Stories from my Grandfather—The Great Flood (Part 2)

WHAT’S PLAYING: Brandi CarlileRaise Hell

(Continued from Part 1)

Suddenly, a fearful crash of thunder, louder than ever heard before, shook the earth, and a glimmering light appeared far away to the north. At first, the people were glad, thinking the light heralded the return of the Sun. Then they realized it was the gleam of great waters advancing in wave after wave. The Choctaw fled before the onslaught, wailing “Oka Falamah!” —the returned waters—as the waves rushed down upon the land of the Choctaw, destroying everything in its path.

 

 

Oklatibishi heard the wailing and the roar of the returning waters from his house on the raft. Remembering the words of Achafa Chito, he rushed to the door and saw the hunters who had laughed at him trying to clamber up the side of the mountain to reach his raft, but the angry waters swept them away. Soon Oklatibishi’s raft floated upon a sea that continued to rise for many days. He wept as he saw the bodies of his people floating upon the face of the waters. After several days, even the dead disappeared beneath the waves, and the water became so deep that he could not make out the tops of the tallest trees.

As the weeks passed, Oklatibishi’s supply of corn, nuts and dried meats dwindled. He began sending one of the gray doves out each day to fly about and see if it could spot land. And at darkness each night, the dove returned to the raft.

 

 

One morning, Oklatibishi saw a huge, black bird and asked it if land was near. The bird circled several times and finally answered with a sullen croaking screech before it flew away and did not appear again. This was how Oklatibishi came to know that evil would still exist even upon the earth cleaned by the returning waters.

The next morning, he sent forth the gray dove forth and a few hours later, she returned and deposited several blades of grass into his hand, indicating that land was not far away. A strong wind arose and carried the weary warrior to the shores of a beautiful island. The island was green, well supplied with fresh water and occupied by animals enough of all types to repopulate the world and furnish Oklatibishi with meat for his cooking pot. He found a house already built for him, with a store of nuts, dried fruits, corn, and dried meat hanging inside. There was even a well-tended garden with vegetables beginning to ripen in the light of the Sun.

For several days, Oklatibishi was content, but soon he began to realize that something was missing from his life. Walking in the woodlands, he noticed that each of the animals had a mate, but he had none. How could the race of man survive if there were no mate for the last man left after the ebbing of the returned waters?

 

 

As Oklatibishi turned his steps back toward his house, he became aware of a new sound in the forest. It was the voice of a woman singing. He hastened his steps toward home, and there washing his clothing and preparing him a supper was the most beautiful young woman that Oklatibishi had ever seen. Achafa Chito had turned the white dove into a beautiful maiden to be his mate. That is why, until this day, when a man is especially pleased with his lovely wife, he will call her “His little dove” as an extra special sign of his love for her and his gratitude to Achafa Chito for allowing him to have her as a mate.

(Concluded in Part 3 next week!)

Eleven Questions, Eleven Answers…Eight Tags

WHAT’S PLAYING: Maroon 5 “Through With You”

S.J. Driscoll tagged me in the Eleven Questions game.

The rules state that I have to answer her 11 questions, then think up 11 new questions and invite 11 other people to answer them.

1. Which season and why?

Autumn. I love the colors and the feeling of plans and seeds coming to fruition.

2. What’s your earliest memory?

The smell of my grandfather’s pipe as he told me stories.

3. Cats or dogs? (Birds? Fish?)

Dogs. Love and loyalty, all in one big furry package.

4. Tea or coffee?

Both. Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon and evening.

5. Hogwarts or Rivendell?

Rivendell. I’m too old and too grouchy to go back to high school. Plus, they allow booze in Rivendell.

6. What’s the top item on your life list?

Finish/publish my current WIP. It’s not my highest aspiration, but it is the one that drives me.

7. Who would you be if you weren’t yourself?

Mother Teresa.

8. How would your life change if you won the lottery?

I’d quit my day job, buy a house in a secluded spot, and write full time.

9. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

Back in time. To tell my younger self that everything is going to be all right.

10. Which personal adornment (jewelry, tattoo, hair color, favorite clothing) means the most to you and why?

A tattoo of the wolf shield my uncle made for me when I came of age.

11. Would you rather travel in space or stay on Earth?

Earth. If I was in space, I’d spend every moment worrying about crashing/blowing up/losing oxygen. I don’t think my nerves could handle it.

Now it’s my turn:

1. Would you rather be trapped in a sanitarium or a Stephen King novel?

2. What’s the one thing that makes you smile no matter what?

3. What do you like most about yourself?

4. What is your greatest fear?

5. How do you want to be remembered?

6. Where do you want to be five years from now? Ten?

7.  Ninja or samurai?

8. Pick two: happy, humble, famous, or rich. Why?

9. What is your favorite piece of music?

10. If you were a fictional character, what would be your fatal flaw?

11. Telekinesis or pyrokinesis? Why?

Tag 11 people:

Here is where I fall short. It would seem that I don’t know that many people. Oh well, I don’t call myself a loner for nothing. To be honest, I’m lucky that I managed to find eight people, and they are:

Janice Heck

Melinda VanLone

S.Z. Williams

Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars

Jill Archer

Diane Owens

Subhakar Das

J. Elizabeth Hill

Stories from My Grandfather–The Brothers Who Followed the Sun

WHAT’S PLAYING: Joss Stone “Bruised but not Broken”

Once there were two brothers, Tashka and Walo, who would watch each day as the Sun rose above the horizon, passed overhead, and died in the west. 

When they were four years old, the brothers decided to follow the Sun and see where he died. So the next day, when the Sun was overhead, they followed him; but that night when he died, they were still in their own country, where they knew the hills and the rivers. They slept, and in the morning when the Sun was again overhead, they once more set off to follow him. And thus, they continued for many years to wend their way after the Sun in his course through the heavens.

Long afterward, when the two boys had become men, they reached a great expanse of water, and the only land they could see was the shore on which they were standing. Late that day, when Sun died, they saw him sink into the water.

Sensing that their quest was near its end, the brothers passed over the water and entered Sun’s home with him. Once inside, they were surrounded by women—the stars and the Moon, who is married to the Sun. Then Moon asked the brothers how they had found their way so far from their home. They told her how for many, many years—ever since they were mere boys—they had followed Sun on his daily journey.

Sun asked why they had followed him, as it was not time for them to reach heaven. They replied that their only reason for following him was a desire to see where he died. Then Sun told his wife to boil water. Into this he put the men and rubbed them; this treatment caused them to turn red and the years to come off, until the brothers were boys once more.

Sun then asked them whether they knew their way home. The boys said no, so he took them to the edge. From there, they could see all of the earth, but they could not distinguish their home. Sun then told them that he would send them home, but that for four days they must remain silent and not speak a word to any person. If they spoke during the four days, they would die. If they kept silent, they would then live and prosper.

Then, the Sun called a large buzzard and placed the two brothers on its back. The buzzard then started toward the earth. As the buzzard flew from heaven to the clouds, the brothers could easily keep their hold; but from the clouds to the earth, the wind blew the three in all directions. All reached the earth in safety, however, and the boys recognized the trees that stood about their old home.

 

As they rested beneath the trees, an old man passed by and recognized the brothers. He continued down the road, and soon meeting their mother, told her that her sons had come back.

Overcome with joy and curiosity, the mother hastened to see her boys. She pestered them with questions and became angry when they did not answer. Finally, out of respect for their mother, the brothers told her that—as they had not waited the full four days before speaking—they would surely die.

Knowing she had forced them to speak, the mother was full of worry and sorrow upon hearing this. They all went to the mother’s home, and the boys told of all they had seen and how they had followed Sun during many years.

After they had told all, they died and went up to heaven to remain forever.