Thomas Doty – Storyteller

Read More Excerpts

Image.

Return to Main Page  |  Refresh

Image.

From Book One

"HEY!" shouts Coyote to Salmon, "You've got a long swim ahead of you, many days and many nights. You will never feel alone if you look up to the sky after dark. That's what I do. Ha! It's fun to point my long nose into the air. You'll see stars, Salmon, thousands, and thousands of stars. Each one has a story. You have a story too. Stories and stars remind us of where we've been, and where we are going."

Read in Spanish


Image.

From Book Two

"Why, yes. I travel with the unseen. I ramble upriver with Salmon, my underwater friend. He's on a long journey to Boundary Springs, high in the Story Mountains where everything begins. I also travel with Red-Tailed Hawk who keeps watch from the air. She's got mighty eyes and a loud screech. With her as our lookout, we ground-walkers and river-swimmers always know what lies ahead."

* * * * *

Days shorten. Tree People hold their breath. Autumn walks along the river and paints each leaf red or gold. In spite of his swollen toe, Coyote is so happy to have company along the trail that he dashes behind trees, splashes through creeks, and leaps over rocks to wheedle Deer Woman into a game of Hide and Seek.

"Hey, Deer! Bet you can't find me!" ... Coyote loves games where he gets to be found.

* * * * *

Hawk sees the world as a big, big place. As Watcher, she scans activity in six directions: Upriver, Downriver, Over Her Right Wing, Over Her Left Wing, High, and Low. Unlike river dwellers, shoreline dwellers, forest dwellers, or underground dwellers, her views have no beginning and no end.

Read in Spanish


Image.

From Book Three

Salmon is exhausted and struggling. He loses ground in the rascally currents, whipped into rapids under the storm's battering rain. No sound can penetrate the pitch and intensity of the fuming winds. Animal People huddle, Winged People alight undercover, and tiny creatures of the soil and shore dig deeper into soggy tunnels and burrows.

* * * * *

It is vital that River Hawk put Salmon's needs ahead of his own. He must help Salmon rest and replenish his bedraggled body.

"Tomorrow, when the storm passes," Hawk tells him, "I will return you to the river to resume your journey with the others, toward the rising sun, Morning Star's home."

* * * * *

Dusk calls in darkness. Overhead a lone star breaks through parting clouds. Then another. And another. Though unlikely companions, a fish and a fisherman spend the night side-by-side in a rain pool high above the river. Under shifting skies, they tell each other story after story. Eventually the storm tires, and blows itself out. Earth, and her creatures, exhale.

Read in Spanish


Image.

From Book Four

"I hear roots waking up," says Bear in his low, slow voice. "I smell sap moving in the trees. Sunshine brings back my shadow. My paw prints make patterns in melting snow. Today, I turn the wheel of the seasons from winter to spring. Today, we leave dark and cold behind us and move toward their opposites, light and heat." With this announcement, something happens that has happened for as long as stories have been told. Sounds of spring instantly saturate the world, and the earth is reborn.

* * * * *

In the Avenue of Giant Boulders, animals rest, but there will be no rest for Rogue River. Frothy and fast, she shouts her 'Goodnights' then races through the labyrinth of Rock People. Silently watchful, the presence of these elders is an ancient affirmation of the strength of this river, as she journeys toward the vastness of the Great Salt Sea. Nearby, Red-Tailed Hawk, the Winged Watcher, tucks a turned head into her fluffed wing feathers, and closes her eyes.

Read in Spanish


Image.

From Book Five

"What started out as my journey is our journey now. Wisdom that I seek is ours to share. Hardships that I've suffered we have suffered together. Stories that have nourished my spirit have also nourished ours. Though some of us swim, some of us walk, some hop, crawl, saunter, and fly, what I know is this: we have made this journey together and this journey has made us."

* * * * *

"Grandmother showed me how to respect Mother Earth by doing things with fairness and in balance. 'Don't overgraze a meadow,' she advised. 'Eat only some berries on a bush and leave the rest.' She showed me how to help others and how to give back. She taught me that wherever I put my feet down, I am home. She trained me that laughter is the greatest gift of all. 'Lightness of spirit,' she'd say, 'is the best medicine we've got!'"

Read in Spanish