She did not know why they were here and unobserved she crept closer.
Grandfather sat down on one of the steps with the wolf beside him.
He laid his head in his master's lap while Grandfather gently stroked his soft fur.
After a while, Grandfather rose up and raised his arms to the heavens.
She saw Grandfather’s lips moving and knew he was praying to the Great Spirit above
as she had often seen him do before. However, why was he here by the Rainbow Stairway?
This is not where he usually went to pray? He started to ascend the stairs
with the white wolf close behind.
These are the same stairs that the white wolf had told her and her cousin
not to climb on the day of her quest.
Suddenly, she realized what was happening. Pankanli ran towards her Grandfather.
“No” she screamed. "You must not climb those stairs. It is not time.
I am but a child and there is so much more I need to learn.
There are so many tales I have not heard, so much more growing up I need to do.
You promised you would stay with me until one day past tomorrow."
She was crying now as she looked up at Grandfather.
Grandfather had turned at the sound of her voice.
Until then, he had been unaware that she was there.
He sat down on the stairs and pulled her into his lap.
She buried her head in his chest and sobbed.
She was afraid that she had angered him by following them there .
He looked into her eyes and saw her pain. He gently caressed her hair.
Tears ran down their faces.
The wolf beside them was crying too.
Suddenly the sky got very bright and a mighty voice rang out.
It was the Great Spirit calling to them.
“My son and my faithful wolf, the Wind of Love has petitioned me in your behalf.
She told me that I was mistaken to accept your bid to come to me now.
I know you are tired and have earned your place in heaven.
There are so many hearts that will be broken if you climb the stairs today.
You are a great and mighty warrior, a credit to those who walked before you.
You are also a kind and caring chief, who is loved and respected by your tribe.
Be assured that one day we will open the heavens
and you will be reunited with your ancestors.
However, first you must guarantee your legacy
by teaching the children what they need to know
so that they may follow in your righteous path.
I appeal to the Great White Wolf to stay
and assist you just as he has done for so many years."
Pankanli searched her Grandfather's face looking for a clue to his answer.
She prayed that he would heed the Great Spirit’s words.
He looked down, wiped the tears from her eyes, and drew her closer.
Then at last, he spoke.
“My child I was ready to climb the stairway to the heavens
and join those who have passed before.
I see it is not yet meant to be. Your great love has summoned the spirits on high.
They bid me to return home with you and the rest of our tribe.
She smiled up at him and he smiled back.
It seemed to her as if his smile had just lit up the sky.
The three of them, Grandfather, White Wolf, and Pankanli
turned and started back down the path.
She was suddenly very tired and her Grandfather, sensing this picked her up
in his big strong arms and carried her.
The white wolf smiled....