I used to have this friend, Ken, who was a Cherokee Shaman. One night around 10-11PM he calls me up and says, “Hey Pete, can you do me a HUGE favor?” I said, “Sure, what’s up?”
“I performed a wedding on the Wampanoag Reservation this morning and I left my Eagle Feather Fan there. Can you run out there and grab it for me?”
I said, “Dude, are you serious? You want me to go out to the res, at 11 o’clock at night, to the prayer circle, and find your Eagle Feather Fan?”
He replied, “Yeah, what’s the problem?”
I said, “I don’t know if you noticed this . . . but I’m not Wompanoag.”
He chuckled and said, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. Keep your cell phone handy and if anyone stops you, just hand them the phone.”
I said, “It’s not anyone I can hand a phone to I’m worried about.” But, I went out there anyway.
I asked Ken how to get out to the prayer circle, since I’ve never been out there before.
“It’s easy, you drive down center street until the pavement ends, drive on the dirt for another mile or so, look for the phone pole laying on the right side of the road. Stop there. Let me know when you get there.”
I grabbed one of those big 6 volt square battery flashlights and headed out to the res.
I was thinking to myself, “That’s great… I’m looking for a phone pole, lying on a dirt road, in the dark.” So, I followed his directions and did indeed find the phone pole. I called him back up. “Hey Ken, I’m at the pole.”
“OK, leave your car there, there’s a path on the other side of the pole, follow it till you come to a path to the right.” I grabbed the flashlight, hopped over the pole and headed down the path. I found the other path leading off to the right, “OK, I’m here”
“OK, now go down that path for about a hundred yards, watch the left side for 2 piles of rocks”.
“2 piles of rocks?? . . .Seriously, Dude?”
“Hahaha, yeah. Just trust me.”
I walked down the path and had to backtrack a couple times, but found the 2 piles of rocks.
“OK, now go between the 2 piles of rocks and the prayer circle is straight ahead. The circle has stones piled up all around it.”
“OK, heading in.” I walked to the edge of the circle and stepped over the stones. As soon as I did, my flashlight went out!
“Ummm, Ken?”, “Yeah?”, “As soon as I stepped over the stones, my flashlight went out.”, “Yeah, right.”, “Dude, I’m dead serious.”
“Well, don’t worry about it. It’s a pretty bright night. Just go straight to the center of the circle from where you are, turn to your left and walk straight to the altar. The Fan should be around behind the altar.”
I was seriously freaked out by my flashlight going out, but did what he asked. I got around behind the altar and looked around for the fan. It took me a while, but I eventually found it.
“OK, I got it.” What now?
“Go out the way you came in! Walk to the center of the circle straight from the altar, turn right and the exit will be straight ahead.”
I went to the center of the circle, turned right and found the edge of the circle. I stepped over the rocks and my flashlight came back on…
“Ummm, Ken?”, “Yeah?”, “I stepped over the rocks and the flashlight came back on.”
“Now I KNOW you’re fucking with me.”
“Man, I wish I was…”
“That’s really creepy… you should get out of there.”
To make a long story short, I found my way out of there. Got back in my car and headed home as fast as I could.
I had the Eagle Feather Fan for a couple months before Ken finally came and got it from me. I kept calling him and asking him to get it, he would just say he trusted me with it and he’d get it as soon as he could. I was more worried about being arrested for having Eagle Feathers than anything else. But, he kept saying, “Who’s gonna know you have it?”
I have another story about Ken that I’ll write at another time.
Ken eventually moved out of MA to go work on a dig at an Apache burial ground. I haven’t heard from him in years.