There was once a little boy who left his village and returned knowing how to journey the way shaman do. He returned to his people wearing tassels on his wrists and everybody who saw these tassels knew they were magic but nobody said anything to him about them.
Each day, the young boy helped tend the village herds and fields, each evening he ate with the old and not-so-old, the young and not-so-young in the village. He laughed at their jokes and made some of his own, cried at their grief and mourned all of his own.
Finally, one evening, a little girl from the village came to the boy and asked, “Boy, what are those tassels you wear on your arms?”
She did this at the village fire and everyone grew quiet to hear what the big boy would say.
He smiled at the little girl and asked, “What do you see, little one?”
“I see snakes,” she said. “Big, beautiful snakes. Snakes to ride on and carry me away.”
The boy nodded. “Thank you, little girl. Thank you for telling me what these tassels are on my arms. Now I know they are snakes. Thank you very much.”
The little girl smiled and laughed and the grown boy did, too, as the little girl went off to play.
A few nights later one of the oldest men in the village came up to the boy by the village fire and asked, “What are those tassels on your arms, boy?”
“What do you see, Grandfather?” asked the boy.