As a child, I was lost. The world was a dangerous place and I was young and frightened. I didn't have a safe home. I didn't have a destination or goal, I only knew I didn't want to be home. So, I ran from shadow to shadow, hiding in dark places that kept me safe.
One night, while hiding in a dark place, I saw a woman. She was old and her skin had a yellow tinge. She was wearing tribal clothing that was covered in bones, sewn all over. She had long thin, greasy hair that stretched the length of her spine. Her hands were withered with long nails dirty and yellowing. The old woman was walking slowly through the dark forest. Every now and again, she would stop, hunched over, and sniff the ground or look under bushes and shrubs. Sometimes, she would even get on all fours and crawl through the undergrowth, sniffing along the ground.
I her watched pass by, doing all of this. I wondered what could such an old woman be looking for. I silently followed her a little while. After many hours, I was going to just let her pass by and go back to my hiding place but suddenly she stopped. She crawled under a shrub and dug with her hands. She smiled and cackled. Standing up, she held a bone in her hand. It was dirty, dingy white and had a tiny bit of flesh hanging from it. The old woman looked as if she had found a ship full pirate's gold! She danced and stuck the bone in a pouch that hung from her belt.
I continued to watch her. She lit a fire with some wood she had collected. Soon, it was roaring, warm and lovely. She sat next to it and cooked some food to eat. As I watched longer, I noticed that many others were now hiding in the forest, watching her and waiting. I saw two of those people near me. One leaned over to the other and whispered, “Has La Loba sung yet? Did I miss it?” The other answered, “No you have not missed anything.”
After La Loba was done eating, she seated herself away from the fire. She reached into her pouch and pulled out old, nasty bones. I could only see a little but what I saw was not all the bones were the same. Some of the bones were from cows and sheep, while others were from wolves and tigers. La Loba laid them out in front of her. Then, she stood up. La Loba begun to sing very softly. The song was beautiful. It became louder and louder. She began to dance. Her feet stepped over and around the bones.
As I watched, the bones began to glow. They shivered and rolled. They stood up on their own, and made a skeleton creature. La Loba sang softly and sweetly again, as if cooing a child. The bone creature shivered again. From the forest floor tendrils of magic surrounded the creature. The bones grew organs, muscles, and fur. La Loba sang and danced to a stop. Before her stood a silvery white wolf! It howled at the moon and fled into the darkest part of the forest. The others that were hidden in the dark with me, ran after the wolf, until it was only me left in the shadows. La Loba ignored them and me. She fell asleep by the fire. So, I did too.
When I woke in the morning, I was alone. La Loba was gone and left no trail to follow. When I looked down beside the place I was sleeping, I found a bone. La Loba had known I was there and left it behind. I picked up the bone. It was dirty and chewed. I did not know what to do with it. So, I put it in my pocket and left.
I wandered many places because I was lost. But everywhere I went, seemed to have a bone for me. I did not know what to do, so I just kept putting them in my pocket. As I grew up, my pockets became full of bones. Soon, I needed a sack. I carried the bones with me everywhere I went.
Then, one day, I saw La Loba again. She had not changed. She was still old and yellow, with long dirty fingers. This time, as I saw her, she saw me. With her hand, she bade me to her fire. When I sat down, she said nothing and only pointed to my sack of bones.
I told her about what I had saw when I was a child. I said I only collected the bones, I had no song to sing. I asked her to sing to them for me.
She shook her head no. She would not sing. She pointed at me and then to the sack. The bones were mine and mine alone. I had to discover the song for myself. I dumped out the sack of bones. I watched them with her. I felt something in my heart. It swam like a salmon to my mouth and I began to sing.
At first, my voice cracked. I fumbled over words, stuttered over them like a child. My feet moved in dancing steps, but it was awkward and I tripped. I got up and sang some more, trying to let it out. It took all night but before the morning, I had a wolf at my feet. It was not silvery, white and beautiful like La Loba's. It was plain and its howl was not strong. It was half blind and missing teeth. But it was a living breathing wolf that ran into the dark forest, not a creature of bones. It was still beautiful to me.
I looked over to where La Loba had been sitting. But she was gone and left no trace behind. I never discovered if she was proud of me and my song or not. I never saw her again after that. But I wish I could. Because now, I can sing over the bones and make a silvery, white wolf with a strong howl.
I wrote this many years ago. I have reposted it here because I am strongly Divinely compelled to do so. This story is for mystics. If this has inspired you to learn more, I highly recommend the book:
Women who run with wolves.
Thank you for the Bones.