Copyright 2002 - 2003 by The author retains all rights to this story and requests that you do not alter or post this story in any form without his permission. The following is a work of fiction.

This story will contain gifts of love and caring between a man and a boy. If you don't like love, then stop reading now. If love and caring between unrelated men and boys is illegal where you are, then I'm sorry for you. If you aren't old enough to legally read this story, then I hope someone loves you enough to read it to you. If you know of a Finding Place and have stories about it, please give me a gift and share.

My deepest thanks to Rod, I name him friend and what he's given me helps make this story sing.

To Ganymede and Teglin I thank you for the beauty you have shared and hope this reflects a fraction of the light you shine so brightly.


Part Eight – Brother Crow and Brother Buffalo

I pulled off the farm road onto the familiar lane, the school bus shack leaning forlornly in its abandoned state. I couldn't help myself, I stopped and walking to it tried to see the little boy inside. How many cold and windy winter days had I waited sheltered from the bitter weather, picking at the peeling paint. It was funny now looking at the climbing string of "Kit"s my pocket knife had carved into the wood, each a little smaller, a little higher showing added skill and inches. I waved away a hovering honey bee and pressed my hand against the six inch gap that told the year I hadn't used this shack.

I walked the lane up the half mile to the house.

Just as she had been almost everyday of my young life, Maria was standing on the porch watching as I came the final piece between the barn lane and the house. I ran to her like I was ten years old again. Then coming close I didn't know how to hug her. Thankfully she was having none of that and scooped my giant self against her always comforting chest.

"He's fine," I said.

"Come inside," she wept.

"I'm staying now," I replied.

"Good, there's cookies on the table," she sniffled.

"I love you," I hugged her yet again.

She turned, sat, crying silent in the chair. She ate the first cookie I had ever seen her eat.

A crunching on the gravel, the squeak of the back screen door, a young man standing looking at the table. "Miss Maria? Here's Mr. Kit's keys. John had me drive it up. Oh, here sir. It's parked just right outside."

I took the keys, she managed, "Thank you Jim, have a cookie as you go."

I cried thinking of all the times I'd heard those words across this table, that space, the floor, the years.

"Thank you Ma'am," he reached across and suddenly was gone.

I shook off the sadness which had no place in this sweet homecoming and grabbing a cookie for myself, I brightly tried to say, "Let me bring in my stuff!"

She laughed and shook herself up from the chair, "You are always dragging something in, no animals I hope?"

"Nope!" I yelled as the screen door slammed its old familiar slam behind me.


Our year upon the prairie was full of wonderment. There were times when Grandfather and the hands were there and Running Deer and I were dressed in jeans and rode to count the calves. I laughed to find I had to show him how to button his jeans closed, I admit we fiddled some at first. I would ride in boots, but he would never more than don his moccasins.

We helped with roping and the branding, cringed at first to help with making steers. Then the hands would move on to other places in the range and we would shed our city clothes. Grandfather and Grandfather Coyote would watch us cooking for them. Cloud Walking and Straighthorn would disappear into the grasses for days on end.

Other times only Cloud Walking would be with us. We would play among the grasses and she would ask us even more of what we saw and heard than Straighthorn had. We learned to look and listen very many times.

Straighthorn had taught us how to pet the fish and call to Brother Crow. Cloud Walking had us hand feeding Brother Deer. Singing a thankful chant we would use a piece of cottonwood to stroke Brother Porcupine, harvesting his quills which he happily traded for a simple pile of grubs. Brother Badger would stand near us, barely tolerating our joyful presence in his dour company. The trickster Old Coyote circled round us trying to find a way to free us of our bacon.

The quills were used with dies we made from plants and from the ground. We'd pound them flat and colorful and my brother would weave them on to special leather.

I would take the bow and arrow and singing praise to the spirits of the peoples I would bring home their gifts of self. We ate and played and swam and ran and gloried in the sun.

One day Cloud Walking took us into our tipi. Pointing at a robe, breechcloth and leggings, she bade us make ready for a trip. Rolling all we thought we needed into the buffalo hides we eagerly ran back to her tipi waiting just outside. She finally came out smiling and took our bundles by the rawhide lashings. Tossing them inside her tipi she handed us each another buffalo robe instead, then led us out gaping at what we left behind.

We walked all day listening to the grass and the peoples held within. We climbed a group of hillocks and she pointed to a tree. Good, I thought we'd camp here and tomorrow we would continue. I was ready, my stomach told me it was supper time. As I put down my robe and stepped out of my moccasins, I turned to find them half a hill away and walking off into the night.

My brother called into my heart that he would always be that near, I sent him love and sent him hope and helped him share my fear.

I told my stomach that he was brave and strong, he grumbled some but settled down to sleep. I sat on in my robe and watched the hunter cross the sky. I must have slept because I woke to Wi standing shining overhead. I explored the space around my tree and down upon the hill. My stomach asked me if I was mad at it. I told it no, be brave, be strong, there was nothing here to fear.

My brother sang me happiness when Wi was standing directly overhead. I sang it back and took the courage it offered me and fell into the grass. I watched Cloud People hurrying on their way, I listened as my heart beat with the waving of the grass. I heard blood running through my ears and imagined a journey in that stream.

At supper time my stomach asked if I was ready to try some of Brother Porcupine's grubs, I told it to be still. It groaned and flopped a bit and finally settled down.

I dreamed that night of Running Deer, his fingers on my body. I felt him touch me there and everywhere in fact. I felt him licking and then sucking me. I woke thrashing in the robes, my body mind soaring high like when our hands or mouths would share their wild and madding dance.

My heart was pounding in my chest, my rock hard pole was twitching, nothing had touched me but the robe, yet my penis eye was dripping. This was something new to me, I touched the little drop. It strung away from my rod like spider's silk. I had somehow made my milk.

I fell asleep rubbing the tiny droplet around my pole and singing wonder to my brother. He was singing me a happy chant of growing.

I dreamed again, this time the mother fox was smiling down at me and turning to Grandfather. She told me something I could not hear then ran off with her kits.

I woke to thunder, not Wakinyan's flashing, but the anger of my stomach. He was howling mad and hopping round and yelling loudly at me. I curled up in my buffalo robe and tried to ignore his whining. I slept again, the sun shining down and warming through the brown cushion of the robe. My dreams were restless, preyed upon by my stomach's loud complaining.

There was Brother Crow sitting back to back with his cousin. He seemed giant to my tiny eyes yet Running Deer and I together circled round and round watching what he held out in his beak. I looked at him almost upside down, my head was turning, shifting on my neck, my feet leading me around him almost as if I was dancing. He sat perfectly still, his cousin still behind him. I finally knew I had to take his gift, but what had I to offer in return? My feet stumbled on a rock and looking down the glittering, shining stone just begged me to pick it up. I took the stone and gave my brother some, we laid it near his feet. Crow nodded once then sat immobile as I reached in and gently took his offering, my brother took his cousin's. My stomach howled, I shot upright and cried to feel the sun come slamming in my eyes. I rubbed them till they worked again and looked out on the empty prairie.

I watched the waves across the valley, the grass had turned to water. Sailing on the surface of the sea great ships were moving Northwards. They were so far away I could not make out their shape, just stately black and slowly moving forward. They called to me to come and ride with them upon the ocean's surface. I whimpered that I could not come, my body weak and would not stand when I tried to make it. They laughed that I was missing out; a great adventure riding on the waves. I cried to see them passing on and out of sight.

My mother fox visited again, smiling up at me this time. She turned to Grandfather standing there and talked to him, I strained to hear her words. She laughed a gentle laugh of love and vanished in the night.

The ships came back aglow with lightning all around, they traveled South singing shanties as they passed. They laughed that I was still sitting there. I heard my brother's voice among their song. He stepped down from the middle ship and sang them joy for their remaining journey. I cried to know that he had gone. He sent me comfort love and peace, he knew that I was meant to stay.

Frybread filled my nose with shooting sparks down to my stomach. Cloud Walking filled my eyes and offered me a drink of water. Gulping deep I tried to guess if I was dreaming still. My brother's arms went round me, lifting me up from my robe and gently feeding me. I savored the tastes dancing on my tongue and told my stomach to stop being greedy. Food was coming, all the senses of my body reveled in the feeding. If I was dreaming, make it last I prayed.

Soon I knew it was not a dream. I was with my brother. We took our robes and walked back across the prairie, I was amazed there was no sign of water or the ships. That night we sat beside the fire with Cloud Walking and she asked us of our dreams. I told her of my fox and how I couldn't hear the words. Then holding out my hand I showed her the perfect round small stone. My brother jumped to open his palm and show her his stone too. The dream we shared of Brother Crow was told by both our tongues, our hands holding our stones together.

Cloud Walking began a chant, I didn't know its meaning, but reaching in his dress he drew out two small pouches. Giving one to each of us he told us Brother Crow had given us Tunkasi. We should keep them near our hearts and offer them our blessings. They were very sacred and would protect us from anyone who wished us harm. I placed mine in the pouch, looking at the patterns on the leather. My brother shyly smiled that I had seen his quill work, then he did the same with his small stone and we turned and looked into each other's eyes. I placed my pouch around his neck as he lifted his around my head. Cloud Walking placed his hands upon our chests trapping pouch and Tunkasi in between. I felt his chant deep in my bones, deep in ourself, deep in my other heart.

Running Deer told of a dream of buffalo walking on the prairie. They were going North and invited him to go along. He climbed on the back of one great bull and passed into the night. He told he'd seen the summer sun, shivered through the snows, rolled with them in spring rain mud and watched goose peoples passing overhead as leaves began to fall. He played with calves and snorted when Coyote came too close. He felt the breezes on his skin, the warmth from inside the fur as they had lain upon the grasses. One cow had come to him and asked him for his blessing. She was going to stay behind and join the ancients, gifting one Lakota family with herself, with life. He tied a sprig of prairie thyme within her mane and sang her life of glory.

Then traveling South again they left him back where he began, yet hearing the rumbling of the bull's deep laughter he had seen me crying that I had not made the journey. He knew this wasn't one for me and sang me comfort, sang me peace and sang me songs of joy in staying.

I burst to tell her of my dream of ships and passing up adventure. Of my tears at missing out and my brother's song of comfort when he stepped off the vessels.

She pulled us close into her warm and softly humming chest. She petted our cheeks as she chanted love.

I slept dreamless sleep that night held in Cloud Walking's strong male arms.

I knew my brother's sleep was dreamless, he was held safely by her too.

Little Kit and Running Deer links are at