|An Otter's Tale of Revolution
Mekek finished and waited to hear an answer from the kenews. Minutes passed and finally the head kenew got up and spoke, “Mekek we are happy to hear the elders are worried about the strange things that have happened. I understand your concerns, but at this moment we do not have the resources to do what you and the elders request. We have already invested in a new suyian (money) palace.”
Mekek interrupted the head kenew (leader). “How could you do that? We can’t be worrying about that lifestyle anymore. It has only caused us harm and loss of our traditional way of life. I understand we need to sustain our lives, but I know at one time the forest was enough for us.”
The head kenew slammed the sacred branch of order down on the table. Mekek stopped and waited. The kenew seated next to the head kenew began to speak. “Mekek, you must understand that the new suyian palace will help us sustain our traditional way of life. We need to invest in that before we can do anything else. The elders may have told you that we must invest in our traditional way of life, but they need to understand we live in different times. I speak for the other kenews and we feel what we have is right.”
There was uproar from the table and from behind. The kenews began to argue with each other. The ones who looked more like kenews shouted, “We need to listen to the elders,” and the kenews that looked more like two-legged beings shouted, “We live in different times and the suyian project needs to come first before this.”
The manitowoks behind Mekek yelled, “We never wanted the suyian palace, you wanted that! You are suppose to look out for our well being, not take the path that is leading our traditional way of life to extinction.”
The head kenew called the meeting to a close and Mekek left with anger in his body. Thoughts ran through his mind, “How could the kenews not take what the elders said into consideration? The sacred document states we need to preserve our traditional of life and nothing comes before that.”
Mekek walked back to the cave of the elders. He felt drained and saddened by what happened. If only there was something he could do to change this.
Mekek reached the cave of the elders as the sun began to descend on the horizon. He decided to sit in the river and cool off. The river was a wonderful as it rushed passed his fur. He felt so refreshed and enjoyed the setting sun. Suddenly, the grey-haired elder emerged out of the cave and spotted Mekek in the water. Mekek started to get out of the water.
“Mekek please stay in the river. It looks like you’re enjoying yourself. I will come sit next to you and we can talk about the meeting with the kenews,” said the grey-haired elder.
As Mekek sat back in the river, the grey-haired elder sat on a huge rock next to him. Mekek took a deep breath and before he could speak, the grey-haired elder spoke. “I know what you’re going to say. The kenews refused to invest in our traditional way of life. I knew that before I sent you. I wanted you to see our traditional way of life is in danger. We need the young manitowoks to take a stand and revive our traditional way of life. I need you to do something. I want you to travel to the land of Wasehtanoh (Washington, D.C.) and build connections with the two-legged beings. We need two-legged beings that understand that our traditional way of life is valuable and cannot perish from this forest. Will you take this journey? You are the one who can fit in the two-legged world. I know this is true.”
Mekek thought about what the grey-haired elder said. He could not believe it. The grey-haired elder was right; Mekek was the one who would be able to survive out there Wasehtanoh. The grey-haired elder and Mekek watched the sun descend behind the trees and the moon began to rise. Mekek got up out of the river and looked at the grey-haired elder, saying, “I will take the journey. Let me know when you want me to go and I will prepare.”
The grey-haired elder looked at Mekek with pride. “Mekek, you will leave tomorrow morning. I’m sorry it is so soon, but we must not waste any more time. Come inside the cave tomorrow and we will give you good medicine for your journey.” He got up off the rock and walked into the forest.
Mekek sat next to the river and watched the night sky. He wished to speak to someone. Suddenly, a black cloud covered the night sky and Waqnahwew (flashes before lighting) started to occur before Mekek’s eyes. A voice silenced the sounds of the forest. “My brother, I felt you needed to speak to someone and so I have come to see what is going on?”Mekek replied, “Waqnahwew, the forest has changed and the kenews feel that the only way to amend things is to become more immersed in the two-legged being way. Now, the Niw Awaesaehs have decided that I need to take a journey in order to change what has happened here in the forest. I need to travel to Wasehtanoh to connect with the two-legged beings. But I feel scared and I do not want to leave the forest.” (continues)