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Ralph P. Brown

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Member Since: Jul, 2009

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The Monster Story: An Indian Perspective on Trust
by Ralph P. Brown   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, August 30, 2009
Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2009

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In a village of the people, a time had come upon the land that was very difficult. People were going to the river for water never to return. It was said they were being swallowed by monsters who lived there. What does this have to do with Trust?

In a village of the people, a time had come upon the land that was very difficult. People were going to the river for water never to return. It was said they were being swallowed by monsters who lived there.

It was in this time that a young man went to his grandparents' lodge and found his grandmother in tears. The young man asked, "Why are you crying, grandmother?"
Drying her eyes, she looked up at her grandson and replied, "The people need water because they are dying of thirst, but no one can go to the river because of the monsters."

Indeed, the young man knew that many of his relatives had gone to the river never to return. He said, "But if no one goes to the river we will not have water and we will all surely die."
"Yes," grandmother said, "That is our problem."

The young man left wondering what to do. He knew that people were going to the river and not returning, yet he knew death would certainly take them if they did nothing. He decided it was better to die trying than to do nothing.

The next day he went back to his grandparents' lodge and told them of his decision to go to the river. "The people are dying and they must have water. I must at least try to get the water they need."

His grandmother took a pouch from her side and handed it to her grandson. "In this pouch is a flint and steel. At least you will have fire."  His grandfather took the knife from his belt and handed it to his grandson. "Maybe tis will serve you in your journey."

The young man secured the gifts in his own belt. Thanking his grandparents he took his buckets and made his way to the river. When he arrived, fear sat in his throat like a lump but he saw no sign of any monsters. He looked up one side and down the other but there were no monsters to be seen.

Quickly he grabbed his buckets and went to the bank. He bent down to dip the bucket in the water, all the while feeling like he was being watched. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up and he was very afraid. He just wanted to draw the water and get out of there but as he went to dip the bucket in the water he saw in the reflection of the river a monster with his huge open mouth and then it was upon him.

He was swallowed and in the dark belly of a monster. In his fear and anguish, he began to cry. He knew his grandparents would be hurt and worse, he knew they and others would die because they had no water.

As he cried he heard other voices and a stirring in the dark. He yelled out, "Aho, who is there?"
Voices started calling back to him but he couldn't see. He then remembered the pouch on his belt and the flint and steel. He gathered dry things from around him and struck the flint and steel. Soon he had a fire going and in the light he could see the faces of his relatives and all of the people who had been swallowed by the monster. They all greeted the young man and told him how they had come to be swallowed by the monster.

The young man asked, "How do we get out of here?"
They replied, "We can't. It is useless to try."

At first, the young man was afraid but then he remembered the knife that his grandfather had given him. He said, "Wait, I know what to do." Then he ran to the side of the monster and thrust the knife in. The monster heaved and the young man pulled hard on the knife, cutting a deep gash in the side of the monster so big that it allowed all of the people to escape. They filled their buckets with water and returned to their village.

** It is for the person who is trying to find his way in this life and for all of the things that would swallow him up along the way that I was inspired to create the "Spirit Dancer".

At first glance this piece might seem "dark" because of the emphasis on the monsters but I want people to know that these unseen spirits are capable of devouring the unwary. This picture is really about the "light". It is the light that exposes and shows us the truth. It is the light that chases the darkness and it is in the light that the Spirit Dancer so confidently makes his way unafraid of the dark and unseen things that hinder his progress.

In Spirit, Ralph (Tawennihake)

 


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