back to finished works page

Natoyka the Storyteller

About the story

A family gets lost during a hiking adventure in the Southwest. Their original search for ancient rock carvings quickly turns to a search for overnight shelter.

It's the night of a full lunar eclipse. A perfect setting for an unexpected encounter with a spiritual storyteller.

"This story started when I joined the "Storytelling Project" at a local community theater. Writers and storytellers were encouraged to present their work in an open-mike atmosphere. The class assignment that led to this story was the theme Endings and Beginnings.

The second influence on this story was the crafting of a hand-carved, decorated, walking stick. Once finished, I knew it deserved a good story. Along the way I fell in love with the sounds of the native american flute and began to think of the story in both written and audio versions."

The result was a combination of elements containing a hand bound printed edition and a companion CD with narration and flute music combined. Many trips to the Southwest desert provided the perfect background setting.


While singing and chanting he opens both hands to let the bear claws fall into the center of the blaze. Next he picks up the walking stick and carefully steps around the fire, pausing for a moment at each of the four quills. He holds the walking stick over the billowing smoke. Very, very slowly, the fire changes its color and shape. We stand spellbound, unable to talk or move. The tip of each flame turns brilliant white. This dazzling light grows, transforming the orange and yellow flames into the form of a flowing white robe. Edges of the flame become soft folds in the fabric of the robe. This white garment continues upward and within seconds the flames reveal the figure of a beautiful woman.

About the book

Edition size of 70 copies. Hand bound printed edition with audio CD edition. Both elements are encased in a handmade case with laser-cut and engraved design features by Kevin Derose. The CD features a photograph of the walking stick and the printed edition has images taken from the carved symbols on the walking stick.   Book size is 5 1/2" wide by 5"high