Once upon time…

in the year 2015, Princess Sophie was tending to a plant in her family's lush garden. She heard gentle footsteps approaching and looked up to see her mother’s silhouette against the bright midday sun.      

“Arise, my daughter,” the queen commanded as she stretched out her hands. “I have news from the West.” Sophie stood and held tightly to her mother’s hands as a cool breeze blew the blond ringlets away from the queen’s intense blue eyes. “You will leave tomorrow for the land of Bigotria. They are in great need. Come, your family awaits.”

As they walked out of the garden, Sophie savored the gentle caress of branches brushing up against her. She inhaled the sweet aroma of their beloved canna garden and locked the memory in her heart before rushing to catch up with her mother.

She could see her father awaiting their arrival with her two guardians at his side. Rose was a muscular Great Pyrenees with golden fur and striking yellow eyes. Thunder was younger, leaner and pure white with unblinking dark eyes. He was still learning the dignified composure that Rose held and strained against his leash to rush her with puppy kisses. “Calm yourself, Thunder,” her father’s deep voice said with stern affection. 

 “They are ready, my Princess. Rose will teach Thunder quickly. They will keep you warm, help you find food and protect you with their lives,” he said as he hand the braided leather leashes of the sacred dogs over to Sophie. He took her face in both his hands as he gazed into her young, timid eyes. “Namaste, my daughter.”

     “Namaste, Papa,” she whispered as she wrapped her arms around his giant muscular body. 

     “Sophie!” her grandmother shouted from the village. “There is much to do before night falls.” She beckoned for Sophie to follow her into the great lodge where the elders awaited.

     Sophie left Rose and Thunder sitting attentively at the lodge entrance. She took a seat on a green cushion in the center of the circle created by the wisest elders of their village. The first elder to approach was the town griot. She approached with hand outstretched and Sophie rose to meet her. The song she sang as they walked the circle hand in hand told the ancient and legendary story of the girl who left her village and family in order to help another village in need. 

Rise

A woman in black with hair as gold as the sun took my hand.

She said, “Close your eyes. Open your mind. 

Feel the power of this land.”

She said, “Daughter of my Daughter’s Daughter, Blood of Mine. 

We’ve been waiting for all your life. 

It’s finally time to rise. 

It’s time to fight.” 

A band of ancient shaman stopped me in my tracks. 

They placed their magic on me and said, 

“You can never go back.”

They said, 

“Sister, on her hero’s journey, take our hands. 

We’ve been waiting for all our lives. Here we stand. 

To rise.”

We can’t wait any longer. 

We can’t hide the fire that’s been burning, 

burning ever stronger. 

We can’t deny.

It’s time to rise. It’s time to rise.

It’s time to fight.

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