A wolf in sheep’s clothing


What does an immortal Native American shaman do when the grave he’s sworn to watch over for all eternity disappears under urban development?

witchyAshThis was the thought that popped into my head after stumbling across a campy book at an art fair regarding a local urban legend – the Wisconsin wolf-man. Over the decades, eyewitnesses claimed they’d seen a wolf walking like a man, and some of these people weren’t the sort you’d doubt. I wouldn’t have normally given such a book a second look, but the locations it mentioned weren’t far from my home. What’s more, these sightings weren’t just modern urban legends, they went back to pre-settlement times. Historical tidbits will grab my attention every time.

One account in particular, captured my imagination as a writer. It occurred more than 70 years ago at a nearby convent that has ancient Native American burial mounds on the premises. I knew that Wisconsin was once filled with burial and effigy mounds so I filed that juicy tidbit away. A night watchman saw a wolfman kneeling atop a mound there. Not sitting like a wolf. Kneeling like a man. Naturally believing his own eyes, the watchman came home rattled. Here’s the strange part – not only did he share the frightening experience with his family, he swore them to secrecy fearing he’d get fired if word got out — e.g. people would think he’d been drinking on the job.

A little research uncovered Native American lore about wolf men guarding the graves of warriors. I was reminded of Anubis the jackal-headed Egyptian god of the dead, Cerberus the three-headed dog of Greek mythology, and the Sumerian goddess Bau. That got me thinking about the dog-headed guardians of mythology around the world. I saved that bit too. Before long I came upon more. The pieces fell into place and I crafted a story with a spin that included the ancient connection to the mounds as well as the modern legend.

Written in two books and leaving the story some room for more, my tale concerns an immortal Native American shaman of the Middle Woodland period of the Great Lakes Mound Builders (Hopewell culture). Of course there is a counterpoint — another creature of mythology — the wendigo. Here’s the opener for my tale:

Book 1 – Ashkewheteasu

The True Beginning
Ten years ago, a reporter for a small-town newspaper heard word of strange sightings of a wolf-like creature roaming the Wisconsin countryside. Authorities had determined what these eyewitnesses had actually seen was a lone wolf broken off from a pack from the north. However, the witnesses were adamant that what they’d seen had been no ordinary wolf. This wolf walked like a man. Similar sightings were mentioned in ancient Native American oral traditions. In those tales, dog men or witchy wolves looked after burial mounds in much the same way jackal-headed Anubis guarded the tombs of ancient Egypt. And early French explorers knew of them too. They’d called these wolf-men the loup-garou.

Blurb:
What does an immortal Native American shaman do when the grave he’s sworn to watch over for all eternity disappears under urban development?
His purpose of guarding his wife’s burial mound gone, Ashkewheteasu seeks to end his immortal existence. In his despair, he assumes the form of a wolf and steps in front of a moving car and into the life of Dr. Olivia “Livie” Rosalini. The veterinarian saves the animal’s life, and in the process saves the man within. Unbeknownst to Livie, the dog she’s taken into her home and grows to love is a magical being seeking to win her heart as a man.
While Ash is learning a new world filled with new love, friendship, and happiness, an old menace makes plans to steal it all away; just as he had 3000 years before.

My son’s friend designed the wolf-headed shaman on both covers.
Apparently the body model is another friend
ww1&2.with.border (3)
More~
The mounds of my area
http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Lands/CulturalRes/mounds.html

Here’s an interesting take on the ancient symbolism of dogs
http://zoneofthefree.blogspot.com/2009/12/ancient-symbolism-of-dog.html

Tomorrow ~ Fun Day Sunday!

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100Things.logoFor 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés. There are 66 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

A wolf in sheep’s clothing

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Saturday & Sunday Happenings

Sexy Snippets & My Sexy Saturday
http://calliopesotherwritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Seductive Studs and Sirens & Weekend Writing Warriors
http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

A Saturday Teaser
http://ifollowthemuse.blogspot.com/

Sneak Peek Sunday
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Sunday Snippet
**promo op for all romance authors**
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

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4 Us iconToday is Author Sharon Hamilton’s blog
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

The July contest is on and all the prizes go to ONE WINNER! http://www.romancebooks4us.com

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all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Find my novels wherever books are sold.
Sample my love stories for free!

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About ~RoseAnderson

Rose is multi-published award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and discovering interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper Midwest.
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4 Responses to A wolf in sheep’s clothing

  1. treknray says:

    The story looks interesting.

    • Thanks Ray. It’s one of those stories taken from every corner of my head. It has it all, my history background, my environment, my friends’ lives. The idea for the shaman came from a friend one night while we were discussing the sightings of the Bray Rd beast. He said, what if what people are seeing is a shaman on a spiritual journey? The burial mounds, the idea of a shaman, my own experiences with native lifeways, and the handful of remaining mounds out of tens of thousands that were potted or destroyed all came together. I even smoked a pipe of reed canary grass for the DMT experience that a shaman might have– full five minutes of my brain sitting on my shoulder like a parrot. I wrote the book like I was possessed. lol

  2. treknray says:

    That sound like fun. I hope you didn’t panic. Or did you have previous experience with the happy stuff?

    In the country near my wife’s home town is a road on which some of her relatives live that is called Rover’s Road. There is a legend that a big white dog named Rover still runs down the road on many a moonlight night. He has been dead for decades, but that doesn’t stop people from saying they saw him. The story is longer than that. My mother-in-law used to tell that to the young children who would look wide eyes as she told the story.

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