The wind was blowing strongly through the trees. Tahatan, a
native hunter of these forests knew this was both a good and bad
sign. When the spirits watched his tribe hunt they will display
themselves in these signs, or so he had been told. He never
really believed in spirits. All he knew is that the sound of the
wind would mask his movements but now he had to travel around and
approach from another side as the wind was now carrying his scent
down wind to his quarry.
Tahatan was a young hunter from his tribe around 20 years old, but
he was a very skilled hunter and could already travel into the
forests alone and return with kills to feed, clothe and fashion
tools from for the rest of his tribe. He was very well respected,
even if his belief in the spirits was not convincing. The Elders
did not mind this. They always pointed out to him that they will
show him signs whether he chose to see them or not.
Positioned just on the edge of a clearing, Tahatan had changed his position to avoid being up
wind from his prey. Today it was a small deer. It was sitting in a
small clearing eating grass and was unaware of
Tahatan a few meters away.
Tahatan took his bow from his shoulder with his left arm
and with his right arm reached for an arrow from his quiver,
never taking his eyes from the deer. As he aimed he needed to
remind himself to control his breathing, the thrill of hunting
did give him a rush of excitement.
"Thank you deer spirit" He whispered to himself and let the arrow
Everything stopped, frozen as if time itself came to an abrupt
halt. Leaves blown from trees hung suspended in the air
motionless, the wind no longer there driving her way through the
trees with a whistle. Plants that were leaning over from the
winds relentless drive held their lean even with the wind now
seemingly gone. Tahatan's arrow was
2 feet in front of him, motionless but held aloft, frozen in
Tahatan was instantly startled. He stood up with a jolt. Everything
had stopped in his world, but he could strangely walk around in it.
He walked up to his arrow, he waved his hands under, over and
around it but could not understand how it was just motionless. He
looked over at the treeline and saw the leaves motionless in the
same fashion, trees that moments ago groaned under the whistling
wind now holding the same form. He had never known stillness like
it. Not many had.
Utterly confused he turned to where the deer was grazing, expecting
it too to be in the same frozen position as all the other things in
the forest. But the deer was sitting, looking directly at him with
its ears twitching normally.
"Do not be afraid Tahatan." The words did not come from the deer or
anywhere around him, they rang out from inside his own head but he
somehow knew it was spoken by the deer. A deer he was seconds away
from killing was now speaking in his tongue, directly to his mind.
Tahatan wasn't afraid, he was a young,
proud sometimes brash hunter but he was very confused.
"What is happening?" Tahatan said. But his mouth did not move, he
was communicating with the deer in the same way the deer spoke to
"I am here to take you to your ancestors Tahatan. You are to ascend this mortal plane"
The deer was moving closer now and walked around
Tahatan's legs, taking up a
sitting position beside him and facing the same direction as him.
Tahatan felt completely at
peace, he looked down at the deer to his side, placed his hand on
it's head and smiled as if he was greeting an old friend. As the
forest began to fade as a white sheen began to replace it,
Tahatan gave a nod to the
deer. A nod that said "I'm ready". The warm white sheen began to
envelope Tahatan and he closed his eyes to fully
experience the most beautiful event his could ever
Angpetu, Tahatan's wife of 40 years
woke up to a beautiful morning. She rolled over to kiss her husband
on the cheek but noticed something had changed. Tahatan was lying
peacefully but had passed away in the night. He had died an old
man, loved by many and in a land he loved. Angpetu was not upset
for his passing, she knew he had gone to a better place. As a smile
etched across her face and a tear rolled down her cheek the sound
of a deer shuffling away rippled softly in the air.