Neharu tripped and rolled down into a little canyon cut away by a stream, and ended in the water. It wasn’t deep, but he checked to make sure he hadn’t broken the little sacred drum. All was well, so he trotted along the canyon bottom, sometimes jumping from stone to stone to avoid the water. This was spirit territory now, and he was almost to the place he would wait for a sign. A stick suddenly fell down out of the air and he caught it. He heard a distant peal of laughter that was not a people-voice, but no one appeared when he called a greeting.
Neharu continued on, carrying the spirit stick. In a little while he found the place where the stream disappeared under a wide, flat rock. On the rock were many smaller rocks, left by travelers who had visited this place. Neharu added one of his own, drank from the stream, and set his pack beside the pile of stones. He sat down meditation style, and closed his eyes, but then opened them just in time to catch another stick.
“Who is throwing me sticks?” he asked the world.
Laughter filled the air.
Art by Ruth Lampi, text by Jessica Van Oort.