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Wa Ya sv-no-yi-e-hi-nv-do (Wolf Moon)
White Wolf Woman
As told to and by Bear
It was a time of the Wolf Moon, when
a young Zuni Maiden was headed back to her home after gathering
water from the nearby river, when the Navajo who were noted
for their quick raids and fearless ways swept her up and carried
her off. She silently watched as her village and fields burned
and slowly became little more than a puff of smoke to her eyes.
Her heart was shattered, and tears ran down her face.
They rode for what seemed like endless
days and nights, with her tied tightly to the back of a horse.
Every muscle on her cried out as each step of the horses hooves
hit the ground. At daybreak, they came to a dwelling and she
was dumped onto the ground in front of a group of Navajo Women.
They helped her to her feet and took her into a nearby dwelling.
She collapsed into a darkened corner and slept all day.
She was awakened by the sound of
the Navajo Man as he entered and appeared before her. He reached
down and pulled at her clothing. Her eyes pleaded with him,
and then looked towards the other women as they reached and
took their blankets and went out into the night. Thinking she
had all but shed the last of her tears, more began to flow.
It was to be a long night.
This continued for man days and
nights until one morning she woke early to see the face of the
Navajo Woman crouching near her. Gently holding out her hand
she grasped the young Zuni maidens in her own. Then handing
her a blanket and a pouch of food, she took her to doorway where
she pointed to the rising sun. The young Zuni Maiden reached
within herself and gathered all the strength she had and ran
as fast as her legs could carry her. She ran through brush,
over stones, through water and sand. She reached a high spot
and turned to look. No one was following her. No one had found
Her large eyes looked out as she
searched the terrain wondering where she was. The wind howled
around her as she sat to rest and eat what little that she had
been given and then laid down under the tree line to sleep.
Pulling the blanket around her to keep her warm her body gave
a small shudder, snow was beginning to fall. Soon her weary
body fell into a deep sleep.
As the cold winds brewed across the
lands, the sounds of paws crunching through the fresh fallen
snow could be heard. Coming upon the small form of the Maiden,
a White Wolf bent towards her and sniffed, its silvery blue
eyes glinting in the night. Raising its head it released a howl
to be sent out to the winds to its pack. The maiden woke with
fear, afraid to move as the White Wolf stood over her.
Soon more wolves arrived dragging
the lifeless body of a recent kill and pulling it towards the
White Wolf. In turn It reached down and pulled it over to the
young Maiden, covering it over her for added warmth. Then with
a glance he commanded the pack to lay beside her, gently warming
her body in the cold winter night. The wolf then encouraged
her to eat form the kill as he nudged its share to her. She
ate and her body began to replenish itself.
Soon the morning light shone through
the trees, and the day looked brighter. Disheveled, and her
body covered in blood, the cold biting into her skin, the Young
Maiden began her journey once again to return to her village.
At the end of the day, she fell exhausted to the ground. Crying
out in pain and frustration as her body hit the earth. Tears
once again ran down her cheeks, turning to ice before they could
fall any farther. Once again a howl could be heard across the
winds and soon the White Wolf returned by her side. It could
hardly be seen as it moved towards her, its white fur blending
with the snow. Reaching again with its paws and encircling its
fur and sharing its warmth with her. Looking towards the moon,
letting out a howl to the pack calling to them so they could
add their warmth to their young charge. Soon they all slept.
Together they traveled for four
more days. At daybreak upon the fifth day, the Wolf nudged to
the young Maiden and looked in the direction of a distant village.
Her feet ran numb to the pain they held, as she got closer to
the tiny village. Next to her keeping pace was the White Wolf.
Soon she began to see some people of her village, calling out
to them and waving, she yelled her name. They all stood silently
watching as she approached. Her joy suddenly turned to fear
as she soon saw them lifting their bows towards her and pointing
them at the White Wolf that ran by her side.
"No do not shoot this White
Wolf! It is my protector and has brought me home!" She
stopped standing at the entrance to the village, the White Wolf
quickly turned and ran back towards which way they had come.
The Wolf had gone. She collapsed at the men's feet.
They carried her to her family's
lodge and left her on the cold bare floor. They left her there
without uttering a word. Lying on the floor next to her was
her Mother and Father. She called out to them and they did not
The cold Winter's wind screamed
through the walls, swirling a dusting of snow around them all.
With that she realized that the winds of life had long since
left their bodies. She looked around her and the lodge was bare.
She had come home to an empty place of death. She called out
and no one answered. She was not a traitor to her people, she
had been taken from them. She cried out in pain from a place
deep within herself. Yet the people would not speak with her,
and left her alone.
With the tender loving hands, she
dug into the earth until her fingers were worn and bloody to
reach the Yucca Root. So she could make the soap that would
lovingly clean her parents and prepare them for burial. She
adjusted their clothing and one by one she placed them on the
tiny blanket and dragged them through the village to the place
of the burial grounds. Once again the people watched, stared
and said nothing. No one making an attempt to help her.
Leaving their bodies upon the Cliffs
of Death, she sang the death song, chanting for their spirits
to be taken to the Grandmothers and Grandfathers of the Sacred
Directions. Lighting a small sacred fire, she then placed the
burial bowls beside them with cornmeal borrowed from others
to help in the souls safe journey. She then returned to her
lodge. Empty as it was, it was home. Sometimes food was left
at the door during the night. The adults of the village did
not speak to her, yet as days
passed, the young people of the tribe would come and visit.
Asking her to tell the story of the White Wolf. So she went
about her simple life each moment, sharing the strength and
unconditional love that was shared with her by a wolf with all
children that sought her out wanting to learn. Sharing with
them stories and encouraging them to relish in their freedom
and spirit, and in turn becoming a teacher to them all.
Years passed and with it time brought
age, age brought weakness, and soon it was time for her to leave
the village and go to the place of death. In her heart she knew
she would never be taken, that she must take herself. She prepared
herself, cleansing herself and putting on her worn leather dress.
She made her way through her door
and onto the path that led to the burial site. The people watched
as she crawled and pulled her frail self up the hill. Her eyes
were filled with strength and dignity. She turned her head sensing
something, and her ears heard a loud howling across the lands.
She raised her voice and returned the howl. It was a howl of
freedom that flowed from her, and as it did she transformed
into that of a White Wolf. Gaining strength in her legs her
eyes shone in the darkness as she ran across the hills to her
Today there is still seen a Woman
with White flowing hair that stands a top White Woman Canyon
even today. Having been seen to change before your eyes into
a White Wolf. Helping others to find home, restore faith and
find their own personal freedom. Listen to your Spirit from
within you, and let it breathe and allow yourself to be who
you are meant to be.
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