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"Raven gazed into the vision pit. It was smaller than he thought it would be, scarcely enough room to lay down.
When the shaman had left, his instructions had been simple enough - he would be back in four days to retrieve Raven, he was to fast and wait for his vision to show itself. Raven had shivered, not sure if he was ready to become the man he was destined to be.
"He hunkered down in the pit, drawing his knees to his chest for warmth. He wondered if his Sioux ancestors had done the same to protect themselves from the biting autumn winds.
"Later that evening, as the rest of the world closed its eyes and drifted into peaceful slumber Raven was restless. He was sweaty and then cold, unable to sleep. His stomach impudently notified him that it had not been fed in twelve hours, and his mouth felt as dry as a desert in drought season. In the distance he heard thunder.
"The thunder grew louder until Raven realized it was not thunder at all, but falling boulders, crashing to the ground, and heading in his direction! He froze with terror, unable to move or speak. The rocks descended over the mouth of the pit and Raven braced himself for the impact. But there was none. The noise continued, and the rocks continued to fall ... but they seemed to disintegrate in mid-air!
Raven shook his head in disbelief, and then it hit him like a wave of relief. His vision! That's what this was! An unearthly voice confirmed his assumption.
"ARaven,' the voice began, AI am your great-great-great-grandfather, Gowa-Kai, first of all storytellers. I encountered the rocks of time, and they shared with me their secrets, which I then passed on to the people. They will tell you now, and from here on, you will be known as Dark Raven, Weaver of Tales.' And with that, the voice was gone.
"Dark Raven listened to the rocks rumbling and started to understand. They told him of the birthing of the earth and the creatures who dwelled within. They told him of the stars' journey to the sky, and the porcupine's struggle to survive before it grew its spikes. Before he knew it, the shaman had arrived to take him back to the village.
"Dark Raven returned to his tribe and traveled within others, weaving tales for all to hear. After many hours of entertainment, the people would cry for more, but Dark Raven would always reply: AI am a storyteller, and all good storytellers know when their tales should end.' And the people respected that. Dark Raven went on telling stories for most of his life until he was too frail to travel anymore. Then he started to put his stories down on paper for all to enjoy."
Dark Raven set down his pen, knowing this recounting would be his last. His tribal gown was laid out on his cot, ready to transport his spirit to a better place. He lay down and died a peaceful death knowing he had accomplished everything he had set out to.
For after all Dark Raven was a good storyteller, one of the best, and all good storytellers know when their tales should end.1