Monday, May 23, 2011

The Crow and the Beaver

A good friend e-mailed me and shared a vision they had and asked me to comment on it.
I went out yesterday evening for my prayers during that mysterious "in-between-time" when the ancestors come and sing and dance. Although I can't share their vision, this is what I saw and heard in a story form. It seemed so appropriate for many walking the red road that I had to share the story I wrote.
You know who you are.
Enjoy and understand ...............................................................

Back in the time when Turtle Island was still young and the people spoke with the animals,
there lived a Holy man who had two daughters. Both of the daughters desired knowledge.
The first daughter wanted knowledge so she could walk in harmony and balance on Turtle Island. The second daughter wanted knowledge so she could teach others to walk in harmony and balance.

The Holy man knew that knowledge was useless without understanding so he sent his daughters on a journey out in to the world to seek understanding. The sisters were as sisters should be, always helping each other, almost as if they were one. The sisters traveled many suns and finally came to a wide stream. They spent the night at the stream trying to figure out how to cross it. The sisters always shared their dreams with one another and today was no different. The first sister said she dreamed of a big crow that swooped down and carried her away. The second sister said she dreamed of riding on the back of a big beaver.

They walked down to the stream and saw that there were now large rocks going halfway across the stream. After they had eaten their breakfast they decided they would try to cross the stream by walking on the rocks even though the rocks only went halfway across the stream.
As they stepped out on to the rocks they noticed that one portion of the stream was quiet and slow moving while the other part was fast moving and rough with waves. They were shocked to see that the rocks disappeared as they stepped off of them. There was no way back. Carefully stepping on the slippery rocks the sisters walked out to the middle of the stream and stopped. They could go no further.

The sisters questioned each other as to what to do next. Suddenly they noticed a crow feather floating by … going downstream. The first sister became excited because she had dreamed about a crow. Surely this was a sign they should travel downstream. Another crow feather floated by, yes, this had to be a sign. The sisters didn’t know what to do. Six more feathers floated by, the sisters looked at one another in amazement. As another feather began to float by, the first sister stepped out onto the feather and started floating gently down the stream. The second sister stared as her sister drifted off. Again another crow feather floated by, should she step out on to it and join her sister floating down the stream? Suddenly she heard the call of a crow and turned just in time to see her sister turn into a crow and rise up from the stream and fly off.

She was sad because she had never been separated from her sister. She decided when the next feather came by she would step out on to it and float down stream. But another feather never came by. The second sister waited and waited …. no more feathers came by.The sun was beginning to go down and she knew she would have to do something soon. She sat on the stone in the middle of the stream waiting.

Just then another stone rose up out of the water. She stepped out on to it. She would wait for another stone to rise up and then she could walk across the stream. As she stood waiting for another stone to appear she felt the water start moving faster.
It became difficult to stand on the rock. The water was rising. She felt her toes grasp the surface of the rock. She looked down and was surprised to see that the rock had turned into a huge beaver. The beaver sunk lower in the water and began swimming upstream. As she clung to the back of the huge beaver she was not afraid. She knew the Creator had made the beaver for such waters as these.

She knelt down for a better grip and noticed her fingers and toes had grown long hairs and claws like the beaver’s. She was not afraid as she held on to the beaver. She noticed more hair growing on her arms. She was becoming one with the beaver. She smiled as she swam up the raging stream, she had become the beaver.

On a small hill far away sat the Holy man. He opened an old beaver skin medicine bag and took out a long black crow feather. He caressed the feather lovingly and took the medicine bag and softly touched it to his weathered cheek.
He smiled.
His daughters had learned well.
You can’t always choose your stream in life. For some it may be a gentle, easy flowing stream. For others it can be an upstream battle filled with rough currents, whirlpools and sharp rocks. Only when we become one with the stream and content with our position in it …. does the journey become easy.


  1. Beautiful parable, wonderful wisdom.
    Thank you

  2. I am humbled by your story. I would love the opportunity to walk with you through nature, or sit in a quiet spot, and talk. You are so wise. This has been a feeling for some weeks now. I did not realize it was you.

  3. I would love the opportunity to illustrate your beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it. Namaste

  4. Missing my favourite wildlife artist! Hey Van and Joyce :) Hoping you guys are well.. Light & Love,
    ~Anna Lee