I looked out the window at the small grey house as I pulled into the yard. This is my new home. My mom had died a few days ago. My options were to live with my dad on his reservation in Oklahoma or live in a foster home for the next three years. I chose dad.
Unlike my indian relatives, I didn't have the wide eyes and deep russet color skin. I didn't even get the dark black hair. I was pale as a sheet, with fair alabaster skin and light blonde hair. Unlike the deep black and brown eyes of my family, my eyes are pale sky-blue. I was tall and lanky. The indian girls were short and Petite. I felt so odd and out of place.
I was treated like an outsider by the tribe members. I remember my dad trying to make me feel better. "There is a Moon Ritual tonight, Leelu. Come. It will make you feel better. Make something special to sacrifice and bring it with you." My father offered. He was the chief of the tribe and I liked him.
I walked to my room and pulled out some twine. Earlier in the day, I had come across a wolf's tooth in the dirt. I tied the twine around the tooth. I tied the ends together and tucked it around my neck. Chief had said that the ceremony would honor the tribe's spirit animal. My father's tribe was the Wolf Tribe.
I remembered how the wolves in a pack all had their places. The chief and his wife were like the Alfas. The strongest men hunted for food. The women cared for the young and they all had a place. I felt like a lome wolf, trying to fit into a pack with mo place for me.
That night, I sat next to the chief in the circle. As the ceremony started, all of the tribe members went silent. I listened as my father told us of the spirit of our tribe:
(Long ago, our tribe was small. We had no land to call our own. We wandered the land, hunting, fishing and then moving on. We were out on a hunt in this very forrest when we came across a wolf. She was growling madly and circling a small den. We knew that she was protecting her litter. We knew that to kill her was to kill the pups, so we left her and went back to camp. Some of the women of the tribe felt sorry for her, having to fend for the pups all on her own. They snuck out of camp and went back to her den. They had brought her some meat to feed her young. When they arrived at the den, the mother was nowhere to be seen. They searched and searched, but couldn't find her. They knew that if the mother didn't return, the pups would starve. They dug down int othe den and brought up the pups. There were three pups. One was black, one was deep brown, and one was a sandy tan. They brought the pups back to camp and explained to the chief what had happened. The chief allowed the wolves to stay. The wolves stayed with the tribe until they were fully grown. They grew to be extremely large. One day a wolf that wasn't part of the pack wandered into the camp. The chief knew instantly that this was the mother of the pups. She bowed to him before going to be with her pups. The women that had saved the pups had become very attatched to the pups. One day, the tribe was discovered by a larger tribe that owned the land they had been staying on. A fight broke out and the wolf tribe knew they would lose. But just at the end when they were cornered and had nowhere to escape, the wolves leaped out and faced the opposing tribe. The other tribe had never been near live wolves and thought these to be deamons of the wolf tribe. They fled and left the wolf tribe to live on the land in peace. The wolves remained with the tribe and the tribe vowed to never hunt a wolf again. Ever since, we have honored the wolves as the symbol of our tribe.)
When he finnished, I sat there and stared at the flames. I could almost make out the shapes of the wolves in the fire. After the story came the time to make our sacrifice and send a prayer up to Runalu, the wolf spirit. "You may go first, Leelu." My father whispers. I close my eyes and pray. "I wish to find my place in the tribe." I said under my breath, thinking of my comparison to a wolf pack."I wish I could find where I belong in my pack. The place where I am needed and accepted." I take off my neclace and kiss it before throwing it into the flames.