Thomas Doty – Storyteller

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Between Storms

Between winter storms, Coyote and I strap on Dad Doty's 1941 snowshoes and walk into one of the snowiest places in Mythtime ... Boundary Springs, the source of the Rogue River, the Nape of the Earth's Neck.... After her long saunter up the river, Native Woman arrived here last fall. She built a winter lodge and stuffed it with wood and dried food.

In the last light of sunset, we crawl through the snow tunnel and into the house. We find Native Woman sitting next to her fire, singing an Old Time song. "Wah yah way nay low o wah nah? Who creeps there about the shadows?"

She smiles when she sees us. Her black eyes shine. Somewhere beyond the walls of the house, under snowdrifts and ice, I hear the rushing of the river. This scene is ancient, and I easily slip into its rich and varied rhythms.

This doesn't last long. Coyote bursts the moment with his singular version of traditional native culture. "What's for dinner?" he barks.