Updated: Apr 26
The story begins with a young native boy named Ahusaka. He was raised in a small village surrounded by mountains, lush forests and springs far as the eye can see. His whole life was immersed in the customs of the village. He learned how to hunt, ride horses, and learn the songs of his tribe. However, that was still not enough, as he wanted to delve deeper into his roots. One day he visits one of the elders of his tribe and asks, “How did the world come to be?” One of the village elders’ answers by taking him to the nearest river during the night. The stars were out and the moon was full. She then tells the story of Creation. The elder describes the water, the rocks, the mountains and all the living creatures that reside within. The elder plays her drum for the little one telling him “This is our mothers’ heartbeat.” She tells Ahusaka to place his hands in the river. “That is our mother’s life force. Water is life which sustains all living things.” He then tells Ahusaka to close his eyes. He hears the chirping of the night birds and the howl of the wolves. “Those are our mothers’ children, like us. Even though we hunt animals for food, we learn to take what we need and to make sure we give back, so our mother can provide again.” The elder and Ahusaka continue to sit on the grassy field and gaze upon the starry night sky.
The elder of the village knew that what she taught Ahusaka last night was not enough to satisfy his thirst for knowledge. So the next day, she took him from the village and they both went to visit one of their sacred caves. Within the cave told the secret of how the world began. The young one goes into the cave unaware of what to expect. As he journeys further down the path, it gets darker and darker. The light where the entrance was beginning to fade. He is scared and unsure, until he encounters a bigger terrain buried deep within. He lifted his torch and noticed strange drawings on the wall. The drawings on the stone wall showed humans communicating with all living beings. They were playing a strange instrument that was shown to have magic powers. The drawings spoke of a time when all living things; humans, animals, and even the plants could all understand each other. Ahusaka was fascinated by this and dreamed of one day retaining this forgotten magic. He found his way out of the cave and spoke of what he saw to the village elder. “What you saw in the caves was a powerful flute that had the ability to communicate with all living things.” Ahusaka asked if there was any way to regain this power and return what was lost to the world. The elder responded; “There is a forest that is a three-day journey from here beyond the mountains. Look for the Elder Tree. It is said to have been around since before humans roamed the earth.” Ahusaka was later given a map to the forest and a drawing of the flute that had a set of instructions. The elder then told him “Follow the flow of the river. Cross the mountain and find the path again from the highest peak. It will guide you to where you need to go.” Ahusaka looked out to the mountains and he saw the sun rising from behind. His eyes glimmered with hope and determination that this was his true purpose.
This first day has passed since his departure from the village. The journey becomes difficult and the young native starts to lose his way. He takes refuge near a cave close to the top of the mountain. He slowly begins to fall asleep and begins to dream. He sees himself in a dark red realm with no one in sight. Soon after, he sees these terrifying creatures with big fangs and demon red eyes devouring a corpse. They look at him with hunger and desire and begin to run towards him. The young Ahusaka sees no exit in sight. He stands there terrified and petrified thinking that this was his demise. Until soon after, he sees a white spirit with long black hair, black and white makeup with a thorn crown on her head. She sees the creatures running towards them and she closes her eyes. Her eyes went from a dark brown to a milky white. Her gaze drives the monsters away leaving the young boy speechless. He wakes up in a cold sweat not believing it was a dream. He looks around the cave with no one in sight. He steps outside and the sun was shining. Soon after, he notices something flying from the sun towards him. It was small and he couldn’t make out what it was. It happened to be a little blue bird and it was flying around him in circles. It was said that these blue birds served as guides for lost travelers who needed to find their path again. The two found their way onto the highest peak of the mountain and found the river leading back to the path.
For the next two days, both Ahusaka and the little blue bird were travel companions. They traveled through torrential lands and had to be on their guard at all times. Until the time came when they finally reached the front of the forest that was home to the sacred trees. “This was it” said Ahusaka. These weren’t like the trees back home. These were trees so big and tall that they could almost reach the sky. The tree trunks were massive and leaves from above could block out the sun. They ventured further to find the Elder Tree. He looked for hours with no luck in sight. Until the little bird started chirping uncontrollably. Ahusaka began running towards it. He saw the Elder Tree standing alone away from the rest. He stood still for a moment of pause not believing his own eyes. Ahusaka then walked closer and began hearing voices. The tree itself was speaking to him inside his head. “Hello young one. I’ve been expecting you.” Ahusaka was petrified wondering how this was possible. “For millennia, I have kept this forest safe from those who dare to do it harm. I have seen your intentions, for they are pure.” Ahusaka shows the Elder Tree the picture of the flute given to him by the elder. “Ah, you seek to find what was lost so long ago. I can help you.” The Elder Tree took a piece of bark from its trunk and gave it to Ahusaka. He spent the next several days carving, measuring, piercing the holes and finally binding the flute together. He presented the final piece to the Elder Tree. Once again, it reached out one of its branches and touched the flute. It soon began to glow with a bright golden light. “I have blessed the flute with my magic. Now you are ready to truly begin your journey.” Ahusaka began playing the flute and it was unlike anything he could’ve imagined. The leaves began to make a spiral and the trees began to move as if the were dancing.
Ahusaka stopped playing and soon after everything began to calm down again. He wondered what had just happened until he heard another voice coming from nowhere. “Hello, can you hear me now?” Ahusaka looked up and noticed the blue bird sitting on top of the branches looking down at him. “Did…did you just speak?” “Well of course I can speak.” “You just weren’t listening.” “I am Kaya.” Ahusaka took a moment to look at the flute in his hand, remembering all the stories he learned from the elders. “This truly does have magic powers.” The Elder Tree spoke to him again. “You have unlocked the power to connect in both this world and the spirit world. However, your journey is not yet complete. You must help regain what was once lost so long ago.” Ahusaka and Kaya see the trees beginning to open up which lead them to another path. “This path will guide to those who need to learn from you. You also have much to learn from them.” Both Ahusaka and Kaya both set off into the next step into the journey.
As they embark on their next journey, Ahusaka asks Kaya “How did this world lose its way?” Kaya took a moment of pause. “Because humanity saw this power that you’re carrying as an opportunity to control and destroy life.” “Because of this, the Elder Tree closed off connection between man, beasts and the spirit realm. But now this is your chance to bring life back into the world again. You can give them a reason to come back and stay this time.” As the day was coming to an end, they both decided to take refuge in a nearby cave. Kaya told Ahusaka that this was no ordinary cave. There lied a series of tunnels that led to a vast hidden ocean. “I will take you to those who gifted the world with song. I will take you to the whales. Theirs is the purest of melodies.” The whales love to sing and the best way to greet them is by playing them a song. Ahuska discovered a boat in the caves that they would need for their journey. In the dark of the night, Ahusaka takes the boat out to the ocean. He and Kaya set sail. However, they see nothing but darkness. Kaya told him to play his flute for them because they love to hear music. Ahuska chooses to play an old lullaby passed down by his people which honors the ocean. As he plays, he begins to hear singing and it gets closer and closer. A herd of whales began swimming under his boat and gifted him a lullaby passed down by their people. One whale came to the surface and introduced herself to the boy and the little bird. “It’s been a long time since I’ve heard the power of the flute.” “I am honored to hear from a fellow lover of music.” The rest of the herd rises to the surface and they all join to sing an ancient melody so strong that even the land dwellers flocked to the shore to witness the event. It’s not often the ocean dwellers come to the surface to sing. The leader of the herd asked Ahusaka to tell their story to the surface dwellers.
The herd of whales later guided Ahuska and Kaya back to land, and the boy thanked them for gifting him the true nature of song. “This is a story that will last for generations to come,” Ahuska said to himself. The herd soon swam away into the starry night and disappeared into the deep dark ocean. The boy and the bird then traveled through a grassy field. It is still night and the stars were out. The moon is full and is at its peak. As they walk through the fields, beings of light came up from the grass. The boy thought they were stars that had fallen from the sky. Soon, a spirit comes to greet them both to tell him that they are stars ready to rise up and join the afterlife. The Being appeared as a beautiful woman whose peaceful radiance filled the grassy field. She looked very familiar to Ahusaka. Then it struck him. “It was you! You were the one who saved me from those demons.” “Indeed I am” said the spirit. “I was once alive like you, and yearned to explore the world. I once walked the same path as yours many years ago. When it was my time, these spirits rose up to greet me after my passing. Now I am tasked to guide them to the next plane and to reunite them with the stars.” They walked together until the grassy path comes to an end. “I shall see you again young one, for now you must complete your journey and return to your people.” “Beware of the demons,” she said. They will devour your lifeforce and turn you into one of them if you are not careful.” As he turns back to say goodbye, he saw that she had vanished along with the other rising stars.
Ahusaka and Kaya walk out of the field as they see the last of the stars ascend into the heavens. It was another two-day journey to return to Ahusakas’ home. As the two were continuing their journey, they felt a cold chill down their spine. The air began to get colder and soon after started to see their breath. Kaya warned Ahusaka “We need to move now!” Both began to move faster until they started to hear roars from miles away. The path continues to get colder and darker with every step. Ahusaka continues to run, until he cuts himself from all the branches he passes by. Kaya warns him that they’re attracted by the scent of blood and they need to keep moving. As they were running, the creatures they see from afar were the same from the dream. Demon red eyes, distorted faces and big sharp teeth. They begin to catch up to Ahusaka and Kaya until one of them grabs Ahusaka from the leg. They pull him into a corner and Ahusaka tries his best to fight it off. He kicks it and uses his torch to ward it off. One of them grabs the flute from behind him and ends up breaking the flute in two. “Ahusaka could see the magic leaving the flute and could no longer hear what Kaya was saying. With no hope in sight, he begins to wonder if this was how it would end. All of a sudden, he notices an elderly woman approaching from a distance with a walking stick and a lamp. She sees the boy and the creatures he’s fighting off and begins to smile. “Oh dear, what have you’ve gotten yourself into now?” The creatures look at her confused, but with ravenous hunger. They storm right at her attempting to devour the elderly woman. But with one tap of her walking stick, a big light appears nearly blinding the demons and casts them away. Ahusaka laid back on the tree trunk wounded and tired but relieved. The elderly woman walked closer to him and noticed his wounds. “Come with me child.”
They journey through the woods as they see a wigwam from a distance. It was located far from any nearby village and surrounding it were gardens and small ponds. The elderly woman laid the Ahusaka on the floor, tending to his wounds. “I see you have encountered the Lost Ones.” Confused Ahusaka asked “What do you mean?” “They were once human, until they succumbed to greed and hatred. They’ve lost their sense of self and the only thing that keeps them alive now is by devouring the essence of others.” Ahusaka said to himself “Could these be the same creatures the spirit warned me about?” The old woman said to him, “Sleep now young one, you have a long journey ahead of you.” The next morning Ahusaka was healed and stepped out of the wigwam. He saw the elderly women by the gardens harvesting herbs and plants. Without looking at him she said “Ah, you’re awake. Come and help me with these herbs.” Ahusaka got down on his knees and helped her harvest. “What a beautiful home you have. But doesn’t it get lonely?” The elderly woman responded, “Of course not.” “I have all the company I could ever need.” “I am Grey Goose.” “I also see you have a companion with you. How are you Kaya?” Kaya was sitting on top of the branches looking down from above. All Ahusaka could hear was the chirping coming from her. The old woman responded. “Oh yes, I know you two have been through a lot together.” I also know you Ahusaka.” She continued picking plants with a big smile on her face.
“Oh I love the garden.” “Such a treasure these plants bring to myself and to the animals here.” Before Ahusaka could speak, she interrupted by saying “I know what troubles you young one. I see you have encountered the Elder Tree.” Ahusaka asked “How is it you know about the Elder Tree?” “Oh I’ve been around a while.” “Why don’t you show me the flute you’ve been carrying and play for me?” “I can’t” said the boy. He then shows her the broken pieces of the flute. Without the Elder Tree’s magic, I’m powerless.” “I won’t be able to connect with the spirits and the creatures who live here. “Is that right?” “The Elder tree did more than just bless the flute. Ahusaka stood there confused by what she was saying. “Give me your hands.” He held out her hand with hers underneath. Moments later, a powerful glow came from the palms of his hands. Moments later, it vanished. “Now do you see? You’ve had this power all along. The Elder Tree didn’t give you this power, but simply opened your mind to it.” She told him to go into the woods and find suitable material for making another one. And so he did. He spent the next few days doing the same process as before. Nightfall came and Ahusaka arrived to see Grey Goose sitting by a fire. She looked up and saw him presenting her with the newly constructed instrument. She then asks Ahusaka to play once more. He plays for her and she listens and begins to look to the sky. Ahusaka looks up and sees streams of colors dancing into the night sky. He could soon hear a familiar voice from a distance. “How is this possible” asked Kaya? Filled with joy Ahsuaka says “It worked!” Both rejoiced and noticed the skies beginning to change. “The ancestors are listening, '' Gray Goose said. Ahusaka finishes his song and she looks at him in the eye with a smile on her face and sighed. “Ahh, this brings back memories.” She later disappears in the blink of an eye as if she was never there. Sitting there confused, Ahsuaka asked to himself “Where did she go? Was I dreaming?”
Still at awe about what happened, Ahusaka couldn’t begin to lose his focus. Now that he had regained his powers and constructed a new flute, he was ready to finish his journey once and for all. He had so many stories to tell his people. So many secrets that were lost for generations. Now that he understood the secret, he could finally restore what was lost to his tribe. Daylight arrives and they both embark on the final journey together. As Ahusaka and Kaya find their way out of the woods, a large black shadow consumes them. They turn around and it happened to be a large brown bear. Ahusaka prepares to flee but it did not attack. The bear got on all fours and spoke with a calm voice. “I am Lone Claw, protector of the forest.” Ahusaka responded, “Oh great bear, I seek safe passage back to my homeland.” “Come with me child,” she said. They ventured together and told each other all the places they’ve seen and the people they’ve met. “So you’ve met Grey Goose” asked Lone Claw? “You know her?” asked Ahusaka? “Only stories,” she said. “She is a powerful spirit and medicine woman who heals those who are broken. The fact she revealed herself to you, especially in human form, is quite rare.”
Night had come and they were close to coming out of the woods. Lone Claw stops and Ahusaka looks at her. She is seen sniffing up in the air. He soon sees his own breath once again as it turns cold. Lone Claw then shouts to the boy “Run!” She tells him to get on her back and begin to flee. Looking back, Ahusaka see the Lost Ones running towards them. They appeared deadlier and hungrier than the last time. As they were running, they both see more of them from up ahead. They were surrounded with nowhere to go. Lone Claw stands on her two legs and releases a deafening roar that made them pause for an instant. She then begins to fight them off. They begin to surround and try to overpower her. She swings her paws around clawing, biting and ripping them to pieces. Ahusaka comes in to fight them off as well with fire and spears he made. In time the demons began to flee, except one. One had already been wounded by her. Both Ahusaka and Lone Claw saw one still alive lying near a tree trunk. They approached it as it was bleeding out and close to death. As Ahusaka got closer, it seemed different as it was smaller compared to the others. This ones’ eyes were also amber compared to red. Lone Claw said to him “Leave this one, it will die momentarily.” Until he had the idea to take out his flute and play in front of the demon. Lone Claw looked surprised “You have a flute blessed by the Elder Tree?” “Something like that,” said Ahusaka. He played in front of the demon. As he was playing, Lone Claw looked around and noticed the wind beginning to pick up, the trees beginning to move and the skies later shining with color. She looked back at the demon to see a gold aura covering every part of its body. When it was fully covered it got brighter and brighter until it covered the entire forest. When it stopped, Lone Claw and Ahusaka looked at the demon only to find out it was a little girl lying asleep on the ground. The wounds Lone Claw inflicted on her were gone.
After seeing it was only a child, Ahusaka was remembering back to what Grey Goose said, as they were once human who lost their way. There was a moment of pause between him and the child. Wondering if it was safe for him to approach her. He cradled the little girls’ head and her eyes slowly began to open. “What is your name” he asked? “Can you remember?” She responds in a tired voice. “Kiona, my name is Kiona.” “What was the last thing you remember?” “The last thing I remember was running. There were these terrifying beasts that consumed the people of my village. My family was there fighting them off so I could escape. I ran for miles hoping I was out of sight. Days went by and I had nowhere to go. All I could feel was loneliness, grief and rage. Until suddenly, everything went cold and dark. I no longer felt like myself.” Both Ahusaka and Kaya looked at each other with a confirmed look and then back to her. “You have nothing to fear, child. You are safe. In fact, you will never be alone again.” Ahusaka nourished her back to health and Lone Claw helped escort them all out of the woods.
Ahusaka, Kaya, Kiona and Lone Claw were just miles beyond the border to the village. “It’s autumn, '' Lone Claw said. “This is my favorite time of year as the trees are more colorful than ever.” Ahusaka sees smoke rising on the other side of a hill. “Were almost there” shouted Ahusaka! Both him and Kiona climb off Lone Claws’ back and run out of the woods closer to the hill which led to the village. As Kiona runs further ahead, Ahusaka looks back to see Lone Claw and Kaya just standing there. He asked why they weren’t coming. Kaya replied “I must go back to my people. My work here is finished.” “I must return as well. For the forest needs protecting.” Ahusaka is sad, yet came to terms with their decision. "Place a small totem of me on your flute so I will always be with you. Then you will always see me dancing to your music." “Same for me” said Lone Claw. Kaya later flies away into the sun while Lone Claw is seen walking back to the forest. Both Ahusaka and Kiona say their final goodbyes and turn back to the direction of the village. They both travel over the hill and see the entire village, the same as it was. Both look at each other and back to the village as they walk together. The elder sees the two walking together and brings out the rest of the village to welcome them. “You are home young one. And who might this be?” Kiona is seen hiding behind Ahusaka’s back as she slowly approaches from behind. With a timid voice she responds “Ki…Kiona.” The elder gets on her knees and looks at her in the eyes. With a big smile she says “You too are home.” Years have passed, and new elders were elected. Ahusaka, now an older man, was elected a tribal elder. He would gather all the children and tell stories of all his adventures. He would be tasked with teaching younger generations on how to make flutes and the magic behind them. Kiona, now an adult, became the new medicine woman helping the sick and the lost. The village traveled to new places and encountered new wildlife. The children would be seen playing music for the birds. The birds would be dancing to the rhythm of the melody. As the tribe was traveling on horseback, Ahusaka looks the other way and sees a familiar face standing from the hills. It was Grey Goose standing there along with Kaya who was on her shoulder. She was seen smiling and laughing. She then gave him the slightest of nods. Ahusaka grinned and returned the nod. Once again, she and Kaya fade into the wind. Ahusaka, still smiling on his face, looked forward again to the path as this was not the end, but only the beginning.