The long house was dark and quiet as I sit by the dim flickering fire pit. I meditate on the circle of life seeing my youth is gone and my days have turned to years, and my years to decades. I have had fifty full seasons and my mind is still keen and the lessons of life fresh in my mind and soul. I know that it will not be long until I will hear the cry of the Raven Mockers as they fill the night air searching for that weak soul to take into the darkness of eternity. I will not go, I will stay strong and keen for I wish to see the old ones in the land of the ancestors. I wait for Uweyv Tsiya for he is an elder of ninety seasons and he will sit with me as I go to the fourth circle that will take me to the Wudeligv Gadohi to be with my ancestors. Uweyv Tsiya has seen many Raven Mockers come for the soul of those who are to pass over but his Osdv nvwoti has caused the Galanv Anidawehi dry up and turn to dust. You see if the Raven Mockers do not have souls to feed on they wither and die. So I wait and listen, through the smoke vent I see the light of the Guyequoni and soon the corn will be ready for harvest. I remember as a child helping pick the ripe Selu and with my unitsi we would take it to the wooden vats where we would soak it in oak ash and water until the kernel would become soft and turn into Ganohena. Some of the Selu we would grind into cornmeal to make corn pone.
These thoughts make my spirit feel strong and young as I watch the Ripe corn moon rising. Just then I hear something in the distance I must be strong and watchful. I turn my head to the opening of the long house toward the east. I can see a shadow coming closer in the moon light. Galanv Anidawehi or Uweyv Tsiya I can not tell for the light of the moon is pale. The shadow gets closer, I hold the mussel medicine rattle that lays next to me. The shadow now stands in the doorway I see the long thinning grey hair of Uweyv Tsiya around his shoulders is a cloak made of Gvli skins his head is wrapped in Gigage ale Dalonige turban(Alasdulo) in his hand was the nvwoti stick and over his shoulder a Doya bag. He slowly walked over and smiled and said “Agayvli Awanita my unalii it is good to see you.
He then sat beside me and asked if I had heard the cry of the Galanv Anidawehi. I told him no. “That is osdv, you are strong your spirit is brave” he said. “Are you sure that your time has come to cross over to the West land you my son are very strong and keen. Your time here may not be finished Uneqau may have more for you to do. If this is so to sit and wait for the Raven Mockers is foolish” he continued.
Then he began to tell me a story that happened in a village not to far away many years ago of a young man who was on his way home from a hunting trip when the night fell upon him as he was still far far away from his village. He thought to himself and he knew of a long house belonging to an old man and his wife not to far off the trail, so he started in that direction to see if the old man and his wife would give him a place to rest until morning. When the young man got to the house he went to the opening and he called out “Osiya, Osiya” but no one answered he stepped inside and looked around and no one was there. He thought that maybe they had gone into the village or went to get water, so he found an empty corner and laid down to sleep. It was not very long until he heard a Raven’s cry from outside, caw caw, just then the little old man walked into the long house and sat down by the fire pit. The young man stayed very still and quiet because the old man had not seen him. In a short time he heard another raven cry from outside the long house caw, caw,. The old man said “hummm that must be my wife coming.” It wasn’t very long until the little old woman came in and sat down beside the old man. The little old man asked his wife “Well, did you have any luck tonight?” “Nothing, none there were too many doctors with osdv nvwoti watching tonight. How about you did you have any luck” she asked. “I always get what I go for, I never fail but you it seems you never have any luck. Here take this and cook it so that we at lest have something to eat” he said as he handed something to her in the dark. She stoked the fire, and the young man smelled meat roasting, he thought this smells sweater than any meat he had smelled or tasted. Now the young man’s curiosity was getting the better of him so he slowly peeped through one eye, the old woman was roasting a man’s heart on a stick over the fire.
Suddenly the old woman yelled to her husband “Who is that over in the corner?” “Nobody old woman finish cooking that, I am getting hungry” said the old man. “Yes there is, I can hear him snoring.” Then she put some more wood on the fire and stirred it until the long house lit up like daylight and they saw the young man curled up in the corner. The young hunter kept very quiet and pretended to be asleep. The old man stamped and made a noise at the fire, but the young man pretended not to hear because he was asleep. The old man then went over an shook him, and said “Wake up boy, wake up.” The young hunter then sat up and rubbed his eyes, just as if he had been asleep all this time.
It was almost daylight when the old woman went to the other house to make breakfast but the hunter could hear her crying. “What is wrong with your wife, why is she crying” the young man asked. “oh she is just lonesome, many of her friends have died lately and she feels alone” said the old man, but the young man knew why she was crying. The old woman put a bowl of corn mush in front of him and said “ this is all we have, we haven’t had meat for a long time but we hope this will fill you.” The young man ate his breakfast, said goodbye and started on his journey home. A little ways down the road the young man heard someone running up from behind him, he turned around and the old man had followed him. The old man was holding a very fine pelt and piece of bead work he gave it to the young man and said “Please take this and do not tell anyone that you heard my wife and I fighting last night, do not speak a word of what you heard.” The young hunter took the gift and went on his way but the first river he came to he threw it into the water.
The young hunter made it back to the village and told the story of what he had seen and heard, then he gathered warriors to return and kill the Raven Mockers. It was seven days after the first night before they came to the old man and old woman’s house. They went inside and found the old man and old woman dead lying on the floor, because the young hunter did not keep the gifts they could not steal his soul and they died. So the warriors set fire to the house and burned the two witches together.
After Uweyv Tsiya finished his story he looked at me and smiled. I realized that the young hunter was Uweyv Tsiya and that my seasons were not finished. Unequa had more for me to do and at that moment I knew I had to hunt down and destroy the Raven Mockers. What I thought was to be the beginning of my journey to the spirit land was the beginning of my revenge on the Raven Mockers.