Friends, an excerpt from my next book, now well on its way …

“He was rushing to catch up.

With older brother ‘Antone’ on his way back north, Kelleroy just wanted to go ahead and leave me something.

He was all out of breath by the time he was at the open door to the family van taking me away from our two-storey Hogan up on the little rise, about twenty miles out of the Arizona tourist town of Page.

“Here,” he panted, “this here necklace is for you for making us them bows and arrows and for taking us out to catch rabbits. All of it.”

In his one outstretched hand he held a curious-looking string of organic dull brown beads, it looked like.

When I asked what they were he simply said “These here are Ghost Beads for you, brother. Just put ‘em on if you can’t get the good sleep.”

With that I thanked him kindly and put them away.

Later in that summer, mid-1990’s, my ole hunting pal, Joe Martin and I were taking one of my lifetime friends, my arts mentor Diane Pugen and one lady she brought along to the site of an Annual Spiritual Pilgrimage to Desnethche, near Fort Reliance, way over the Tu Nedhe, Great Slave Lake, from Somba K’e, Yellowknife. Our boat trip on this big lake was very long and tiring.

We had to camp on the way at Lutsel K’e, to resupply and check in on other people bound for the place of T’seku Dawedah, Woman Sitting Up There, where there is said to be the Person of the Lady at the Falls.

When we finally got to the site at the mouth of the Lockhart River we were exhausted, having had to unload and replace the entire boatload over a portage.

We still had to set up camp in the early morning, and I thought for sure I would have a bad dream or two after all that.

Just then I thought of the Ghost Bead Necklace which my younger brother Kelleroy Zahne gave me way back when.

Not thinking more of it I found it and put it on.

As I drifted off to rocky sleep, from the continuous waves of the past three days I was greeted by all of these Disney cartoon characters, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Daffy and Donald Duck, Porky the Pig, Pluto and all the rest, merrily dancing in a jolly circle.

All their arms waving in greeting, making for some welcome and joyous greeting indeed!
I have used this Ghost Bead Necklace since, and certainly every time I think I will dream of my exes!”

Antoine Mountain

Antoine Mountain is a Dene artist and writer originally from Radilih Koe/Fort Good Hope. He can be reached at

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