field notes ➤ Dode McIntosh, 1971

The Warning of the Wolves

A great Council and Stomp Dance was being held at Coweta Town in the old Creek Nation. All the towns were sending their people for this important meeting of the tribe. A fight broke up the meeting and Cheesie McIntosh was attacked by several of the fighting men. Uncle Freeland McIntosh saw that Cheesie was in danger of being killed and rushed to his aid. Freeland killed two men with his gun and dashed with Cheesie from the Council grounds.

The two Creek Indians mounted their horses and rode for home. They pushed their horses on and on. They knew there would be shooting and that they would be no match for a band of Indians seeking revenge. The moon was out that night and cast shadows between the limbs of overhanging trees making strange figures appear to be dashing out from the side of the road.

As they turned a bend in the narrow road, the two men saw a strange sight. A pack of wolves dashed out in front of the men. The wolves stopped at the side of the road and the riders stopped. The wolves looked into the eyes of the horsemen. The eyes pierced their hearts and made their blood run cold. The wolves turned and fled into the brush. The men gave their horses a kick and were off again. A second time they saw another pack of wolves crossing the road. They again halted their horses fearing to ride ahead of the wolves. Again the wolves stopped and looked straight into the Indian eyes.

Finally the two men were coming to familiar grounds. They were just a few miles from home. Just as they came near the creek that bordered their lands, a third pack of wolves ran into the road. Once again the wolves stopped and looked into the eyes of the Indians. The wolves’ eyes showed death. They inquired, “What does it mean? Must we follow these wolves? Three times we have met wolves and each time they have given us strange looks. They are sent to do good. They are our brothers. We are of the Wolf Clan.”

So the two Indian riders turned their horses to where they last saw the wolves enter the brush and followed their trail. Deeper and deeper they followed them. Down valley and up hills where they had never been before. Finally the two Indians rested and slept for the night. In the morning they rode on across to their homes and told their people what had happened the night before.

“Our journey home was crossed by wolves. They crossed our path three times. And each time the wolves would stop and look at us. They looked as if they were telling us something. The third time we followed them just as we were preparing to cross the water.”

An old man reported that “this was a great omen for you, my son. For on the far bank, last night, a large group of men were hiding. They had guns with them. Our brothers of our Clan—the wolves—were sent to protect and guide you. For remember, in days of old, the animals could talk. This is how the wolves talked to you last night.” ❞

Creek Seminole Spirit Tales: Tribal Folklore, Legend and Myth
by Jack Gregory and Rennard Strickland
illustrated by Fred Beaver
(Indian Heritage Association, 1971)

One thought on “field notes ➤ Dode McIntosh, 1971

  1. As a young child I would here old folks talk of stories and I would take it to heart. Enjoyed reading.

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