another mouse. You owe Ian an apology."

Then Papa O'Malley turned his attention to Ian saying, "Ian, you were provoked and did not start this trouble but you must learn to have more self control. We are all upset and worried and this will test all our patience. In that you lost your self control you owe Michayla an apology." Then he looked at Baby Shannon who visibly shuddered. He said, "Baby Shannon, what you did is unacceptable. Making fun of anyone who is either in trouble or upset is wrong. You are young and have a great deal to learn but you were very wrong to do something so mean spirited when there is so much tension in our community. You owe both Ian and Michayla an apology."

Sweet MiceThere was a long silence after Papa O'Malley finished speaking. Then Pat said, "Papa O'Malley, thank you for your wise guidance. Is there anything else that you wish to say?" Papa O'Malley shook his head back and forth. Then Pat looked at Penny and Virginia O'Malley and asked them if they had anything to add. They shook their heads also. Pat looked at the little ones and asked, "Are you three clear about what you were just told?" They all nodded their heads meekly up and down to indicate that they did understand. Then Pat said, "Good. Then let's not have this problem again, okay?" They all again shook their heads up and down again without speaking. Then Pat said, "You may all go but don't forget to do what you've been told." Then the group broke up and went their separate ways.

As the little ones left Penny looked at Pat and asked him, "What can we do to help everyone with this? I feel upset myself." Pat thought for a few minutes and said, "Penny…I don't know what to do. The best suggestion I can give is that we lift our own spirits and that in return will help the little ones lift theirs.

As Ian walked away he was thinking about all that had happened since Paden and Paddy had left. Suddenly he had an idea! He thought that if he could find Moose Lee or Two Eagles they might be able to find out if everything was okay! He immediately went to Sean Jr. and told him his plan. Sean Jr.'s face lit up and he shouted with glee, "That's a terrific idea!"

Handstanding MouseAs they looked at each other they remembered how much snow and ice was still on the ground and how dangerous it would be for them to go alone. Additionally, Ian and Sean Jr. were never disobedient so they couldn't imagine just taking off on their own. They sat in silence for a few minutes as they thought about their plan. Then they decided to ask Pat and Papa O'Malley to go with them.

They asked the two adults if they would listen to their idea and wanted to let them know that they needed their help. The two adults agreed to listen and Ian explained the plan as Sean Jr. just sat there shaking his head up and down enthusiastically agreeing with every word that Ian said. When Ian was finished there was a long span of silence. Neither Ian nor Sean Jr. could figure out what Pat and Papa O'Malley were thinking as they sat there in silence with no expression on their faces.

Then Papa O'Malley finally said, "Thank you boys. We will discuss this and get back to you later today." The two younger mice meekly shook their heads up and down and walked away. Pat and Papa O'Malley went to discuss the plan with Penny and Virginia. The four adults decided to give it a try. They knew that anything would help the morale if it was an attempt to find out where and how Paden and Paddy really were.

They returned to Ian and Sean Jr. and told them that they would go with them in search of Moose Lee and Two Eagles. Ian and Sean. Jr. jumped up in the air and shrieked in joy. Every mouse in the homeground heard them and wondered what had happened. All the other mice began gathering around to find out what had happened. Ian and Sean Jr.s were jumping up and down while giggling and laughing. Between breaths they exclaimed, "Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh!" When all the other mice were there Papa O'Malley slowly explained what Ian and Sean Jr. had asked them to do. Every mouse opened their eyes wide in excitement! This was great news! Pat, Papa O'Malley, Sean, Jr. and Ian decided to get an early start the next morning. That night there was an atmosphere of celebration and relief in the homeground. They all felt certain that Moose Lee or Two Eagles would be able to give them the answer they needed.

Acrobatic Mouse

The End - Part 5

© 2003 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 Canku Ota and can be reached by E-mail at

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