A glimpse at the novel HAVENWOOD TALES Beginnings by Author, D.J. Houston
I stood there on the porch for a spell, getting the feel of the place, before he turned to face me . . .
Then without a blink, he dislodged his pipe from between his teeth and greeted me with an easy grin, as if we were already old friends. I couldn’t contain my surprise; I grinned right back at him. If nothing else, his sparkling teeth were bigger than my toes! And that was funny.
He pointed to offer his water jug.
I happily helped myself, careful to spread my fingers to balance the weight so as not to be disrespectful and slop too much water down my chin. And when he gestured to a grand old porch swing made of twigs and woven grapevines hanging from a log beam overhead, I clambered up and settled in the middle like a royal on a throne . . .
We drifted back and forth in tandem – Mister Walling glowing in his giant rocking chair and I on my swing — as he spoke his name in the soft, straight-forward manner of a people steeped in the heritage of ancient ways and harmony with Nature.
“Here I was called Gabriel White Cloud Walling. It’s a long name.”
So I told him about my own name, spelling it out with pride: Trudie with an “i-e” like my mother Birdie, who was half Shawnee Indian and had been asked to name me Trudie when a messenger from the Great Spirit came to her in the night while she was expecting. My middle name, Elizabeth with a “z” after the first great Queen of England. And McAfee, the surname of my father’s family, who dropped the “a” from “Mac” and fled from Scotland centuries ago to faraway Ireland, where leprechauns live and everything is green.
He told me he was Shawnee Black White Scot himself, and pointed to the symbols carved on his red clay pipe.
“Says here my father’s ancestors were great healers. Peacekeepers, too.”
He tamped the contents of the pipe bowl with the pad of his huge thick thumb, blew lightly over the bowl with measured breaths and took a deep draw. Then leaning back in his rocking chair, he addressed a droll afterthought to the curling wisps of smoke that encircled his head.
“I think my father’s ancestors bragged a lot.”
And after pondering that he offered, “My mother was a half-Black half-Scot. She named me Gabriel. He was a sky creature, said to carry important words between the Great Spirit and Human Beings.
“My mother said Gabriel was an angel. My father said he was a shape shifter.”
He sucked another draw from his pipe and added, “But they both agreed he had wings.” I smiled at the implication. He chuckled from deep down in his throat somewhere, and went on.
“My father’s Shawnee name was too long to remember. So my mother gave me her father’s Scot name. Walling. I don’t know what it means. But it’s easy to say.”
“Walling,” I repeated, losing the “g” in the roof of my mouth just as he had.
“When I got to this world, the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was a white cloud floating in a blue sky. My grandfather said it was an omen. So that’s my Indian name. White Cloud. I like it better than Blue Sky.”
And he chuckled again . . .
CONTINUED: See Paranormal Stories – Inspirations of Gifted Children
Copyright©2006, 2013 D.J. Houston. All Rights Reserved.
An excerpt from HAVENWOOD TALES Beginnings
Mystery Novels – Visionary Fiction – Paranormal Stories – Native American Stories
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