Now, with some free time, we are back in the recording studio so you can begin the new year catching up with the boys.
Before you listen to Chapter 16, you might want to read the last few paragraphs of Chapter Fifteen: Here they are:
The girl grasped my arm again, “Grandfather was bitten by a diamond back while we were gathering herbs. I got him in the truck and he told me to get him back to the reservation but I’ve only driven on dirt roads near our house…” she sobbed one time, shook her head and stared into my eyes with an intensity I’ve not seen this side of Vietnam and then she said, “I know that his spirit has left his body but I know you can call it back.”
I don’t know how to describe what happened next, at least I don’t know how to explain it to someone who is caught up in the world of human logic, but maybe you aren’t one of those people, so I’m going to tell you what happened next.
I laid my left hand on her right hand which was still clamped onto my wrist and said, “We are going to call him back Miss. You sit here and don’t cry or say anything. Okay?”
She nodded her agreement and released my arm. I straightened and stepped toward the front of the pickup. That’s when I realized I was watching all of this unfold like a member of the audience watching a play. I could see myself doing whatever it was that I was doing and I could hear my words but the words I was saying were from a script that if I ever knew I’d forgotten.
As I rounded the front of the pickup I thought, Bird, I need you.
As I opened the passenger door of the pickup I heard Bird leap from Miss Agnes and hit the ground running toward me. I unstrapped the seat harness and slid my right arm under the old man’s legs as I worked my left arm around his shoulders.
As I began lifting and sliding him out, I felt Bird beside me and heard him say, “ John, I’m here.”
The old man was surprisingly light, almost weightless. We moved him about ten feet away from the truck and laid him on his back in the grass beside the shoulder of the highway.
Like we had done this some other time in a place I’d almost forgotten, I saw myself kneel on on the old man’s right side as Bird knelt on his left. I slid my left hand under his head and Bird leaned over and cupped my left land hand in his right. Then, I saw us raise our heads, lock gazes, then reach across the old man’s lifeless body and grasp our free hands together forming a circle.
It seems that I saw a bright flash but I can’t be sure because that’s when I tumbled from my elevated audience seat and found myself sitting on my butt by the old man. I must have sat there for a few seconds getting my senses back in place. Finally I raised my head, turned and saw that the old man, who had been dead a moment before, was now sitting up. He smiled at me and then touched my army gently as he said, “I knew you would come when I needed you.”
Before I could respond he turned toward Bird and said, “And I knew you would be with him.”
Bird opened his mouth to speak but the old man continued before he could say a word. “What is your name?”
Bird hesitated, then said, “My name is Bird.”
The old man chuckled, twisted around and placed both his hands on Bird’s shoulders. “You are no longer Bird. You are are now Dakeya.”
He stopped talking and for a moment the only sound was the rush of a wind that sprang up from nowhere.
“Dakeya, what does it mean?” Bird asked.
Before the old man could speak, the girl called out from the truck, “Dakeya means Great Hawk.
And now, Chapter 16:
Happy New Year,
Bert and Noah