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Winter 2006

I AM

The Story of The Bird People

Bird Calls & Medicine

"This is a story born of too much time to think while driving back and forth to work, and inspiration from Wonderful Grey CoyoteSkunk's Lizards. I had noticed how much like bird's they were in many of their bodily functions, and mannerisms. From this grew a couple of thoughts that wove themselves into a story. "

THE STORY OF THE BIRD PEOPLE

By Zerah'el Dancing Grouse

In the long ago time, when the great lizards and dragons roamed the earth, there were noticed great changes amongst the smaller lizard people. The lizard people of course laid eggs in the sands. The sands warmed the eggs and hardened the exterior protecting them until they hatched. When they did hatch they began to notice that the new young did not look like their previous young. There where changes. Some began standing on just their back legs. Some had deformed arms. Some had short tails and some had no tails at all. Many of the newly hatched lizard babies were so different that their parents could not recognize them as lizard people.

Now, these young ones started growing up and without the guidance of their lizard parents in many cases, so they did not grow up to be proper lizard people. Some took to hiding under bushes to hide from predators and eating what was there. Some took to living in trees and eating what was there. Some climbed mountains and used their unusual forearms to at first balance, and then later flap over rocks and stumps. As time went on, the muscles in their arms would at times lift them in the air or let them glide in the air over things.

Things did not change much for several generations while the "new lizards" were adapting to new ways of living and finding those who were much like them. Dependent upon their own inner natures, some of the new lizards wanted to live life safely and in comfort, and stick to the old ways of life as much as they could. Some of these had some training from their ancestors and tried to continue in the old ways. It was in their nature to hide under the bushes or climb into trees. Their forearms developed only enough to help them into the low branches of trees to sleep or escape danger.

Then there were the ones who ventured a little farther and a little higher. They often could be seen jumping from tree to tree or occasionally gliding with their deformed forearms. By using these techniques they were able to outsmart their predators and hunting became more interesting. Some developed their forearms and found that they could flap their arms and glide farther and farther. Soon they lived most of their lives in the treetops only associating and mating with lizards like they were. Some became fascinated with flowers and noticed that their colors over time changed to match that which they loved so much.

Then there were those who loved the sky. They climbed the highest mountains to be closer. They climbed the highest trees. They climbed the highest trees in the highest mountains and learned to glide and flap more and more, till they no longer just glided and flapped -- they soared.

Now, as you may have guessed, these were the first of the Bird People. Later as the world changed and their lives changed they grew feathers and their noses hardened and changed into beaks. Their bodies slowly changed, generation after generation, adapting to what was most important to them. If safety and comfort was important they became the birds of the ground, like the chickens. If flying amongst the treetops were important to them, they became like the robins and blue jays and cardinals. If soaring across mountain ridges and in the clouds was important to them, they became the eagles and the hawks. If the night was important to them, they became like the owl, who can see best in the dark and to whom the nighttime shares it's realm.

One of my favorite quotes is, "Whatever enchants, also guides and protects." It is from Richard Bach. What enchants us, guides us. What we love we become. What we reach for effects how we grow. This is the story of the Bird people. This is their story of evolution and change.

So... I ask you of the Bird Clan, what are you a Chicken, a blue jay, or an eagle. What is it you love? What is it you reach for? Are you content with what you have? Then it will always be what you've got. Do your thoughts soar with Love, with Great Spirit? It has been said "you are what you eat." But, I believe that in this story you could say that, "you become what you think and what you love."

Please notice that the very deformities that separated them from the "norm", was the very thing that led to change and development. What may have started as their shame, lead them to glorious new changes. What began as rejection caused them to develop beyond their original plan. Let us learn from our brothers. What may be something we mourn, may guide us to our greatest joy.

At this point I think that I have answered an age-old question - which came first the Chicken or the egg? In my mind it must have been the egg-- for so how we think -- we grow.

Mitakuye Oyas'sin,
Zerah'el Dancing Grouse 1/27-28/2003

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
Dedicated to the BirdClan
Thank you to the many "Birdies" who have given me much to think upon. This was a story that I had been thinking on for sometime now, and all of a sudden today it had to be written and posted. I have a feeling it was written for one of you as much as for myself. I hope it helps.

Zerah'el Dancing Grouse is an honored member and story teller of the Bird Clan of East Central Alabama. Wonderful Grey CoyoteSkunk crossed over to the happy hunting grounds January 14, 2003. DancingGrouse has been the caretaker of his lizards since his leaving.

To learn more about the Bird Clan of East Central Alabama, check out their web site at http://www.birdclan.org.

For more information about the Free Cherokee
contact: Chief Spirit Shadow