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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


July 12, 2003 - Issue 91


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Thunderhawk - The Great Cross Country Adventure Conclusion

by Geoff Hampton

Mountain SceneThe Great Cross Country Adventure never really got where it was going in the minds of Paddy and Paden but they were now perfectly content to simply be home with their family. Their time away had been filled with great fun, great danger, great learning experiences and a truly valuable lesson about the importance of family. Andrew the Apache would go on with his trip even though he was far behind schedule and Moose Lee and Two Eagles would continue on their mission to bring Cowrate to every community that they could reach. Jamie would return to her family and they also would continue their journey. Happy Valley would slowly recover from the devastating spring floods and the homeground would slowly return to normal.

As often happens in the Great Smoky Mountains summer came on with a blast of hot air, high humidity and frequent thunderstorms. The thunderstorms would make the little mice nervous for a long time to come as they remembered the cost of the flooding. They remembered their friends that had been lost and tried to comfort the families who had suffered the losses. The hot summer brought a time of strange sense renewal and restoration to the surviving mouse families in the homeground. The mice that survived thanked the Great Creator every day for sparing them from the deadly flood waters.

The first part of the summer found the little mice somewhat apprehensive to venture far from the homeground. They played close by and many of the adults spent a great deal of their time keeping a close watch over them. There seemed to be more snakes than ever this particular summer and all snakes love to eat mice.

One day Paddy and Paden wandered off and started to climb up Chilhowee Mountain. They were alone and were having a great time. As they rounded a bend in the path that were following they both stopped dead in their tracks at the same time as they saw a huge black snake stretched out across the path. It looked weird to them. They hurried behind a big rock for safety but peeked out to see what was wrong with the snake. It looked like its skin was coming off. Paden said, "What's wrong with that ug-ga-ly snake?" Paddy sort of shrugged his shoulders and curled his bottom lip down as he did it. He said, "I have no idea but it sure is ug-ga-ly!" They both laughed at the same time. Then Paden said, "Hey! I'm gonna' go pull that long piece of skin that's hangin' off his back all the way off!" Paddy said, "No way stupid! He'll eat you!" Paden said, "Ha! Watch this!" and off he ran.

Snake on a Stick

Paddy just cringed as his friend ran behind the huge snake and grabbed the long piece of skin in his teeth and pulled. The snake whirled around and snapped his ugly jaws at Paden who dodged the snakes attempt to eat him. Paddy screamed but Paden laughed. He said, "Ha! That ug-ga-ly snake is waaaaaaay too slow for this mouse!" Paden then ran around the other side of the snake and grabbed another piece of the skin that was hanging off and the snake whirled around tried to bite him again. Paden dodged the attempt but the snake was really close to getting him that time. Then the snake aggressively began to chase Paden. Paden was now screaming and running and jumping trying to get away from the enraged snake. He was screaming, "Help! Help! Help!

Paddy was terrified and he started screaming for help also. The problem was that there was no one there to help this time. The snake cornered Paden in a cluster of rocks. As Paden looked around he saw that there was no way out. The big ugly black snake seemed to smile and let out a loud and terrifying, "Hisssssssssssssssssssssss". Paden screamed and closed his eyes.

Scared MouseAs his eyes shut he heard Paddy yelling, "Get ready to run Paden!" Paden said, "Huh?" and opened his eyes just in time to see his good friend run up the snakes back and jump off its head like a springboard. The snake whirled and tried to bite Paddy. It was close, but he missed. At the same time Paden laughed at how funny it had looked and his confidence was immediately restored. He yelled out, "Way to go Paddy!" Then Paden did the same thing. He ran behind the snake, ran up its back and used its head like a springboard too. The snake lashed out and just missed Paden as well.

Paddy had spotted a crevice that he and Paden could get into that was way too small for the huge snake so he ran in it and called for Paden to follow him. Paden did so and the snake followed but couldn't get under the rock. Paden and Paddy were laughing hysterically. They thought it was so funny. The snake was angry and hungry. It began to try to dig the dirt away from the front of the rock with its nose. Paden and Paddy both stopped laughing at the same time as the powerful snake was actually having some success and the opening was slowly but surely getting larger. As the snake continued to move dirt and make the opening larger it seemed to sense that it was about to enjoy making a meal out of the two little mice that had been taunting him. The snake stopped and glared into the crevice. It looked right into Paden and Paddy's eyes. This time there was no mistaking what they saw. The snake slowly began to smile broadly and the it let out another loud and scary, "Hissssssssssssssssssss!" It's nasty breath blew right in Paden and Paddy's faces. They screamed at the same time. Then they frantically looked around the crevice for another way out. There wasn't one.

Snake on a Stick

Meanwhile the ug-ga-ly snake continued to dig and hiss at them. What the little mice saw next was both frightening and exciting at the same time. The snake was huge but it was no match for the giant hawk that swooped down and pinned it to the ground. The snake fought in vain as the hawk began to rip it to pieces. Then as suddenly as it appeared the hawk took off with the snake in its talons.

Paden and Paddy were terrified but relieved at the same time. After a few minutes they slowly made their was to the opening of the crevice where the nasty snake had been trying to dig them out. As they got to the entrance they slowly looked around. The snake was nowhere to be seen. Then they heard a loud "Screeee!" and looked up into a tree nearby and saw two hawks there. The larger hawk…and it was LARGE had the snake dangling from its talons. The snake was clearly dead.

As the two little mice looked on at the hawks Paddy said, "Hey! Those two hawks look familiar to me." Paden said, "Whoah! You're right. They do look familiar. They were the ones we kept seeing when we went with Andrew the Apache!" The two mice looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.

EaglePaddy said, "I don't know what the story is but I'm sure glad that they were here right now!" Paden said, "I wonder why they're not eating that snake. And why are they looking at us like that?" Paddy shrugged his shoulders and shook his head back in forth in uncertainty. Then Paddy said, "Do you think that they'll eat us if we try to leave?" Paden didn't have the answer. He just stared up at the birds.

Then the huge hawk dropped the dead snake and took off from its perch. At first it scared the two little mice, but when the other smaller hawk took off as well they saw that the hawks were flying away and that they were safe.

Then Paden and Paddy ventured over to look at the dead black snake. As they was really UG-GA-LY! They breathed a huge sigh of relief and then started back home anxious to tell everyone about their latest adventure. It was so wild they weren't even sure if anyone would believe it but they were sure anxious to tell it!

Mountain SceneAs they went running and jumping through the woods Thunderhawk and Blaze watched from high above them and smiled. They were glad that they had been there to help the little mice out. Blaze said, "Those two are so crazy! One of these days they're gonna meet their match and not come out so lucky!" Thunderhawk smiled and shook his head in agreement. He did have to laugh though. Those two little mice were too funny.

All in all it was the start to another great summer season in Happy Valley and things were getting back to normal. The Great Creator shook his head and smiled and all was well.

The End

© 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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