Pankanli awoke abruptly from her dream and sensed something was wrong.
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 breaking through.
She decided to follow them and, quietly, as grandfather had taught her,
she started to trail them.
Grandfather and his white wolf  were so deep in thought
that they did not notice her behind them. 
 They traveled. for quite a while 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.
 Grandfather sat 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 quest.
Suddenly, she realized what was happening. Pankanli ran towards her Grandfather.
“No” she screamed. "You must not climb those stairs. It is not time.
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 tomorrow."
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 her hair.
Tears ran down their faces.
The wolf beside them was crying too.

Suddenly the sky got very bright and a mighty voice rang out.
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
 and you will be reunited with your ancestors. 
However, first you must guarantee your legacy
 by teaching 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.
She prayed that he would heed the Great Spirit’s words.
 He looked down, wiped the tears from her eyes, and drew her closer.
Then 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 tribe.
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 Pankanli
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.

Several days 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

own. Grandfather would 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,

but he saw and felt the pain  that their family and friends

would feel  who were left behind to mourn..

 He saw Pankanli holding her sons and sobbing just as she had done when her beloved pets

had gone to the Rainbow Bridge so many years ago.

He saw the pain Grandmother would endure.

They had loved each other for over 59 years . He remembered how he had blessed their

union when they had first met and fell in love.

  He knew Grandmother was strong and would

be there to comfort all their children and grandchildren;

 that the golden memories she held in her heart

would serve as  a solace for her.

 He saw 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 above. Grandfather

had always picked flowers with Pankanli and then made a bouquet. 

 He would make sure that

she had roses on her birthday-even though it was winter.

He saw Grandfather kiss her as she slept.

Then he remembered that one day they would all be together again and he smiled...

Together forever

This is what they pledged

That is how it will be . . .






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© Carol Ross aka CareWolf (Nashoba Ahalaia )

January 11,2006


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