|An Otter's Tale of Revolution
The elder finished and Mekek took in the words. Mekek felt he wanted to leave and begin his journey, but he waited for the grey-haired elder to speak. He sat for a while, waited, and watched the elders. During that time, Mekek felt the words echo through his head then, the grey-haired elder spoke. “Mekek, as you begin your journey today, you must call yourself by something and add background to who you are. From this day forward you will be Joseph Mekek from Wisconsin, a college student who runs his own non-profit organization. The focus of your studies will be on law and sustainable development. You want to gain a better understanding of how the two-legged world works and maintain a world that is habitable for all walks of life. This will give you a reputation out in the Concrete Playground and leverage in completing your journey. Awaesaeh (Bear) will accompany you to the Concrete Playground. Now, Joseph, stand up and take the journey.”
A great Awaesaeh came out of the shadows. Every step Awaesaeh took, he changed more into a two-legged being. As Mekek stood face to face with Awaesaeh, they turned and left the cave of the elders. The forest lit up with sunshine as they wandered through it on their way to the Wasehtanoh. They reached the end of the forest and found a long white metal box.
Awaesaeh walked up to the white metal box and opened the side. He threw Mekek a long black object. “Put that on Joe. You cannot walk around the two-legged world without that on. Also, you will have respect amongst the two-legged beings. Just remember to take it off when the sun turns into darkness and put it back on when the sun becomes light,” Awaesaeh explained.
Mekek slipped on the black object and walked to the white metal box, as Awaesaeh got in and opened the side where Mekek stood. Mekek got in and the white metal box started to move. Mekek looked around and saw the forest shrink before his eyes. He took a deep breath and turned around. Awaesaeh began to explain life in Wasehtanoh. Mekek listened to every word Awaesaeh said and watched the world change. Soon they met other metal boxes and a different world where neither forest nor trees lived.
The white metal box stopped in front of a river surrounded by long grey buildings. They stepped from the white metal box and entered a long grey building. Inside there was a line of two-legged beings. They waited and soon the line shortened before a long metal snake where two-legged beings entered the belly. They followed everyone and Mekek felt his body change as the long metal snake moved away from the long grey building and across the river toward the direction where the sun rose.
As Mekek sat in the long metal snake, he listened to Awaesaeh tell stories of Wasehtanoh and the tricks of life. He told Mekek to watch out for certain areas and remember to stand his ground. The sun began to set as they sat on the long metal snake. When darkness came, little suns began shinning all around. Awaesaeh said these little suns are called lights and are powered by black stuff that is found underground.
Soon Awaesaeh fell asleep and Mekek got up to walk around the long metal snake. He carried the leather bag from Waqnahwew in hand. As he walked, he met other two-legged beings. He sat down next to a pair of two-legged beings and opened the leather bag. Inside was a long piece of a leaf and something else at the bottom. He unrolled the leaf.
Something was written on the leaf in the ancient language of the forest. As Mekek read the leaf, he found out he was on a Hero’s journey to save the manitowoks and the forest from the evils that dwell in Wasehtanoh. He read that when he slept, he could tap into an ancient power that would tell him the future and warn him of danger. Half way through, he grabbed the object at the bottom of the leather bag and unraveled it. Inside he found a metal object with blue shiny rocks and claws of bears attached.
Mekek began to read the leaf again and found out this metal object in his hands was an heirloom of the forest that gave great power to the being that possessed it. The leaf stated that the metal object was called a necklace and needed to be taken care of. He read the end of the leaf and felt an energy flow through his body that gave him strength. He walked back to the chair where Awaesaeh slept.
As darkness overcame Mekek, he started to see something in the distance. He watched the figure come out of the darkness and, to his surprise, it was he. He stood in a room in a circle around many different two-legged beings. As he watched the scene unfold, he heard his voice. “I stand before you a man who is bringing his vision to a reality by going back to my community and launching a Pan-Indian sustainability movement that will create economic development, revitalize culture and language, and bring nutrition back to the public school system; ending diabetes that has plagued my people. Remember real change comes from the heart and succeeds with unity.”
Mekek had no idea what he said nor did he understand the power of this vision. He did feel though that this was in store for him in Wasehtanoh. In time, he will find out what this meant and to whom he spoke. Thought left his mind and darkness came back. When he awoke, he could see tall grey buildings and a huge white dome that was taller than any of the other buildings. Awaesaeh said, “We have arrived inside Wasehtanoh. Time to walk and find your new home.”