21: INITIATION

And then one day as spring was merging into summer, another newcomer appeared at the Crow 'n Bear. Ezekiel il Eagle, with wings of glint and talons of steel, had taken up residence in a tall Douglas fir snag. From that perch he launched to sail on thermals and swoop onto Wraith Lake, from which he rose with a fist full of bass.

Wise Old and CawCawJoe watched him from a distance, wondering if he would be a permanent resident, and how he was going to fit in among the Spanakopiti and the Zom. They didn't have to wait long. One fine day, as they sat chatting on a Doug fir branch, Ezekiel flapped by and settled down between them.

"So, how does a person get in with the locals around here?" asked Ezekiel.

"Well, you have to watch and wait and bide your time and demonstrate your good will," answered W.O.

"I can do that," responded Ezekiel.

"And you have to pay the initiation fee," said CawCawJoe.

"How much?" inquired Zeke.

"One really nice feather would do. An Important Person has made a wish."

"No problem," said the eagle, and he set about to preening. "Here," he said with his beak clenched around a particularly fine flight feather. "Vill fis do?"

"That will do," said Wise Old, who handed the feather to CawCawJoe, who immediately flew with it to Spanakopitae.

Eagles, of course, have eagle eyes, and Ezekiel tracked the exchange to its completion. "Good-looking woman," he said. "But what's she want with my feather?"

"Patience brings information and information brings wisdom," counseled Wise Old. "Watch and see."

So with his telescopic vision, keen as an eagle, Ezekiel watched as Spanakopitae, sitting on her sunny verandah, bound the feather into a deerskin hatband.

Peering intently, he tracked her as she wrapped the hatband in glittery paper.

And squinting just a little (for the print was rather small), he saw her make out a gift tag.

"For the DreamCatcher," it said.

22: Well Enough
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