September 5


My last family member is Blue Ice. Not so many years ago Blue Ice was apprenticed to Burnt Knife, preparing to one day become the Alpha Male for Clan Greihound. He had been born premature to a Hawthorn woman in a year when winter stayed late. The river had run slow and thick with floes of ice into which the sky had been frozen; hence his name. Blue Ice had grown up to be an enormous man, half again Moondog’s size and possibly twice his strength.

Blue Ice is also a kind, compassionate man. He is every bit as brilliant as Burnt Knife and would have become a superb clan alpha. But Blue Ice met with something of a disaster. It is said that he inadvertently slain a deer guarded by a fierce mountain spirit. She entrapped him in a mountain ash and turned him into her lover. Mountains spirits are notorious for discarding their lovers simply out of boredom not long after capture. So it is rumored that Blue Ice chose to stay with her. But he is here now, to be with us, to celebrate the new cycle, and perhaps tell us a few wild tales of his own.

Once, Moon Girl, Burnt Knife’s sister, took me deep into the mountains, and showed me where Blue Ice lived with his mountain spirit. Any fool would have realized that they were madly in love. Held by that spell, neither could see us standing there watching. Moon Girl whispered that they would disappear in a kiss. And with that, they were gone.

If Blue Ice has come back to us for good he has returned bearing colossal gifts. It is said that such mountain spirits give their lovers the abilities to sooth troubled minds, cure broken hearts, and even snatch passing souls from the Ancient Ones. But none of us will ask. In the event he doesn’t disappear after the Moon’s homecoming I imagine that Burnt Knife will secure him a place with the Crones or the Clowns. For now we are thrilled to be with him again, conscious that love wields more power than either hope or genius.

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