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2012-01-05

The magic lake

Bill Ellis

West from the head of the Oconaluftee River in the Great Smoky Mountains is a the magic lake Atagahi. The Cherokee know that the lake exists, but no one has ever seen it.

A hunter would know about the lake by the sound of wild ducks flying around the lake. On reaching the source of the sounds, he would find only a dry lake bed devoid of animals, birds or grass. He had to first hone his spiritual vision by prayer, fasting and an all night vigil.

Most people think the lake is gone.

That is not correct. If you fasted and kept watch all night, the lake would become visible at daylight.

It is a wide shallow lake fed by springs falling from high cliffs. The lake is full of fish and reptiles.

Swimming on the surface and flying overhead are flocks of ducks and pigeons. Bear tracks cross the shoreline in every direction.
This is the medicine lake of all the birds and animals.

When a bear is injured, he goes to the lake and swims in the water. When he comes out the other side his wounds are healed.

This is the reason the animals keep this lake invisible to people.

Wado


Beef hash
Take two cups chopped cold roast beef and stir in two cups of chopped boiled potatoes. Add a little water, or some of the potato liquid, and simmer until hot through. This is also good with baked turkey or whatever cooked meat you might have left over.