For as long as she could remember, Princess Pankanli had sat on  her Great-Grandfathers' knee,  near his beautiful white wolf, and listened to his wonderful tales.  She called her Great-Grandfather simply Grandfather. Grandfather, Hattak Nan Ithana, was the Chief of the Tribe and she  loved him dearly.  He always told her tales and one of her favorite  tales  was of a place he called the Rainbow Bridge. She thought about the first time that he had told her the story...

One of her wonderful pets named Loki was very sick and she feared that he was going to die. She was crying when the wolf came to bring her to Grandfather. He motioned for her to sit on his knee. Then he told her a wondrous story about the Rainbow Bridge. It was the same story that he had told to her Grandmother, Nashoba Nahalaia, when her pets were dying, and to Pankanli's mother. As far as she knew, they all believed in the Rainbow Bridge. She never questioned the fact that the  mystical white wolf had been there for her grandmother and for her mother - his age was lost in perpetuity.

 


           

            

                      

                                        



When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here,
that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
 There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt  are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, those who had to be left behind.

 


They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance.
His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face;
your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet,
so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. 

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together...

 


It gave her hope to know she would see her Loki again and she was happy. Soon Loki went to the "Bridge" but she took comfort in the knowledge that  one day  they would be together again. She  sent up special prayers,  planted flowers and drew pictures for Loki, happy that he was once again healthy and happy and  playing with his friends at the Rainbow Bridge. The seasons changed three times and she was joined by a little cousin named Ayiana. They both spent their days playing with their wonderful Grandfather and his wolf,  and listening intently as he told them his stories each with a lesson hidden so well they didn't know they were being taught in the ways of their tribe.
 


 Pankanli's dog  Pandora, grew very ill and  went to join Loki.  She talked with her Grandfather about the happy times all the animals had at the Bridge. How well they felt as they played,  healthy  and happy. Ayiana helped her to draw pictures, plant flowers, and send up prayers for Pandora. She was content with the fact that one day  they would all be together again. 

 

 

One day another dog ,Spartacus, became ill. He  was the puppy of Loki and Pandora making him very special to her.  Grandfather again told them of the Rainbow Bridge and Ayiana was happy but Pankanli was older now and questioned whether there really was a Rainbow Bridge.

 

 

 

One night she had a dream that showed her what she must do. She told Ayiana that she was going to find the Rainbow Bridge and when her cousin asked to come with she told her, most reluctantly, that she could. She  hesitated because she was not  sure where her quest would lead. They packed some food and clothes and planned for their secret journey. They had to be ready for only after a rainfall would there be a rainbow to guide them. One day it rained-the wind howled and she waited. She told her cousin that the time was coming soon. And as sure as Spring follows Winter,  when the sun came out she saw a beautiful rainbow fill the sky. They grabbed their things and  left quickly, not wanting anyone to know they had gone. But one did. Grandfather, always watching and knowing, saw and sent his great white wolf to follow and protect them.

 

They wandered for hours until things started to look familiar and Pankanli became alarmed  that they were going in circles and would never find their way. She didn’t say anything, not wanting to scare her little cousin. It soon became dark and they should have returned home because they knew that they would be missed.  But by now they were really lost  and the rainbow they were following was gone. Ayiana started to cry but Pankanli assured her that this was part of the plan and they would find the Rainbow Bridge in the morning. She found a cave and made a fire. They ate their food and fell asleep huddling close as the sounds of the night in the forest frightened them.

 

Unknown to them, the  mystical  white wolf had been carefully following them,  and as they slept he lay by the cave entrance to protect them. They awoke to thunder and lightning and knew real fear,  being alone in the woods away from  their  family and friends. When suddenly the white wolf came in the cave and lay down by them and they slept feeling safe now that he was near.


Morning came and with it the sun,  and a giant rainbow filled the sky again.  The white wolf motioned for them to follow him and trusting him  they did. This time as they walked they saw a glow like nothing they had ever seen. Rainbow colors lit up the sky . Then to their total amazement they saw a beautiful stairway of gold and jewels winding up through the sky and the clouds as if  it were going  straight up to heaven. On the uppermost cloud peeking down were Magoo, Shezam, Mutzy, Brandy, Loki, and Pandora.

 

 

 Overjoyed they started to climb the stairs but the white wolf wouldn’t allow them to pass. It was as if  he were saying that this was not their time. They turned and followed the wolf back to the clearing. Eagerly they searched for Grandfather to tell him of their grand adventure and what they had found. He sat them down and listened intently to their tale. Then he turned to the big white wolf, and in wolf language,  whispered,” Well done my old friend.” The wolf smiled…

 

It came to pass that Spartacus became even sicker and one night as Grandfather and Pankanli held him in their arms, he  looked deeply into Pankanli's eyes as if to say," I love you. Do not grieve for me."  He looked into Grandfather's eyes too and then he slowly closed his eyes as if he were sleeping.  They saw him smile and knew he would wait there with his family until the day the road curved around and the time came for them to go up the rainbow stairs and join him. The white wolf smiled for he knew of the wonders that Spartacus would see.



 

 Pankanli was happy that he was free from all the pain but she started to cry. Grandfather gently laid
Spartacus down and covered him up with the special blanket Pankanli had woven
for him and took Pankanli into his arms.  Pankanli sobbed in Grandfather's arms for although she knew he would be happy and healthy again she knew how much she would miss having him here with her. Grandfather held her in his arms and gently stroked her hair wishing there were some way he could shield her from the pain of losing loved ones, but he knew in his heart that there wasn't. A tear rolled down his cheek and the White Wolf saw it and cried too.

They cried for the day that they too would  cause  heartache to their loved ones

     when it became time for them to climb the stairs

to the Rainbow Bridge......

 

 

 

 

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Several pictures  adapted from work by

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http://mack.50megs.com/

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