“Grandma?” The small voice singsonged.
“Yes, dear Aesha?” Came a gravelly response.
“Will you tell me about our goddess again...pleaseee?”
The little wolf gave her best pup pout and widened already doe-like hazel eyes. Though it wasn’t necessary; Grandma Jess wouldn’t say no. She moved to her floral arm chair in the corner of their tiny living room and once seated patted her lap. Bouncing with glee, the girl snatched up the quilt they had made together and clambered into Jess’s lap.
She waited patiently while Aesha turned herself into a burrito with the starry fabric. The aging woman smiled warmly at the way Alesha’s wild curly blonde hair stuck out of her burrito hood. Only the girls face was visible and Jess nearly giggled at the little ones scrunched nose and raised eyebrows.
“Now that you’re all snug...our Goddess’s name is Nyx and she is our great mother. She has created many things, brightness, friendship, sleep, and dreams; but more importantly child she gave life to other goddesses.”
“Woww. There are OTHER goddesses grandma?!” The girl asked with eyes like saucers.
“Oh yes, dear. Would you like me to tell you of them?”
The girl nodded furiously, excited for her grandma to continue.
“Desti was the first of Nyx’s children. She is known by many names: Doom, Destiny, Fate, Karma. She reveals herself in the stars, closest to our mother Nyx who can be found in the moon.”
Jess let the information sink in before beggining her next description.
“Next we’re the twins. The first born being Vita, though many call her Life. The second born was Odia, often referred to as Death.”
Aesha cringed at the last word. “Grandma...is Odia a bad goddess?”
Jess cupped the girls reddened cheek and sighed. “No child. Odia is not bad. The goddesses are neither bad nor good. They bring balance to the world, they understand that there must be light as well as dark, love as well as hate, heat as well as cold.”
“But grandma...how can death be good?”
“Well that is just it dear, death is not good...but it also is not bad. It is simply a fact, it is natural, and it maintains balance. There is no life without death and no death without life.”
Jess watched as the girl, a mere 6 years of age, let this idea settle in her mind. A relaxed look crossed her vision, like every fear had evaporated. Jess had never seen such acceptance and understanding in one so young so she continued.
“Vita guides us into the realm of the living and breathes life into every organism. Her twin, Odia guides us through our departure of this world and brings peace to our souls.”
“The youngest goddess is Terra, she is all around us, she is often called Earth and her symbol is a mountain.”
Silently, Aesha nodds. Her curls following the movement even in her tightly wrapped burrito. Pursing her lips, a new question seems to form.
“If there are other goddesses and they do so much, why do we only celebrate Nyx?”
Impressed by Aeshas question, Jess takes pause and considers. Her granddaughter had an excellent inquiry and for once, she had no answers.
“Well...Nyx is our mother. Many wolves seek her guidance and her approval.”
“It does not seem right when the goddesses all play a part in the world...”
In all her years, Jess has never encountered such purity. Sure most children are innocent, but there’s always been something about Aesha...something in the softness of her voice, something gentle in her eyes, something soothing in her touch, something quiet about her approach, something light in her heart...
“No, it doesn’t dear. Perhaps you will be the one to open our eyes to our mistakes. One day, when you have your wolf, you will show us how to sing to every goddess.”
Little Aesha’s face broke into a sweet smile, allowing her dimples to reveal themselves as her freckles danced across her face.
“I will grandma. I will sing even for Odia. It must make her sad...that no one sings for her.”
The girl tumbled from her grandmas lap and shook off her blanket to run upstairs. Little Aesha did not notice how her grandmothers eyes darkened or how her lips tilted down. She did not notice the creases in her forehead or the way she clasped her hands tightly together. She did not hear her grandmother pray to Nyx as the goddesses light flooded in through the blinds.
“Great Mother, I ask that you continue to keep Aesha safe. Let her bore no ill will and hold no darkness within. Let there be only compassion, love, and understanding in her heart. And may HE not taint her precious soul with his corruption.”
Jess opened her pale blue eyes and rose from her seat. Slowly, she made her way around the corner and up the old wooden stairs. She moved past her bedroom and toward Aeshas door on the left. Her granddaughter was already in bed waiting to be tucked in.
Crossing the room, her purple nightgown moved elegantly with her silver hair cascading down her back.
“Grandma, will I ever be as pretty as you?”
“Child, you are already beautiful. But you must remember true beauty comes from your heart. Many are beautiful on the outside but few have truely beautiful hearts.”
With a small grin and a yawn the little wolf nodded and pulled her covers up to her chin. Jess placed a quick kiss to her forehead and a light boop on her nose.
“Good night, dear Aesha.” She cooed.