Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thirsty Horse- By: Bob McAfee

Chapter 4- The Grand Surprise
                While everyone welcomed the Carlos’ family into their midst, each sharing of his and her earthly treasures to help this new family become settled into this wondrous campsite, there arises a new sound. A voice of protest, if one could say that. A baby is born.
                This little creature is letting everyone know that under no uncertain terms, it is happy of being forced out of its protective surrounding and then being forced to take its first breath that the air burns its lungs. Everyone begin to share with one another the possible names that the child will be given. This birth is a good sign of what the future may bring. The Ageless Grandfather rises to address his people when the new mother cries out very loudly in pain, as if she is not done giving birth.  Suddenly there is another voice of protest that is crying out. Another baby has just been born.
                The Ageless Ones begin to look around to see who else is missing.  There is none missing, save Wanda and John the new parents. Every person remains still, waiting for the news of the birth of a child or children.
                After what seems to be hours John appears before the congregation. He is flushed, as he stands there for several minutes before he is able to speak. Slowly, nervously, he turns to the Ageless Ones and almost in a whisper and says “My Lords, our Great Father has given my wife and I two babies, they are a girl and a boy. What shall we do?”
                The Ancient ones look at each other in surprise and in joy. It has been a very long time sense twins were born. Either there will be a great season before them or something magnificent will be granted to the village. 
                One of the Ageless Grandfathers rises to his feet and placing his hands upon the shoulders of John and asks, “Have you cleaned the children yet?”
                Looking surprised and perplexed he throws his hands into his hair and answering quickly. “Oh my gosh, I forgot! No I haven’t.”
                “Go my son and then bring them here, please”, the Ageless One requests.
                Todd, the Keeper of the Village finally rises to his feet. Slowly, he moves to the center of the large circle of villagers. He turns leisurely, taking in the expressions that many have on their faces. Slowly, bit by bit, he turns around 360 degrees, until he is once again facing Carlos and Sandy. He looks at them as if they may have an answer or a suggestion as to what should be done next.
                Finally Todd says in a booming voice, so that everyone could hear, “My brothers and sisters, we have here within our very own company of people a mixture of joy and great pride.” Todd continues in a voice of Joyfulness, My friends, my family, my companions, today we must start to make preparations, and to make special clothing for these infants. They must be dedicated to the Great Father for only He alone knows what He intends to do.” Taking a breath before continuing, Todd concludes by saying, “Never in my lifetime have I dare to dream that twines will be born within our midst. Tonight we are blessed, yes, doubly blessed. For the next sixteen summers we are to be a help for these blessed parents. To help them raise these children.”
                Crippled Deer rises to his feet and posses a question, “Great Grandfather; will not these twines bring sorrow to John and Wanda?”
                “Perhaps Crippled Deer, perhaps,” answers Todd, “but, in order that does not happen we must work together, this will bring happiness. This happiness lays in the thrill of achievement, the joy of creative effort. So we can help the two children achieve their great potentials and become creative in their giving of themselves and make their parents proud of their children, the achievement for this community is to be a helping hand.”
                Randle, another Ancient One, the Master of crafts, rise to his feet and declares, “In three days we will dedicate these two infants to our Great Father, we must create for them proper clothing for this dedication.”
                All the Ageless Grandfathers stands up and comes together to discuss the proper names of the two special children. They then leave for John and Wanda’s tent to see what is needed. If they have any names picked out for the two children, they will permit the names to be added to the dedication names that will be pronounced during the dedication ceremony.
                After several minutes, the Ancient Ones return to continue the celebration of life, which now have a greater meaning.
                Tao Ming, the Ageless Grandfather who led the scouting party along the eastern Great Lake shore on horseback, remains standing and raises his hands for silence.              

                As soon as everyone have become silent he says in a soft low, base like voice, “my brothers and sisters, we the scouting party, had seen many great and wonderful things while we were going toward the rising of the sun. We had seen how the Great Lake had flowed and carved many new inlets. We had visited one new tribe three days journey on horseback from here. The woods have extended beyond eyesight along the shoreline. There are now many strange and magnificent looking animals called buffalo or bison. There are also bears and deer that are as tall as a man, turkey, porcupine, squirrel and many other animals good for food and clothing. This new tribe also has means to travel upon the waters by canoes made from trees trunks hollowed out. “Tao Ming concludes with “The Great Father has also blessed me with the findings one of my brothers who have been missing four of your generations. His name is to be known as Jack. This name is easier to pronounce and remember.”  Tao Ming then steps back and lower himself down on to the ground. The celebration continued long past the apex of the moon’s rising, or about one o’clock in the morning.

To be continued...Stay tuned for the next chapter!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thirsty Horse By: Bob McAfee

Chapter 3- The Rescue
                The stranger sets up quickly in bed and shouts for his wife Sandy. Blinking, trying to clear the blurred vision, he slowly begins to look around at his surroundings. Slowly this stranger from the desert realizes that he was dreaming. No longer was he leading his small ox drawn cart with his family on board. No longer could he see his wife smiling at him while h leaded the oxen team over the sand dunes. Instead he is in a large tent, all four side open revealing trees, grass, the sounds of birds singing and just beyond the trees he believe he could see a large body of water.
                A tall, slender woman is walking toward him speaking in a gentle voice, saying, it is ok sir, you are among friends.”
                Where am I? This stranger from the desert asks, rubbing his forehead, trying to gather his thoughts. He continues asking “how did I get here?” Where are my clothes?”
                Mingo answers softly as she gently tries to push the man back down onto his back, “my son and some of his friends rescued you yesterday in the desert. They brought you here so that you may continue to recover from the heat of the desert. Several men of this village left before sunrise to find the two women you had mentioned and even called for while you were asleep. “
                The strangler slowly lies back onto the earth mattress with a soft groan. He closes his eyes and trying to remember the faces of his rescuers. They appeared to be facts that wavered and swam as though they were faces looking into a pool of clear water, being disturbed by a small pebble, causing the water ripple, first going outward than returning back to the center.
                Mingo continues as she offers him some broth stock to drink, “as I said my husband, our son, and several other men left early this morning to find your wife and the other woman. They are to bring them to be with you.”
                The stranger looks at Mingo in puzzlement and asks “how do you know about women?” Not remembering that he had called for them when he woke up. He sets up and continues “the women? The one woman is my wife, Sandy, and the other is our daughter Liz-bath. She is only eight years old. I’m sorry he says as he looks down continuing “my name is Carlos.”
                Mingo gently pushes Carlos back onto his back. She says in a gentle but firm voice, “Now lay still you are still weak, you must get your rest. Beside two of our best trackers went with the rescue party.” Mingo says to reassure Carlos and continues “they will find your family and bring them back here to be with you.” She than pulls the light blanket backs over Carlos’ half naked body before she left the tent.
It took the rescue party a greater part of the morning, almost six hours, to enter the outer fringes of the desert. The rescue party consisting of two trackers, one of the Ageless Grandfathers, Tong, Thirsty Horse and seven other men. Each is riding a horse, with two more horses in tow. One of the horses is to be used as a replacement mount when needed and the other a packhorse. They are not sure how long they would be out in the desert, so each man dresses in his desert garb consisting of a long loss fitting robe, and a large brim straw hat; something like a sombrero, to protect him from the blazing hot, sun.  A long scarf was also used to keep the sand out of the nose and mouth. Each man had a long javelin, with a long, forearm length, flint tip. The Ancient One believes that this stranger was in the desert alone for about six to seven days by the way he looked. On horseback it may take three to four days before they may be able to find the women, hopefully alive.
                Because of the desert winds and shifting sand, the strangers’ tracks will be hard to find and follow. The best that the rescue party could hope for is to pick up a footprint every now and then, if the man walked in a straight path.
                On the fourth day, by mid-morning, the desert winds had started to gather strength, picking up sand. The rescue party almost past the over turned cart if it was not for a sharp crack and a loud pop of a canvases that had came loose  from its tie down and post. The over turned cart is half way down a forty foot sand dune. Sand had drifted almost over the cart, which made it almost invisible. The rescue party turned toward the sound and soon gaze at the over turned cart and its cargo spilled on to the ground.
                Sandy has been watching the horizon all morning for any sign of her husband and the rescue party coming back for her and their child. The heat of the sun is so intense that it causes the sand to glow a bright white and the heat waves that is rising from the blistering sand is causing the very air to shimmer. This shimmering look like there is a very large body of water replacing the sand dooms.  It looks so inviting, just to go and take a dip, swims in that cool, refreshing water. She looks hard into the Latin Heat rising up from the hot sand. There appears to be people coming out of the mirage. They seem to be iridescent along with the rising heat, as if they are ghosts coming out of the mirage. “Liz-Beth, Liz-Beth come here.” Sandy yells at her daughter. She does not recognize the riders, and she does not see her husband riding among them.
                The twelve riders continue to come closer and closer there are many more horses in tow. Sandy grabs her husband’s javelin and tells her daughter to set behind her as she gently pushes her. She whispers to Li-Beth that “no man will get you as long as mommy can help it.” The riders finally stop in front of the shelter and dismounts. An old man leads some of the party to the edge of the tarp and set down crossing his legs. Some of the mean unloaded a large bundle and unrolled it. Slowly they started to erect a large covering over the overturned cart providing shade. A gentle breeze started to fill the tent making the stifling air a little more bearable to breathe. One of the men hands the very old man a leather bag and in turn he offers it to the woman, saying, “please have some water with me,” he then takes a drink from the bag. Handing it to the woman and then continues “your husband has sent us to find you and to escort you back to him.”
                The woman glares at the old man and demands in a harsh voice, “where is my husband?”
                The Ancient One considers the question and in a calm voice, he replies, “he is at our camp. He had traveled so far and almost perished from the heat and lack of water. He had told us there are two women he had to leave behind, in order to find help. The one woman he called Sandy and the other he called Liz-Bath”.
                Though she wanted to believe this old man she also doubts him as well. She than ask, “what is my husband’s name? Did he say?”
                “He said his name was Garlos or Carlos. His voice was weak and his throat was parched.”
                Sandy slowly lowers her javelin, keeping it ready, if she must use it. She accepts the offer of fresh water for her and her daughter. Liz-Bath slowly crawls out from behind her mother and takes a long drink from the leather bag as well.
                The old man looks around at the “campsite” and notices the extremely old figurines called something like “G-No Mes,” the protectors of treasures, or something like that. It did not matter this was one those times that a man’s treasures are very well protected. Finally the Ageless Grandfather says “we will be leaving by nightfall. It will be cooler and the journey will be quicker. In three or four days you will be with your husband.”
                Sandy asks, “what about our stuff?”
                “Most are replaceable,” replies the old man and he continues “we will take your G-No Mes if you wish.”
                Sandy bows her head toward the old man in reverence and whispers “we do thank you, Sir.”
                As evening approach the men disassembles the campsite. It takes them about thirty to forty-five minutes to break camp and pack everything that may be needed, including the G-No Mes. They cover many miles each night, Little Liz-Bath  would stretch out on the back one of the packhorses and wold soon be fast asleep from the gentle rocking of the packhorse.
                Early on the fourth morning the Ageless Grandfather says to Sandy, “we will not stop for camp today. By mid-morning we should be at your new home and in your husband’s arms.”
                Carlos is standing beside the trail that leads in and out of the large camp. For three days he stood watch, looking for any sign of the rescue party’s safe return with his family. For most of the morning he and Todd, one of the Ageless Grandfathers, watch the trail. The birds are a little louder than normal as they flutter from tree to tree. Suddenly Todd whispers, “listen!”
                Carlos stand erect, straining hard to hear what the very hard old man had heard. There at first there is nothing, than a soft snap of a tree limb, and then a child’s giggle.
                Todd holds on to Carlos’ arm and commands in a stern voice, “wait!”
                Suddenly a brown and white horse comes into view, than a coal black horse with an old man setting on it and in front of him is a little girl. She looks up at what the old man is pointing at and she shouts “DADDY.” Within a few minutes the family is rejoined together and embracing each other.
                For the remainder of the day there is a festive atmosphere. Hunters are starting to come back from the hunt with deer, turkey and rabbit. The scouting party that left in search of where the excess water from the Great Lake was going has just returned with such wonderful news.
                This evening there will be very little sleep for almost everyone, with plenty of food to eat and water to drink, and so much news to be shared around the fire. Through everything that has been happening during the day, another baby is given birth. What is it? A boy? A girl? We must wait and see.
To be continued...Stay Tuned for Chapter Four!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thirsty Horse By: Bob McAfee

Chapter 2: Exhaustion
                It had been fifteen springs sense Thirsty Horse was born and twelve summers when the first trees appeared beside the now beloved Horse Knee River that snakes down to the bottom of the Great Basin.  Slowly the small pond grew to a very large and a very deep lake. Somehow, somewhere little fish started to appear along the shoreline of the new Great Lake.
                Two summers ago the Great Lake stopped rising, the shoreline had remained at the same level. The chief elders and a couple of the Ancient Ones, the ageless Grandfathers, decided to follow the shore line toward the rising of the sun. They knew that the water must have been going someplace, filling another basin or possibly making wending river. It   could also be going back underground. They knew something was happening to excess water; otherwise the Great Lake would still be growing. 
                A great forest started to grow; many of the trees are now very tall, as high as six men standing on top of the one others' shoulders. Most these trees remained green year round and the leaves are like needles’ growing in bunches on every branch. The Ageless Grandfathers said that they are called “Pine Trees,” or “Evergreen Trees”.
                Birds also began to show up when the trees were just two men tall. They ranged in all sorts, sizes, and shapes making their nests in these tall trees. Each type of the bird groups has their own song that they would whistle and or chirp to each other. Many other birds started to show as well, many of these birds swam upon the waters, making their nests along the shoreline or making island nests that would float on top of the shore line yet remain in waters.
                Other wild creatures slowly started to appear. There were at first small furry creatures, and then larger creatures started to appear, including small gray and red haired dogs called foxes. Something was calling them back to their ancestral home. Maybe it was the waters that were beckoning them back.  Whatever the case may have been, hunting was becoming better, and food was becoming bountiful again.
                The Ancient Ones began to teach the elders of the great tribe how to hunt and what animals was to be gathered for food and clothing. The elders in turn began to teach their offspring how to gather food and at the same time respect the wilderness as a home and a special gift given by Great Father.
                Tong and his friends would often seek permission to go out, to practice their skills in hunting and tracking wild game. They are always reminded to take only what could be eaten in a single meal. They are also reminded to take plenty of water for drinking and to rest often, so they would not be overcome by the summer heat.
                Because the young men have their tribal testing during their thirteenth year, they were considered to be men or warriors within the tribe. These tests consisted of following an animal’s trial, survival in the wilderness for seven sun rises, seven sunsets while not getting lost. They had to put into practice all their survival skills they had learned growing up. These young men were sent out in-groups of four or five, depending upon the number of “young men” that is to be tested this was to make sure that no one was to go out alone. The final test was bravery.
                Each young candidate was to be escorted deep into the woods and was instructed to go further in a certain direction. He was not to stop until the sun had set. This young candidate was to remain alone in the woods all night and have no fire once he had eaten his evening meal. Each was to be judged fit, courageous and unwavering in his duties. Once having been judged fit according to the traditions of the elders, he would become an adult male of the tribe. Not one candidate knew that an elder or his father had followed him into the wildness. The elder or father was to observe the candidate and to protect him if need be.  Not one warrior knew how he was being judged but he would now he had either passed or failed the test.
                Today Thirsty Horse and two of his friends left to hunt for a large game, like a deer for the mid-summer feast. Taking their horses and plenty of water they set out toward the south to following Horse Knee River to its source. They then turn toward the west skirting the edge of the great barren region to the south.
                About noon they sought out some shade to eat a small meal. They hobbled their mounts before they allowed them to graze. While the your warriors were eating their deer jerky, a cellaret of a person appeared from the desert  staggering, falling to his hands and knees. Slowly this person rose to his feet only to collapse face down. The three young men set there watching this stranger, to see if he could get back up onto his feet.  He did not move.
Joseph McNair rose to his feet first and rushed out to the fallen stranger, in order of not spooking the horse and gathered up the reins. Before he mounted the horse he checked for his many water bags. He then rode the horse onto the desert toward Joseph, Crippled Deer, and the fallen stranger.
                As he arrived, Crippled Deer looked up and said, “This person, this man is sick. I think he had too much sun.”
                Thirsty Horse asked, “How do you know? “ Realizing that it should be obvious from the direction he was coming from.
                “Outside of walking in the desert, responds Crippled Deer. “He is very pale and cool to the touch. I don’t think he has much of a fever but he is not breathing very well, very shallow and it appears that he is having the cramps. I also believe he might be suffering from severe heat exhaustion, almost heat stroke.”
                Thirsty Horse dismounts and the three young men lift the stranger up, laying him crosswise on the horse. They head toward the wooded area for shade and gently pulled the man down until the stranger’s feet touched the ground. Crippled Deer remove his own blanket from the back of his saddle while Joseph removes one of his full water bags from his horse. Thirsty Horse continues to hold the man up on his feet so that Crippled Deer could wrap the blanket around him. The two young men lower the man down onto the ground, while Joseph begins to pour water over the man and the blanket. Thirty Horse and Crippled Deer removed their own water bottles from the saddles and begin to pour water onto the blanket and all.  Thirsty Horse and Joseph sent Crippled Deer back to the community for help and more water.
                While they waited, this stranger’s face remained pale looking, and was still drowsy. For several hours they kept the man and the blanket moist and done everything they could to keep him cool.  
                By evening Crippled Deer finally returns with the medicine man and two elders. One of the women came along to assist with the care of the stranger. The elders constructed a stretcher that is to be pulled behind one of the horses. While all this was going on the stranger was starting to feel better. Even though he is still weak, it has been decided that more water was to be dispense on him and the blanket.
                When the stretcher was ready he was loaded onto it very gently. Even though the ride was rough going, the rescue party took their time to ensure the safety of this stranger. They had to know from where he had come from.
To be continued.....Stay tuned!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thirsty Horse

Chapter 1
                Tong and his wife traveled for several weeks along the wasteland. Every year they and their people would follow the same trail.  Every year they would stop at the same minor lakes for the young children, the elders and the live stock like sheep, goats, cow s and horses to rest and take in the refreshing clear water.  This opportunity gave the people time to replenish their water source.  Every year the ancient ones, the old ones whom their age have long been forgotten would talk of a time when their fathers, grandfathers were children. They spoke of a time when these little lakes were not here. The Great Basin was green and plenty of trees and ample herbs for cooking and medicinal. The Great Basin was lush with wild game for meat to eat and hide for clothing and shelter.
                The ancient ones spoke of a time when a very Great Lake covered much of the Great Basin. It is said that it had covered the whole horizon, as far as the eyes could see.  Extending from the east to the west, there was no end in sight, not to left of the land or to the right. The ancients also spoke of a time during the time of their great grandfathers the Great Lake started to dry up. There was very little or no snow in the winters and scarcely any rain during the summer months. The years were becoming dry, so dry that the grass had withered away and the Great Basin was starting to become sandy.  The sand slowly took over the great valley.  Now when there is snow there is not enough to cause the grass to grow for very long before the heat from the hot sun would burn it away. When the rain did come, it would on the whole, help to keep the small lakes full until mid-summer. They would gradually start to dry up and turn to mud. By late summer it would harden into mud rocks, almost like clay baked in an oven.  Slowly, inch by inch the mud rocks would lose its moisture and return to dust.
                This year it is different, it is not yet late spring and already the lakes are empty of its water. The mud have started to turn into harden mud rocks, so hard that even throwing other mud rocks down upon them, one could not crush or break them, let alone chip small chunks off.
                 Tong looked up into the cloudless blue sky and a solitary bird drift lazily on the rising heat. The blazing white-hot sun is only half way up to its fullest height and already the Latin heat shimmers off in the horizon.  The very air itself stifling and it causes the sand dunes to look like a huge lake filled with rolling waves crashing unto the shore but there are no trees, nor there any grass growing.
The heat waves gave the impression of a great blue lake, it is the knowledge that these optical illusions have cause many men to become crazy. They would yell and shout that they see water. These crazy men, poor fools would start to run toward the manifestation of a great lake only to die from thirst. This “lake” kept going further and further away from them.
                Tong’s wife suddenly cries out in pain, the labor had started and the great tribe is already several days ahead.  Mingo was heavy with child as they started out several weeks ago. They had hoped that there would be water when it was time for the baby to be born but the lake bed has already dried up. What water the two had when they started this journey is almost gone. They may need the water soon, just to clean the child and dedicate it to the sky, the four winds, fire and the rain. As he was taught, when the baby is born he must dedicate the child to the natural forces of life.
                Tong unloads the four horses of their meager supplies. He tries not to hurry, though he is nervous, erects the large shelter to protect his wife and soon to be child from the blazing hot, scorching fireball called the sun.  It has already reached its fullness of noonday and there is yet no wind to move the roasting hot air. Mingo cries out again in pain as her stomach muscles ripple in contractions. Tong helps her to lie down once he had laid the heavy blanket on the ground. The sand is so hot it will blister the bare skin, if it is exposed to it.
                Tong looks around to see if any o his own family has slowed down and lagged behind. He was sure that some would be nearby to assist if needed, should trouble arise. Mingo cries out in extreme pain as contractions come closer together and harder. She grabs her husband hands for support as another contraction seizes hold of her. Her grip is so tight that the man believed she would crush his hands. Panting she looks up at her husband, sweat beads on her forehead, and looks pale. Mingo clinch her teeth tight as another contraction grips her.
                Mango whispers in distress and clinched teeth, “it will not be long, I can feel him coming,” and she cries out loudly once again in pain a she clamps down hard on his hands, in a vise like grip she squires hard.
                Skiawatha, Mingo’s mother seems to have appeared out of nowhere as she knelt down between her daughter’s legs to catch the baby as it is being born.  With words of comfort and encouragement Skiawatha speaks soothingly, comfortley “you are doing fine, my daughter; the baby is almost here. Now push!”
                As Mingo cries out once again in pain, but there is also another sound which is being made. A baby cries out in its own pain when the air fills its lungs for the first time.
                With a voice of cheerfulness Skiawatha declares “it is a boy-a-fine,-healthy, - strong,-boy.”
                After several long minutes, Tong rises to his to his feet to retrieve his knife to separate the placenta cord from the baby once it had stopped pulsating. He then went to his horse to retrieve the remaining water for his wife and to clean his new son. As he baths his son he dedicates him, he also names him Thirsty Horse in honor and remembrance of this day.  The heat and the drought that his horses must feel gave the meaning and purpose for the name.  
                Later Tong help’s his wife upon the horse, hands her Thirsty Horse, their son, their son. The four begin to head towards the west following the old trail to the new encampment and their people.
                Permitting his horse to follow his own nose they were soon heading in a new direction. For a couple of hours they traveled to the south when suddenly one of the horses stops and starts to dig at the ground with its hooves. Tong knelt down and starts to dig with his knife and bare hands when suddenly the ground started to become moist. With all the urgency Tong starts to dig faster. Slowly the water starts to rise to the top. A small stream begins to trickle down the sandy hill.
                When the horses got their fill of the long awaited water, Tong mounted one and headed for his people, to bring them back to this location for the water that they most surly are in need of. Thirsty Horse will have a lot to hear and learn of how his father Tong helped to save his people.
To be continued....... Stay tuned for Tuesday's addition!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Wild turkeys by the bird feeders!
Tom, leather neck craned to seek and watch,
spilling food from the feeder.
Hens eating from the ground.
Traditional male;
Watching, providing, walking the lead.
Hens following
gold tail feathers glinting.
Like us?
By: Lee Force


A Poem ------A Meditation
That relax, refresh, calms
Fill my mind with touches
The heart felt kind            

Touches from animals
Kitty cats kind
Doggie dog kind
Horsay horse kind
Bunny rabbit kind

Smoothie smooth kind
Softie soft kind

Touches from people
Hugging hugs kind
Bumping bump kind
Tapping tap kind
Kissing kiss kind

Smoothie smooth kind
Softie soft kind

Touches from nature
Rainy rain kind
Sunny sun kind
Breezy breeze kind
Cloudy cloud kind

Smoothie smooth kind
Softie soft kind

Fill my mind with Touches
The heart felt kind

By: Alma Pratt

The Day is Done

My wife and I sit under the starlit sky
The silvery disk of the moon shining over so brightly
The bats are flying
The mosquitoes are humming
The crickets are moving about
A meteor streaking across the sky
Leaving a fiery trail
The bats whistling to catch their prey
The mosquitoes are trying to break through
The repellant spray
The crickets are chirping
My wife and I finally leaving all of nature
To sing to the God on High
By: Robert Mc Afee