Give Him What He Needs

--- .

(Jim’s Note: Another one by request.  Friend, this one doesn’t have any boffo laughs, so I’ll have to owe you one.  I promise I’ll make it up to you.  Read this and think what you might want to ask the wise one.)

The Old One feels infirm.  His wife had died.  He is the elder of the village, and he is asked for his opinion every night.  And even if he rambles, all the village still listens.

One morning he rises and asks for a horse.

He had not kept or cared for his horse for many years.  His sons did that, and he never rode "angry mane" at all.  Angry Mane was old too, but was the horse that the  Old One wanted.  Angry Mane died a few seasons back, and another was never really needed, since the  Old One has not ridden a horse for 4 days of the "dead Sun" when the sun lies at the bottom of the sky, and only sacred magic of the Gods brings the sun back.

So when the  Old One asks for a horse, the sons are deferential, and explain that "angry mane" is dead and that he can ride this new steed of fire.  Even though the new steed is old and broken down: the gentlest ride in the tribe.

And the old man tries to mount the horse,  He fails repeatedly, and his sons give him a lift on to the back of the horse.  He has the horse walk very slowly.   And the women look on at this wise, old man acting so odd.  And he becomes the topic of the morning.

The chatter of the ladies causes the chief to go over to the women’s circle and call out his wife.  He asks: "What is happening in our village that has all the ladies so chatty" – "My Stallion, I must report that our elder has mounted a horse and is barely moving" 

The Chief now walks over and asks the  Old One where is he going, and will he be back for the evening meal.  The  Old One says that he must visit "great night" – And the chief asks if the  Old One knows the way, and the  Old One thinks and nods: "oh, yes, Gourd-Shaker knows, I need to have Gourd-Shaker guide me"

And so Gourd-Shaker is summoned and he is told that the  Old One is to visit the land of great night.   And Gourd-shaker says "we need much preparation"  –  For the tribal elder to visit the great night, the shaman wants to have a great festival.

The chief goes over to the  Old One and says:  Gourd-Shaker wants 5 days to prepare your voyage, and we have many questions to ask you before you leave:  And the  Old One said that he would wait 5 days and nights, and answer all the tribes questions.

And plants were gathered, and hunters went out and brought a great feast.  And a fire was built that was bigger than usual, and was to be well stocked with fuel for five full days, and it would channel the source of wisdom for the  Old One, but Gourd-Shaker was strong in his statement that it must burn day and night for the full five days.  And wood was gathered that would last for five days.

The preparations over, the evening settled in, and the chief spoke: "we are here to give the elder a journey to great night, we will Give Him What He Needs to make that journey.  And in return, he will answer all the questions that you ask:"

Friend, What would you ask?

And when the feast was over, and the  Old One rose the next morning, the Chief and Gourd-Shaker were there:  The Chief asked the  Old One again if he was going to great night, and the  Old One said "Yes, the time is near when I visit great night"

And Gourd-Shaker and the elder rode slowly away.   Gourd-Shaker said that you can only ride a horse part-way to great night.  The  Old One said that he knew that too, but did not know what other transportation was needed.

That’s because it is a very great secret of the night gods:  The night gods come down when called and visit night god valley.   We are going there now, and you will summon the night gods.  We will be there by noon tomorrow.

As they entered night god valley, there were beds raised on stilts, only a very few, maybe 20.  As few of the tribe lived long enough to visit great night directly.  Most died peacefully in their sleep, in battle, or by accident – Those were burned to send to them to the great night.

It had been 8 seasons since any other tribe member desired to visit the great night.   It was a great boon and meant that the  Old One was indeed in touch with the sprits.

Gourd-Shaker built a bed on raised stilts. He helped the Old One up to the platform.

"here you must wait for the night gods to come and take you away with their sky horses.  They will ride down on silver horses, and they will have one for you, you will go with them.  Here is a rattle to shake to beg them to come.  They will come when they are ready."

Gourd Shaker called to the spirits with yet another dance and taught the Old One the correct shake to summon the night gods -shake,shake,long shake, long shake.  Only that sequence would summon the night gods.  Gourd-Shaker told the  Old One that he was only permitted to teach this special shake here in great night valley.

Gourd-Shaker rode off.

The  Old One waits until evening.  He is not yet hungry,  He shakes his rattle. "Shake, shake, long shake, long shake"

The night gods take their time…

Shake, shake, long shake, long shake…

that's all--