I wanted to give something of my past to my grandson.
So I took him into the woods, to a quiet spot.
Seated at my feet he listened as I told him
of the powers that were given to each creature.
He moved not a muscle as I explained
how the woods had always provided us
with food, homes, comfort, and religion.
He was awed when I related to him
how the wolf became our guardian,
and when I told him that I would sing
the sacred wolf song over him, he was overjoyed.
In my song, I appealed to the wolf
to come and preside over us
while I would perform the wolf ceremony
so that the bondage between my grandson
and the wolf would be lifelong.
In my voice was the hope that clings to every heartbeat.
In my words were the powers I inherited from my forefathers.
In my cupped hands lay a spruce seed-- the link to
In my eyes sparkled love.
And the song floated on the sun's rays from tree
When I had ended,
it was if the whole world listened with us
to hear the wolf's reply.
We waited a long time
but none came.
Again I sang,
humbly but as invitingly as I could,
until my throat ached and my voice gave out.
All of a sudden
I realized why no wolves
had heard my sacred song.
There were none left!
My heart filled with tears.
I could no longer give my
in the past, our past.
At last I could whisper to him: " It is finished!"
"Can I go home now?" He asked,
checking his watch to see if he
would still be in time to
catch his favorite program on TV.
I watched him disappear and wept in silence.
All is finished!
by Chief Dan George (chief of the Salish
Band in Burrard Inlet, B.C.)
Chief Dan George was born Geswanouth Slahoot, on
July 24, 1899, in North Vancouver, B.C. and died September 23, 1981, Vancouver,
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