A SHORT STORY FOR CHRISTMAS
BILL`S CHRISTMAS & THE MAGIC OF THE THIRTEEN STONES
© Frank Westcott, 2013. All rights
This story is for
my granddaughter, Jaidyn, who had open heart surgery at three months of age.
Jaidyn is ten at this writingin 2012. Today, she figure skates spinning and swirling and twirling at her club and during competitions. She was born November 25, 2002. This story is also for my other granddaughter, Khiyla. She is dancer a singer a comedienne an entertainer supreme. And she is only six! They both have huge hearts, and heart of the best kind, of the inner kind.
Navajo Bill decorated his tree, then
left for the forest. He would spend part of the night in the woods. With no
presents under his tree, he would not hurry home. He hoped to find some signs of Christmas at
To Navajo Bill, the signs of Christmas were
little knowings that came to him, inside himself, little bits of
knowledge, he needed to learn to
become a man… to become fully who he was… to become a
Later, at his campfire, the sparkle of wood
and cinders, rising gold and orange in the air, reminded Navajo Bill of
home. A before home. One long forgotten.
see, Navajo Bill came from Ancient
Civilizations, existing long before thisone and long before Christmas had
ever been invented. Sometimes, Navajo
Bill thought, he could see back into this othertime, a time before
Santa rode a sleigh, and a time before a reindeer called Rudolph, nose aglow,
brightened the way for children’s dreams and stories.
Watching his fire, Navajo Bill was reminded
of windows he’d seen on his way out
of town. They were windows with glue-on… stick-on… adhere-to-anything decorator
snowflakes stuck to glass that seemed to dance out of the night’s darkness, as
if fuelled by home-lights inside. In these snowflakes on the window panes,
Navajo Bill saw every colour of the rainbow. It seemed… as if lights from every human soul from ages past, flashed
at Navajo Bill, jarring him out of some
deep place, inside.Navajo Bill waited. He wasn’t sure for what. But in
these moments of remembering his drive through town, he waited for another
window to appear, and clear, a strange
window, one in his mind. Navajo Bill wanted to see this window so he could truly
see. Yet, there seemed to be a grey mist over this window. And it was hard.
And solid. Like the grey of a rock.
Some said, Navajo Bill was waiting for the
window to his soul to clear.
Navajo Bill sat quietly, now.All alone, and under the stars and in
front of his campfire.
Then, Navajo Bill stood, walked slowly to
edge of his clearing and put thirteen rocks around the clearing’s outer edge,
making a large circle. Navajo Bill walked back to the centre of this circle and
put another thirteen rocks around his campfire. Thirteenrocks. A
circle. Two circles. One around his campfire. One around his clearing place. No
beginnings. No end.Thirteen. One stone for every moon in the sky in one
Bill breathed deeply, now. He did not like it, but there were mysterious
stones, he did not place there, around his heart, too. But twelve. Only twelve.
Twelve. This made Navajo Bill wonder?
Why… only twelve?
Bill began to wonder about many things. He knew The Thirteen Step Dance. One step for every moon in the sky in one
full year. But Navajo Bill knew, also, even
if he began to dance The Thirteen Step
Dance, he would still not understand why, there were twelve stones around
his heart, and he was to put thirteen around everything else. In their sacred
teachings, the Ancient Ones had told Navajo Bill to put thirteen stones around
his clearing. And thirteen around his campfire. Thirteen. One for every moon in the sky in one full year. Two times.
Navajo Bill heard the cry or call of a moose.
He wasn’t sure which. Whether the sound was a cry? Or a call? Or maybe, it was
both? He waited.To see. To listen. To hear. To listen and hear the seeing of
what would happen next.
A large moose stepped into the clearing.
Light from the campfire swirled golden flecks, dancing them high around the
moose’s antlers. Bright orange flames, like long iridescent fingers, licked the
sky. The flames touched stars, magically rising on moonbeams, bringing Nature’s
Harmonies back to Navajo Bill and the moose.
The thirteen stones around Navajo Bill’s fire began to spin rapidly,
then up-up-up into this sparkling velvet sky, where space met sound, and the
universal life-force began to cascade like a mystical, vibrant sky-waterfall of
light, around Navajo Bill and Moose. Navajo Bill’s campfire began to spin
inside its thirteen stone circle. Light above all existence, even the Earth
itself, bounced from rock to rock, sparks shooting in-and-around and across all space. This light entered Navajo
Bill, and he saw how twelve stones
circled Moose’s heart, too. In this ricocheting light, Navajo Bill watched as
Moose stepped into the very centre of the clearing to stand beside Navajo Bill.
“Maybe…” Navajo Bill wondered aloud and to
Moose, “…my clearing place is Moose’s clearing place, also.”
But that didn’t explain why there were
thirteen stones around his fire, thirteen around the clearing, but only twelve
stones around their hearts.
Like the thirteenstonesaround the fire,
the thirteenstones around the
clearing started spinning. They shot up into the sky to join the others. All of
the stones in this space swirled around-and-around each other. Thirteen. And
thirteen. Two times. Stones spinning.
One stone for every moon in the sky during one full year. Two times. Thirteen. And thirteen. Thirteen for Navajo Bill.
Thirteen for Moose.
Navajo Bill looked skyward. He saw
into the darkness that, strangely,
had become light, also. And bright, also. The fervour of spinning lights, and
rocks and sounds danced Nature’sAngelicHarmonies back to Navajo
Bill and Moose. These sounds seemed like singing from a sacred place where all
sound met all space. And space, met destiny. A place where time met itself. And
no longer existed.
The twelve stones circling Navajo Bill’s
heart and the twelve stones circling Moose’s heart, spun off, too, joining with
these sounds. Sounds of Nature. Sounds of the Universe. And all that was Holy.
Singing to itself. And in rainbow lights. To Navajo Bill’s ears. And Moose’s
twelve stones from Navajo Bill’s heart and the twelve from the Moose’s heart
joined with the other sky-stones, the stones from the campfire and the
clearing. All dancing and clacking together,
creating a steady rhythm. The rhythm of The Thirteen Step Dance. Navajo Bill began the slow shuffle. One step for every beat. One step, one after the other, thirteen times as
he had been taught by the Ancient Ones. Moose danced, too. But with two feet on
one side moving in unison to each shuffle beat. Then two feet on the other
side. The way he had been taught by his AncientOnes. Moose and Navajo Bill
danced together. Their movement felt strange. And would have looked strange, if
anyone could have seen them. Yet, an even stranger peace came over them. A new
vibrating orange light. Navajo Bill became still. He sat. Moose became still.
Moose could not sit like Navajo Bill. So, Moose kneeled, on his two front legs.
As soon as Moose’s knees touched the ground, Navajo Bill stood, once more.
Moose stretched long, then stood again, too. Navajo Bill raised one arm. He
pointed to the sky. And to the light. Flames from the fire bouncing off stars
joined the hovering orange light around Navajo Bill and Moose. The light
suddenly sent blue sparks flashing to Navajo Bill’s finger tips. And Moose’s
antlers. Moose and Navajo Bill stood mightily.
Moose saw how his stones, the twelve around his heart, had spun away from the
others to join this magnificent golden shimmering orange spray of mysterious
light all around them. Next, the twelve stones that had been around Navajo
Bill’s heart, spun out of the sky to join Moose’s stones in this light. All
colours of the rainbow danced out of and inside this light.
A grand Voice spoke from deep inside
this spinning light.
“Navajo Bill and Moose, you both have released
the twelve stones around your heart. One stone for every moon in the year, but
one. Navajo Bill, whether you realized it or not, you have reached manhood.
Moose, you have reached adulthood, too. You have reached Moosehood. You both
have claimed your maturity by releasing your twelve stones. There is magic in
this releasing. A magic you will soon know of. You have freed yourself to clearlysee through the window to your soul, the thirteenth stone.
nodded. He already understood this. Moose had paid attention to his AncientOnes’teachings. Navajo Bill was careless in his learning. He did not pay close
attention to his Ancient Ones.
why…?” Navajo Bill asked. “Why are there just twelve stones around my heart?
But why thirteen around everything else?
One stone for every moon in the sky in one full year? Thirteen?”
There was a pause.
Silence. Then the Voice answered. Slowly. Deeply. As if contemplating his response while
speaking. “Your twelve stones were there to protect you. To teach you. During
your childhood. While you grew. To now. Fully emerging as your who you are.
Your twelve stones acted like a shell…
like the shell of an egg around the embryo, you,
inside. Until you were ready to break through. Until you broke through. Your twelve heart-stones encircled your
heart as you cleared all that was not you. As you put out the fires inside you.
The twelve stones around your heart kept you intact. Know this. The twelve
stones represented everything you
carried inside, that was not you.”
“Inside? What are you talking about?
Me?Not me? Voice, you make no
sense!?” Navajo Bill exclaimed and asked. Both at the same time. “How can
anyone? Anything? We? Me? Moose? How can we be what we are not, inside? That makes no sense? Especially,
around our hearts? How can that be?”
Navajo Bill, asked without exclaiming this time.
“That is a problem, isn’t it?” the
Voice answered with a question
“It is,” Navajo Bill, said,
answering the question in a statement.
“Actually…” the Voice said, boldly, “it is THE problem. But… it is
the way itis.”The glowing orange light shone brighter.
“Why is this so?” Navajo Bill,
asked. “Why is it theway it is? I
don’t get it!?. I don’t understand !?.” Navajo Bill exclaimed, asked and said
all at the same time because he really wanted
to know. How could he, Navajo Bill,
have inside what was not him, and circled by twelve stones
around his heart? Navajo Bill wanted to know where the
thirteenth stone was? There were thirteen stones around everything else. He had
to have thirteen stones, too. His fire had thirteen stones. His clearing place
had thirteen stones. One for every moon in the sky in one full year. Navajo
Bill wanted to be complete. He wanted his thirteenth stone. He wished he had
paid closer attention to the Ancient Ones’ in their teachings. He wasn’t like
Moose. Navajo Bill wasn’t a good student.
The Voice, of course, heard Navajo
Bill’s thoughts and mumblings and internal rumblings, because that’s what it
was like when you were a Voice inside…
a Voice inside a golden shimmering orange light. The voice answered Navajo
Bill’s thoughts, rumblings and grumblings this way…
“Navajo Bill, you, like all others,
came into the world with Thirteen Stones, one sacred stone for every moon in
one full year. This was and is the way it is for everything in sacred existence. This is your completeness. The
completeness you seek. As a year completesitself, every
thirteen moons, you grow inside and out, and come closer to your Holy You.”
Moose nodded. He knew this.
The Voice continued to speak. “Thirteen
Stones. Thirteen stones around your clearing and around your fires. This is the alchemy of life. In these fires,
a transmutation occurs, burning out of you and releasing, wehope, the twelve
stones. The twelve stones around your heart. That hold you back. From you. Everyone comes into the world with
twelve stones in a circle around their hearts. Everyone, everything,must release
these twelve stones in their own
sacred way. You must be free of your twelve stones before mastery… self-mastery… adulthood and true knowing
can be attained. It is the way.”
Navajo Bill remained puzzled. He
wished he had paid closer attention to the Ancient Ones’ teachings. “But why
twelve stones around my heart?” Navajo Bill asked, quietly, politely, now. “Why
not thirteen like the moons in the sky in each sacred year? Where is my Thirteenth Stone to match the
thirteen moons like around everything else? My fire? My clearing? My clearing
Moose nodded, once more, like
before. Heknew. Moose knew, too, Navajo Bill was getting somewhere. They both
listened, now. Moose. And Navajo Bill.
is this way,” the Voice said ”…when you begin in the world there are twelve
stones around your heart. These represent people. Ideas. Events, Happenings.
Anything notyou in your life. Anything not truly you. Not truly part of you.
When you clear these twelve stones, you leave only one thing… justyou,
as you and Moose stand, now. Free of your twelve stones. You are left with one
thing… one stone, so to speak. The Thirteenth. This is what is most important. And
what is truly you.”
Navajo Bill jumped up and down.
Happily. And began to jig-a-lig. He jig-a-ligged to the 43 and 1/2-step dance,
with all its steps at once. Even the half-step, where you dangled one leg high,
at the dance’s end like a horse in a
half-prance. Giggling. And jig-a-ligging. And knowing fully what he was to
know, Navajo Bill exclaimed without asking or anything else. Just exclaiming!
“When you are free of all your twelve stones, you are left with one thing! Your
The Voice wanted to do the 43 and
1/2-half step dance too, because he was so happy. But the Voice couldn’t. The
Voice had no legs. Or arms. Or shape to dance with. So, the Voice jiggled and
wiggled and bounced and bobbed, jig-a-ligging the best it could, inside the
sparkling glowing effervescent, shimmering and shining, orange-gold light. The
Voice shouted to the rhythm of Navajo Bill’s dancing, “Yes! Navajo Bill! When
you free yourself of your twelve stones, you are left with one glorious thing! Your heart!”
And with that, Moose started to dance, too.
But Moose danced the 57 step dance with no halves. Just fifty-seven good
glorious happy Moose steps. And he did it two at a time. First on one side.
Then two at a time on the other. Then the one final hop-stomp for 57. And when he was done one cycle, Moose sat
down happily, tired, and full and flat on his haunches, and yawned. All this
Navajo Bill stuff had made him tired. His head nodded. Not because he agreed to
anything, but because he fell asleep. And Moose moose-snored all through the night.
“You have it!” the Voice said happily to
Navajo Bill. And said again. Sort of. “When all your twelve stones are free of
you and you of them, you are left with your heart! Your heart. The thirteenth
stone! Clear as a crystal. Shining now. For always. The grey mists within you
gone. The grey of the rocks? Gone. The blocking twelve? Gone. Cleared. Burned
away in the fires you had within, and around your clearing place. YOU, Navajo
Bill, are the Thirteenth Stone. A golden shimmering stone. All of you and only
you shining inside you now,” the Voice said, glad he had repeated himself. Sort
“So… I… I.. did have one sacred
stone for every moon in the sky in one full year,” Navajo Bill whispered.
“Yes, one sacred stone for every
moon in the sky, Navajo Bill. And you are left, now, with the most important
one of all. Yourself. Your heart!”
the Voice whispered back. And the Voice added, almost as an afterthought, but
the Voice thought this last bit was important for Navajo Bill to know. So the
Voice said it. “You will find that time does not exist for anyone or anything
who finds their thirteenth stone. You will know a sense of timelessness. You
are free now, Navajo Bill. To be yourself. To walk as you truly are. Simply.
Moose yawned, again, but still in
his deep-snoring, all-night sleep. He knew all this. Even when he was sleeping.
Navajo Bill wondered inside himself,
why Moose was part of all this? But, of course, the Voice heard even though
Navajo Bill did not speak aloud.
The Voice answered, “It is good to have a
friend along on any journey.”
taking the orange-golden light with him, the Voice flew off into the silent
sounds of the Universe, where space and sound meet, and all becomes the quiet
of the soul. And where time does not know itself because it no longer exists.
Later that night, and before light
brightened Navajo Bill’s part of the Earth with morning, Navajo Bill returned
home. Mysteriously, there were thirteen gifts around his Christmas tree. And on
his roof, stood thirteen tiny reindeer in front of a not so tiny, bright, red
sleigh. On the sleigh’s, almost tiny but not quite tiny, seat, a big golden
And that’s the story of Navajo Bill’s Christmas and the Magic of Thirteen Stones.