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Son of a Spirit
By Rochelle Jackson
Genre: Visual Arts Level: Elementary 4-6
Category: Student Examples

Rochelle Jackson's maskOnce there was a couple who did not have a child. The woman , whose name was Sister of the Wolf, looked at her friends and family surrounded by their children, while she had none. She went to her friend, who told her to go back to her home and pray to the Great Spirit, the protector of all living creatures, to send her a child.

Sister of the Wolf went home to wait for her husband Big Bear. When he returned, she told him what her friend had told her. So they both prayed to the Great Spirit to send them a child. Later that night, Sister of the Wolf had a vision. In her vision the Great Spirit came to her and told her to go to the edge of the ocean, where he would give her his child.

The Spirit said, "One day he will sit at my side and will be known throughout the world as the son of the Great Spirit."

The next day she went to the edge of the ocean just as the Great Spirit had instructed. She saw a sea lion emerge from the ice. It spoke to her saying, "I am the Great Spirit, protector of all living creatures. Here is my child, take care of him well."

And with that he disappeared into the sea ice. Sister of the Wolf cratered the child in her arms. "I will call you Little Beaver." The little baby only wiggled his nose.

Sister of the Wolf put Little Beaver in a woven basket for a cradle. She covered him in a caribou-skin blanket. "Good night, Little Beaver," she said. He was more hard working than anyone else in the village. His parents were beaming with pride. They toasted to their friends about the marksmanship and how he could out turn anyone else in the village.

One day, Little Beaver went to his parents and said, "I am stronger and faster than anyone in the village. Yet no one likes me for my strength and my speed. I feel like I don't belong here."

"My dear, dear son," said his mother, "there is something you need to know. You are not our son. The Great Spirit gave you to us when you were only a baby. Go out into the world and find your true father. Remember, we will always love you."

"I will remember you always," said Little Beaver. And with that, he hugged his parents and set out to find his true father.

Late that night, after the sun had taken its course, Little Beaver sat under the roof of his tent eating a warm stew. He had been awakened by a strange dream and could not get back to sleep. In his dream, a voice told him to climb the highest peak. There he would find his true father. He pondered this in his head. How could he climb the highest peak, called Mt.Donnelly, which was protected by evil spirits?

Nevertheless, Little Beaver prepared to climb the treacherous mountain. He chose to wear the sturdiest boots, the warmest clothes and to take the sharpest spears. He also made a shield out of driftwood with the thickest sea lion fur for a covering. He made a thick rope out of the thick sinew of 20 sea lions. With his new supplies, Little Beaver hiked to the base of the mountains. His friends and family came to see him off and wish him luck.

A short while after he began the treacherous climb, Little Beaver encountered his first spirit. The spirit breathed fire at him. Little Beaver bounced it back at him with his shield. Thus Little Beaver defeated his first evil spirit.

Little Beaver still had many challenges to overcome, but by using his wits, Little Beaver knew he could make it to the top of Mount Donnelly.

Little Beaver had stopped for a rest a little while later when a second spirit appeared. Little Beaver raised his shield just in time to protect himself from a fiery blast. He fired two arrows with a true aim and killed yet another spirit.

By now, Little Beaver was halfway up the mountain. He threw his super thick rope up to a rocky ledge near the summit. He was halfway up when a flash of light blinded him.

When his sight returned to normal, he saw a polar bear standing in front of him. The polar bear said, "How can you hope to climb this mountain? No mortal can enter the kingdom of the spirits."

"Then how can my father be there?" asked Little Beaver.

"Because he is the Great Spirit, and he stands before you," answered the Great Spirit.

"You are my father?" asked Little Beaver.

"I am," said the Great Spirit. There was a flash of light and instead of the polar bear, there stood the great spirit. "Little Beaver, you are my son and you are one of us," said the Great Spirit.

Little Beaver hugged his father with tears in his eyes. "Come," said his father. "Let us go to our kingdom where you will sit at my side. This is where you truly belong."

Together they went to the land where spirits live. Little Beaver sat at his father's side, calling people when their time came to die by blowing the soul's song through the three holes under his mouth. When the soul hears its song, it leaves the body to go to the paradise that awaits them in the world of the dead, in the voice of the world.

The End

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About the Author: Rochelle Jackson attends Willard Bowman Optional Elementary School in Anchorage, AK.

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