Pankanli awoke abruptly from her dream and sensed something
She peeked out from the tepee and saw Grandfather and
his white wolf
walking toward the woods.
She wondered why they were out; dawn had not yet come
She decided to follow them and, quietly, as grandfather had
she started to trail them.
and his white wolf were so deep in thought
they did not notice her behind them.
They traveled. for quite
and Pankanli began to recognize this path.
She had walked it
once before with her cousin Ayiana
as they searched for the Stairway to the Rainbow Bridge.
The sun began its morning climb into the heavens and
suddenly there it was before them
She did not know why they were here and unobserved she crept closer.
down on one of the steps with the wolf beside him.
He laid his head in his master's lap while Grandfather gently
stroked his soft fur.
After a while, Grandfather rose up and raised his
arms to the heavens.
She saw Grandfather’s lips moving and knew he was
praying to the Great Spirit above
as she had often seen him do before. However, why was he
here by the Rainbow Stairway?
This is not where he usually went to pray? He started to ascend the stairs
with the white wolf close behind.
These are the same stairs that the white wolf had told her
and her cousin
not to climb
on the day of her
Suddenly, she realized what was happening. Pankanli ran
towards her Grandfather.
“No” she screamed. "You must not climb those stairs. It is
I am but a child and there is so much more I need to learn.
There are so many tales I have not heard, so much more
growing up I need to do.
You promised you would stay with me until one day past
She was crying now as she looked up at Grandfather.
Grandfather had turned at the sound of her voice.
Until then, he had been unaware that she was there.
He sat down on the stairs and
pulled her into his lap.
She buried her head in his chest and sobbed.
She was afraid that she had angered him by following
them there .
He looked into her eyes and saw her pain. He gently caressed
Tears ran down their faces.
The wolf beside them was crying too.
Suddenly the sky got very bright and a mighty voice rang
It was the Great Spirit calling to them.
“My son and my faithful wolf, the Wind of Love has petitioned me in your behalf.
She told me that I was mistaken to accept your bid to come to me now.
I know you are tired and
have earned your place in heaven.
There are so many hearts that will be broken if you climb
the stairs today.
You are a great and mighty warrior, a credit to those who walked before you.
You are also a kind and caring chief, who is loved and
respected by your tribe.
Be assured that one day we will open the heavens
will be reunited with your ancestors.
However, first you must guarantee your legacy
the children what they need to know
so that they may follow in your righteous path.
I appeal to the Great
White Wolf to stay
and assist you
just as he has done for so many years."
Pankanli searched her Grandfather's face looking for a clue
to his answer.
that he would heed the Great Spirit’s words.
He looked down, wiped the tears from her eyes, and drew her closer.
at last, he spoke.
“My child I was ready to climb the stairway to the heavens
and join those who have passed before.
I see it is not yet meant to be. Your great love has summoned the
spirits on high.
They bid me to return home with you and the rest of our
She smiled up at him and he smiled back.
It seemed to her as
if his smile had just lit up the sky.
The three of them, Grandfather, White Wolf, and
turned and started back down the path.
She was suddenly very tired and her Grandfather, sensing
this picked her up
in his big strong arms and carried her.
The white wolf smiled.
later, the mystical White Wolf
had a vision.
He saw the day that
Grandfather and he would climb the golden stairs.
It would be when
Pankanli was grown with children of her
have fulfilled his pledge to the Great Spirit
and then they would silently
depart to go "home"
It would be
a wondrous day of reunion for them with their ancestors,
he saw and felt the pain that their family and friends
who were left behind to mourn..
He saw Pankanli holding her sons and sobbing just as she had done when her
had gone to
the Rainbow Bridge so many years ago.
He saw the pain
Grandmother would endure.
loved each other for over 59 years . He remembered how he
had blessed their
they had first met and fell in love.
He knew Grandmother was strong and would
be there to
comfort all their children and grandchildren;
golden memories she held in her
would serve as a solace for her.
Grandfather put some poems in a drawer for her
to help bring peace to her heart
and soul . Then he saw something remarkable.
He saw their
roses bloom for her birthday- a sign of love sent from
picked flowers with Pankanli and then made a bouquet.
He would make sure
she had roses
on her birthday-even though it was winter.
Grandfather kiss her as she slept.
remembered that one day they would all be together again and
This is what they pledged
That is how
it will be . . .
© Carol Ross aka CareWolf (Nashoba Ahalaia )