Chapter 26: The
Wind Witch by Sheila L. Chingwa
Sarah woke the next morning to a knocking on her window. She covered her eyes to shield the light as she focused onto the window ledge to see an old barn owl sitting outside. Sarah rose and opened the window and the bird hopped in and placed an envelope in her hand. She turn the envelope over and broke the seal and took out the contents.
You and your party residing at the cabin are required to attend a council meeting at 2 pm. Please arrive early.
Sarah coaxed the owl to perch on her shoulder and headed to the kitchen with the letter in her hand. The light of the kitchen blinded Sarah and the noise of people talking caused Sarah's head to swirl as she tried comprehend their words. Mary stopped and looked over to Sarah and stopped talking to Verna.
"Good morning Sarah!" Mary said. The morning greeting to Sarah was an announcement to those in the room.
Sarah smiled and greeted Mary in return. She looked around the room and smiled at all those who were waiting for her to wake. Sarah jumped when the owl screeched her ear.
"Geeze! Okay! I will show them." Said Sarah.
Sarah lifted her letter, "We, all of us, have been summoned to the council chamber at 2 p.m. today."
The uncomfortable shifting of her friends' mood clearly felt heavy to them. They looked at each other then back to Sarah. The confused look on their faces at her announcement made Sarah smile.
"All of us?" Jack said in an astonished manner, "I have never been there."
"Good God. How are we all going to get there in time?" Said Verna.
Markus and Mary smiled at each other. "Well, we can use the fire." Mary walked to the fireplace and pulled down a jar from the mantle. "I think we would be safe enough to do so."
"Lets get Sarah fed and we all need to get ready to go." said Verna.
In a furry, the room began to bustle with excitement and plans. Wizards and witches changed into fancier clothes and stood ready to move at a moment's notice. Verna cleaned Sarah's plate and sent it back to the cabinet. Once her chore was done, she and Shinning Sun, escorted Sarah back to her room.
Shinning Sun sat on the bed in a tired manner. "I swear, I am getting too old for this." She reached down and grabbed her old backpack and brought it to her chest. "I have a gift for you." She handed Sarah the bag with a sigh.
Sarah opened the bag and a splash of yellow material emerged through the opening. She reached out and found a yellow and black shirt beaded with the finest decoration she had ever seen. On the back, was an turtle hand stitched into the shirt. She laid it on the bed and threw her arms around Shinning Sun.
"Thank you! This is the finest shirt I have ever known!" She said as she hugged the old lady lovingly.
"Verna, Let's get our little witch ready for the council." Said Shining star as she reveled in Sarah's loving hug.
The ladies began, leggings, a matching skirt, beaded hair ties and other adornments was carefully placed on her. The two ladies stood back looking lovingly at Sarah. With a brief moment, they admired the young woman she was. Sarah beamed from the inside out as she stood proudly as a Native American maiden.
Mary opened the door to see Sarah standing in her full regalia dress. "Oh, my girl. You are so beautiful. The men are waiting and it is almost time to go."
Sarah smiled and flowed Mary from her room. Jacque looked up to see Mary step aside to reveal Sarah all dressed in her yellow brilliance. His eyes grew wide and he held his hand to his chest.
"Ah, my little one, are you a sight to see!" He reached his hand out to her and she walked over to him. "I am so proud of you. After all you have been through, look at how wonderful you have become." He pulled her into his arm and wrapped her in a loving hug.
She leaned back and reached up to his scar and ran her finger over his cheek, "Thank you for everything. You have done so much for me. I had forgotten that I could heal until you reminded me. If you didn't remind me, I think Ralph would have died." She said as a tear rolled down her cheek. "I had forgotten."
Jack stood watching the pair as he took out his drum. He walked to the fire and began to drum a low soft drumming and looked into the fire. He stopped and stood and walked to the door and opened it. Through the door's opening, everyone could see a massive eagle fly and land on the stoop. With a loud squawking screech it walked into the room.
Jack lowered himself to the floor and offered his arm to the bird. With a hop, the bird jumped onto his arm. Jack lifted the bird and walked to stand in front of Sarah.
"My dear eagle friend, I present to you Sarah Shingwak, the wind witch. I ask for a feather for her." Jack said to the bird.
The eagle turned its head from side to side. One eye looked at Sarah then turned the other eye to look at the child standing before him. His sharp feet dug into Jacks' arm as he turned his back to Sarah. A moment later, it began to shift it's wings and opened them into wide. Sarah's eyes widened as she looked at the wide wing span. The eagle bowed its head and allowed one feather fall from its wing and Sarah caught it as it fell from its wing.
Sarah stood looking at the feather in her hand. Her eyes looked at its dark feather and her hands ran her fingers across the tattered edges. She held the feather to her forehead and felt its energy surge through her. She felt the connection, she felt loved and honored. She opened her eyes and looked at the bird.
"Thank you, dear eagle, for your gift and acceptance." Sarah said to the bird.
Jack smiled at Sarah and walked to the door with his friend on his arm. Everyone watched as the medicine man and the bird touch head to head for a moment. Jack raised his arm and the bird took flight. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a medicine bag and took a pinch of tobacco and released it into the air giving thanks to the sacred bird.
Robert arrived to see the bird fly into the sun and he turned towards the cabin in confusion. He rushed to the cabin and everyone stood silently looking at Sarah. His eyes caught the feather that Sarah held in her hand. His eyes widened as he looked to Jack.
"My friend, the eagle gave a feather?" he said as he walked to Jack.
"Yes, I knew it was time. After all we've seen last night, I couldn't ignore her truth so I asked the eagle to assess her. He agreed and gave one to her.", said Jack to his friend.
Robert shook his head, "If the day didn't get any more epic, I don't know what would." She smiled at Sarah and shook his head, "My friends, it is time to go."
One by one, people disappeared into the fire. The magic folk assist each child or Native Elder navigate the travel to the council. Pair by pair, Sarah watched her friends disappear. Jacque grabbed some powder and Sarah's hand, and they swirled through the spirit world. Sarah opened her eyes as the fire swirled around her. Faces appeared in the flames, each face presented her with an approving smile as the fire drove her on.
Sarah and Jacque ended up in a hallway out side of the chamber. Sarah's eyes drew wide as she peered around the chamber. She saw the boys sitting in the cloth covered chairs along the side of the window. Peter smiled and waved her over. Sarah glanced up at Jacque and he nodded in approval.
Peter saw Sarah walking towards him and he took out his note pad. "Have you ever seen anything so grand?" He wrote and handed the note to Sarah.
Sarah read the note and shook her head, "no".
People began to poor in. Robes of wizards flashed in front of the children and they became overwhelmed. Noise of conversation grew and Sarah's nerves began to rise. The children scooted closer to each other for support. Verna, seeing the children's distress, walked over to gather them around her. Sarah and the boys stood in her arms and felt safe and secure in the mist of the chaotic nature of such a gathering.
The large door opened and people started piling into the space. Wizards and witched took their seats and they all silenced themselves as they entered the room. Verna looked at the children and straightened their clothes and stood beaming down at them.
"It is time. Only speak when you're spoken to." she said as she led the children into the room.
The children entered to the room. All eyes focused onto them. Sarah looked from side to side and saw stoic expressions were worn on their faces. Verna walked them down the isle to come to stand in front of Mistress Raven. Sarah looked up at the beautiful lady sitting in a chamber chair. Her brown skin glowed as she openly smiled at the children.
"Welcome, my brothers and sisters. We summoned you here for something different than what we will be discussing today. The story we heard about the events last night takes precedent at this time." She said as she looked at Sarah.
Robert cleared his throat. "Mistress Raven, I must add to the story."
"What do you mean, Robert" She said in a inquiring tone.
Robert walked over the Jack and steadied his gaze on his medicine man friend, "Jack called the eagle and asked to bless Sarah with an eagle feather." He turned to Sarah, "Show them your feather."
Sarah reached into a little side bag and drew out the feather and held it in her hand. She lowered here eyes and held the feather up for those in the room to see. Mistress Raven rose to her feet and walked up to her. She reached down and lifted her chin to meet her own.
"Child, it is clear to me that the three of you need the council's protection as you grow and learn." She smiled down at the child. "I am sorry to say, that we might have to bring the three of you into the school for safe keeping."
"You will not!" Said Robert firmly. "They will not be put into another school. They need to be taught our ways. Your school doesn't have the lessons they need."
Mistress Raven turned her gaze to Robert, "What do you suggest then?"
Robert's gaze fixed on Mistress Raven's eyes and walked to her. As he walked he reached into his vest pocket and produced a piece of paper. He unfolded the paper and handed to her. She took the paper and began to read. Her eyes widened and she looked around the room with surprise. She briskly turned and walked back to her seat and she sat down in contemplation.
"Do the kids know?" She said as she surmised the children.
"No, they don't." Robert said.
Robert turned to Markus and Mary, "It is time you talk to the kids."
The couple turned to each other and Markus nodded to his wife. "It is time."
Mary and Markus walked up to the children and kneeled down in front of them. The children looked down at them confused. They could see the two of them were nervous as they took hold of their hands.
"We are sorry you have lost your parents. We have been so happy to have you in our home. You have become family. We've been talking to Robert and he is allowing us adopting you three.", said Marcus.
"That is, if you want to be a part of our family." Said Mary.
The children's eyes searched the other's face. Peter's smile grew wide and his eyes shown brilliantly bright. Chavo stood with his arms crossed looking around the room in thought. Sarah's head began to swim with the thoughts of being a part of their family. The looked side to side in total surprise.
Mistress Raven watched the couple and the children with a smile. The air hung still as the children considered the proposal. The silence became awkward and the children did not speak.
"Well, you three, do you agree to an adoption?" Mistress Raven said.
Peter withdrew his note pad from his pocket and began to scribble the words and handed the note to Markus. The only word written on the note pad was, "Yes!"
Markus' eyes squinted with a smile as he looked at his wife. "We have our first Yes, my love."
Mary looked up to Chavo who was standing in a protective manner, "Chavo, we know this will be hard for you. Please, Chavo, know we will make sure to keep the three of you well.
Chavo's eyes met Mary's. "Can I keep my family's name?"
"Of course you can, we will have to hyphenate it. But yes, if you can accept that?" She said to the boy.
Chavo shook his head, "I do not know what you mean, hyphenate?"
"Well," she flicked her wand and Chavo Dowagac-Martin appeared in the air.
Chavo stood looking at his name shimmering in the air. With a smile, he lowered his eyes to Mary and said, "Only," he shuffled his feet, "Only if I can call you mom and not Mary."
Mary's eyes flooded with tears as she looked into Chavo's pleading eyes, "I would be honored to be called your mom." She turned to Markus, "I believe we have our second yes." She said beaming with love.
Sarah looked over to Jacque. He smiled at her and nodded. She took a deep breath and blew on her feather and closed her eyes to consult the feather. She saw a visions of happy moments that she and the boys would have. She opened her eyes and fixed on the couple.
"I have chosen. I agree to be Miss Sarah Shingwak-Martin." she said with a smile.
A cheer rose through the council at Sarah's announcement. Wizard's wands sent celebration sparks fly through the air. Jack worked to begin a smudge to sanctify the agreement. Shinning Sun began to drum and the children were led to the table to watch as the adoption papers were being signed. They beamed at each other as one happy family.
"It is done!" announced Mistress Raven. "Let's feast in honor of this wonderful celebration!"
There wasn't a dry eye in the room as the council members came up to meet the children and to congratulate the adopting couple. After a while, wizards and witches departed full and happy. The day wore on the children and they too left the chamber room to go home.
About the author
Welcome to my world.
Welcome to my thoughts.
I am proud to be a Native American Elder born and raised in Northern Michigan. Thanks to my hard work I have a B.A. in Education and a Masters in Administration and Supervision in Education.