Category Archives: Friday Fable

in un raniin awi (Assimilation)

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

The Arikara people (also called the Ree peoples) lived in North and South Dakota long before they were called North and South Dakota. Strong agriculturalists, they traded with both the white settlers to the East and their fellow Native Americans to the West. While originally a peaceful people, the Arikara were often caught in the bloody differences between the European and White peoples and the Native peoples of the United States. Staying peaceful is sometimes a bloody business, my dears.

The tribe met with the Lewis and Clark expedition when they came through their lands. They were fascinated with their journals and the expedition crew’s habit of filling them with notes and pictures. While the Arikara had no written language, they were adept at picking up the languages of their neighbors – white and otherwise.

When several Arikara men joined General Custer’s cavalry crew, legend has it that they kept their own versions of expedition journals, chronicling their travels and their experiences. The Arikara called these in un raniin awi, literallly “written pictures”; since they had no written language they used photos in their pain-stakingly crafted journals. In the aftermath of The Battle of Little Bighorn, one of these journals was found. Nothing is known of the original owner, but it is clear that the Arikaras’ affinity for meeting peoples of all colors and creeds helped fuel a robust in un raniin awi.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

 

Assimilation

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Shamus

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

Deep, deep, deep in the Bohemian Forest lives a hunter of specific tastes. Shrouded in a burlap cape and covered in a fur that melds with the botanicals, Shamus quietly picks his way through the forest. His nose twitches, constantly searching for his prey, and his nimble feet barely leave prints in the dirt. Shamus, you see, is a mushroom hunter. He follows the paths of the ancient Boii, a Gaelic people whose name means “outsider”. Shamus could be called an outsider, though he knows the forest better than any other creature. He is a solitary hunter, hoarding mushrooms in his cape until he can secret them away to his lair. His eyes, accustomed to the dark of the thick forest, allow him to see at night, and he can spot the tiniest mushroom by the light of just one star.

The children of Bavaria grow up mushroom hunting, but they make sure that they are home by dark, just to avoid Shamus. He is stealthy, able to pluck a mushroom without disturbing the dirt around it, and mushroom hunters young and old are haunted by visions of his tiny hands curling around one’s mushroom basket, silently stealing their cache.

It is said that on a silent winter’s night, if you find yourself in the peat bogs, you can smell wild mushrooms inexplicably on the wind. Perhaps it’s Shamus, cooking his supper from his den. Shamus can’t be the only creature of his kinda, can he? Perhaps you should leave a mushroom out on your sill tonight. Stay vigilant, for the those tiny hands will pull that mushroom out of sight silently.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

shamus

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The Perils of Travel

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

In the great and vast Patagonia Desert wander the corel pipchiche – creatures of the sand. Large and benevolent creatures, they make their way through sand storms and cold winds, communing with the Tuco-Tucos and Jumping Cow Spiders who also live in the desert.

The corel pipchiche are rumored to be Ngen-rüpü, spirits of nature who are the owners of the paths created by nature and the footsteps of the wild animals.  They travel together in pairs – the larger “choele” and the tiny “chile”. They are the “ghost” and the “little bird”, beings of the desert.

Mapuche legend has it that when a traveler is ñamikuaw, the Mapuche word for walking lost, the corel pipchiche will appear to lead them back to their path, sometimes before the journeyer even realizes they are lost.  Once the traveler is back safely on their way, the corel pipchiche slowly fade back into the horizon, the call of the chile echoing off of the desert floor.  This experience stays vividly with the traveler for a full day, or one sleep. Once they have slept that one dreamless sleep, their vision of the corel pipchiche will seem like a hallucination and hardly real.

But the corel pipchiche are real, and these travelers have been indelibly marked.  The corel pipchiche do not judge those who have lost their way; they merely show them back to their footpaths and fade back into the desert sky.  The order of the desert is kept in balance by these wanderers, these owners of the paths, these spirits of nature. They know the perils of the wild world and the perils of travel. And they keep us safe in spite of ourselves.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

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Sentinels

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

Every Blue Moon that rises in the night sky heralds the singing of the Sentinels. Though they look like a cross between a mushroom and a lotus plant, Sentinels are protectors, much more than a salad ingredient.

Cousin Mieke has a garden full of Sentinels. They surround her tiny house in Hoogeveen and protect her from vandals and ne’er do wells. Perhaps these tiny little soldiers are the reason the townsfolk believe Cousin Mieke is a witch. Perhaps the townsfolk have passed the tiny cottage near the woods during a Blue Moon and heard the Sentinels’ song.

When the Blue Moon rises, the Sentinels turn in unison, raise their faces towards the moon, and sing. With the moonlight reflecting off their lotus pod faces, the Sentinels appear to glow with an other-worldly power. And their song – oh, their song. Both haunting and sweet, the music seems to come from the earth and travel to the Blue Moon, as though there’s a bridge we can all cross to dance on the moon’s face.

So tonight, as the Full Blue Moon rises in the sky wherever you are, turn your face upwards. Let the moon glow reflect off your face and feel the earth sing around you. That’s what the Sentinels are doing.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

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