Dana’s Daring Do

By Lisa, the wee wordsmith


Killian ran out of the bunkhouse as if chased by a demon. She was in fact, even if it was a pretend demon. Dana, the demon, was hot on Killian’s heels, followed by her favorite friend, Kane the wonder pup. They tore through the out buildings, and thatched huts of the Amazon compound. No one took much notice of the three, who spent most of their time running around after each other screaming tiny Amazon war cries. Well, not so tiny. For eight year olds, Killian and Dana could make some very adult size noise. When combined with Kane, the sound could sometimes be deafening. Still, no one lifted an eyebrow, as the "trio of terror," {as they had affectionately become known} made for the river.

Dana and Killian had been inseparable ever since the day they met, two summers ago. Dana was already a beloved child of the entire village, since she was orphaned at birth, six summers prior. Her mother had been the much beloved younger sister of Queen Vanessa, a striking, tall, blonde Warrior. Dana favored her aunt, with curly blonde hair, and deep brown eyes. She was a special child, and everyone in the Amazon village knew it.

Killian, also orphaned, came to the Amazons from a rescue mission that had started as a hunting party. Killian was found, the only one left alive, after a raiding party had ransacked a nearby village. The Amazon hunting party, led by the great warrior, Caitlin, had heard the cries of the villagers, yet arrived too late to save anyone but Killian. The child was discovered, standing silent and stone faced over her dead mother, gripping a spear more than twice her size. Intense brown eyes met fierce cobalt blue, as the warrior, Caitlin, coaxed the child to give her the spear. Killian only gave up the spear, after Caitlin agreed to exchange it for the small knife she carried, tucked in between her breasts. The girl held on to that small knife for an entire season, before allowing it to be tucked under her pillow while she slept. To this day, Killian is not without that knife tucked somewhere on her person.

Dana and Killian were best friends and roommates. Housed in quarters of their own, just off those of the Queen herself. The two girls were raised as sisters, with the Queen and Caitlin acting as parental figures. Dana, being the stubborn daughter of her mother, would only obey Queen Vanessa, and Caitlin, no one else. Young Killian Obeyed both Queen Vanessa, and Caitlin as well. Obeying Caitlin by choice, and Queen Vanessa, on threat of serious punishment by Caitlin, if she didn’t. Our Killian loved her Queen, so this was rarely a problem.

Dana, for her part, felt very protective of young Killian. It took Killian several weeks after her arrival to speak to anyone, and several more months before she would speak to anyone besides Dana, Caitlin, Kane, and The Queen. If someone was foolish enough to pick on Killian, and they were over 12, Caitlin would straighten them out in short order. But, if the culprit was under 12, that was all Dana’s territory. Many little Amazons sported black eyes, or bruises elsewhere, before they got the message that Killian was not to be messed with.

Killian adored Dana. To her, the little warrior could do no wrong. Even when she did do something wrong, like run through the henhouse, scaring the daylights out of the chickens, after she had been told not to. Killian would argue Dana’s defense, until she was blue in the face. Dana got out of many a spanking by the verbal juggernaut her little friend could become.

And so it was, on this day, like so many days that had gone before, the two girls and one little brown spaniel puppy tore through the Village, heading straight for the river. It had not been their intention to head in that direction mind you. The river was off limits to the two girls, unless with an adult. But, the chase was on, and by a demon and everything. Killian didn’t think about where she was going, just that she had to get away. The girl was tripping over the exposed tree roots, and falling into the rushing river, long before either of them realized where they were.

Now, Killian couldn’t swim. She was getting lessons, but she was, much to Caitlin’s chagrin, a sinker. Killian tried and tried, but had a fear of the water, so could do nothing much beyond a feeble doggie paddle. And the doggie paddle was not doing her much good now. She fell into an especially deep part of the river, and began swallowing great gulps, before she surfaced choking badly, wisely clinging to a rock.

Dana had stopped at the rivers edge, and stared in shock, at the plight of her little friend.

"KILLIAN!" She screamed. "KILLIAN! Oh! Sweet Artemis! KILLIAAAAAN!"

Killian’s head bobbed up, choking and sputtering in the raging water. Dana knew, instinctively, that if she didn’t act right now, her friend would most certainly die.

The little warrior spun into action. She quickly kneeled down and looked deeply into Kane’s eyes.

"Girl, I need you to run, fast, and get Caitlin. Make her come to me. Go! Go girl!"

Dana watched as the not yet a full season old puppy, ran off towards the Village. Good girl, Dana thought, as she turned back to the water, only to see Killian slipping back under. Dana, who was a strong swimmer, and even smarter little girl, dove into the water, and after Killian.

Killian headed downstream fast, bumping large boulders with her little body, barely staying afloat.

Dana swam as fast as she could, trying to catch her friend. She could see Killian bobbing up ahead of her, but every time she got close, Killian would slip a little further away. The tiny warrior didn’t give up though. She kicked into high gear, and though battered by boulders herself, she finally caught little Killian’s leg. A few more strong strokes and Dana had Killian by the waist.

The girl hung limp in her arms as they continued to float down stream. Dana worked hard to keep Killian’s head above water as they sailed swiftly with the current. The tiny warrior wasn’t strong enough to stop them from floating further, but her powerful kick got them closer and closer to shore. Dana couldn’t lose her friend. She wouldn’t let Killian die, she thought to herself.

Dana heard Kane’s barking, long before she caught sight of the little puppy. The mighty rescuer fought to grab hold of a boulder to slow their progress. She missed it, but saw, with great glee, as Caitlin dove ahead of them into the water, followed by Queen Vanessa. They floated smack into Caitlin, who held on for dear life.

The tall warrior wedged herself against a big rock, holding fast to her little charges. Queen Vanessa swam up and grabbed a hold of Dana. The tiny warrior wouldn’t let go of Killian.

"I’ve got her Dana, you go with the Queen." Caitlin shouted about the raging river.

"No! I won’t!" Dana shouted back, and held just as tightly onto a limp Killian.

"Dana, you need to come with me. Killian is safe with Caitlin." Vanessa tried to peel the child away from her friend.

"No, I can’t let her go. She is my responsibility!" Dana cried out.

"Ok." Caitlin shouted, "We can’t do this. We will have to take them together."

By now, two more Amazons had jumped in, while more stood on the shore with blankets. With one Amazon, Nala, holding a shrieking puppy.

"Mia, Jewel, come around behind!" Vanessa shouted as she and Caitlin hoisted the girls up and over their shoulders.

"Help us stay standing. We need to keep them together." Mia, and Jewel grabbed the girl’s legs, and all six waded out of the dangerous water.

Once ashore Caitlin laid Killian down, with Dana still attached. "Dana, Killian can’t breathe, you have to let me help her."

Dana backed up, allowing access to her friend, but held her hand as Caitlin went to work pressing the water out of her lungs. Vanessa covered her niece with a blanket, and everyone waited quietly, except for Kane, who wrestled out of Nala’s grip, running to Killian, and started to lick her face.

"Stop him!" Nala shouted.

"No!" Dana yelled. "He is helping. Let him stay. Please, Aunt Vanessa!"

The Queen didn’t have the heart to pull the puppy away, and Killian did start moving a little with each lick.

Caitlin pushed and pushed on Killian’s lungs until the little girl finally coughed up nearly a half a bucket of water. The girl coughed, choked and sputtered, but finally breathed. Well, screamed is more like it. She clung to Caitlin, never letting go of Dana’s little hand. Killian cried and cried from her fright, and her injuries. In between, she coughed and gagged, and screamed some more.

After a time, Killian calmed down, as both girls were stripped, and wrapped in warm blankets. Killian wouldn’t let go of Dana, or Dana Killian, as both girls were held in the respective laps of Caitlin and Queen Vanessa. It was clear that Killian had a broken arm, and severe bruising everywhere, but shock was the worst, as Killian convulsed, and cried.

When Vanessa and Caitlin had determined they were calm enough to travel the long road back to camp, they were picked up. Just then Killian started screaming and thrashing in her blanket.

"Dana! Dana!" The distraught girl shouted. "DANAAAAA!"

Caitlin turned Killian so she could get a good look at Dana. "There she is Killian, safe. Dana is safe."

"She jumped in the water, I saw her. She was drowning. She came to save me. She was drowning, Caitlin." Killian sobbed and jerked and cried harder and harder, not understanding that Dana was right in front of her.

"Killian! Killian!" Dana crawled out of her blanket mummy wrap, and put her arms around her wailing little friend. "I am here Killian. I am here. Look at me. I am safe. Caitlin saved me! Look."

Killian let herself be hugged and hugged. She didn’t understand how Dana was not dead, but here she was talking to her. Killian cried even harder. "You’re safe! You’re safe. Caitlin saved you! Are you hurt? Are you hurt? Your face. Caitlin, Dana hurt herself."

Killian was babbling now. Caitlin was sure it was from shock. She tucked her charge in closer to her. "Yes, honey, Dana is safe, just banged up a little. Now listen to me. Are you listening?" This was something Caitlin said to Killian whenever she really needed her to listen. Killian looked at Caitlin with those deep doe eyes of hers. "Yes, Caitlin. I am listening."

"Good girl. Now you are hurt, ok? You and Dana are hurt. We need to get you back to camp as quickly as we can. I need to take you, cause you are more hurt than Dana. Queen Vanessa will take Dana right after us. We will be on horseback, and you need to let Dana go with Queen Vanessa."

Killian began to wail and thrash again.

"No! I need Dana. Caitlin. I need Dana!" Killian was nearly hysterical in her crying.

Meanwhile, Queen Vanessa was whispering to Dana. "Honey, Killian needs you now more than ever. She needs you to let Caitlin take her on Dancer, back to camp as fast as she can. She is hurting, and Caitlin needs medicine to help her. Tell Killian to go with Caitlin, and we will be along right behind. Can you do that, my little warrior?"

Dana looked into the intense brown eyes of her aunt, and knew she was serious.


Caitlin heard, and cuddled Killian close to her, trying to calm the hysterical girl.

"Killian. Killian. It’s me, Dana." Dana took her tiny hand and turned Killian’s face so she could only see Dana. "I need you to do something for me. Ok?"

Killian clung to her hand, and cried in great hiccupping gulps. "Ok, Dana. What do you want me to do?"

Dana held her friends little face in her cold hands. "Killian, I need you to go with Caitlin. I will be right behind, with Queen Vanessa. You must go with Caitlin. Now. Please, will you go for me?"

Killian stared blankly at Dana, her grip slipping. A weak, "ok Dana," passed her lips, just as she collapsed.

"Hades Hooves, I gotta get her back to my medicine."

"Go! Go now." Vanessa pulled little Dana back, rewrapping her in the blanket, as Caitlin scooped up Killian and put her on Dancer. The Warrior leapt up behind her, and they were off in a shot.

Vanessa put Dana up onto Joran, her prized Stallion. He stood very still, being that he loved Dana too. Vanessa mounted, and was about to head out, when a barking puppy ran right in front of Joran’s feet. The Huge warhorse had to side step the little thing for fear of crushing it.

"Kane! Kane! We have to take Kane!" Little Dana was more frantic, now that Killian had passed out.

Queen Vanessa could not deny her young charge anything right now. "Nala, hand Kane up here."

The Queen’s Guard reluctantly handed the squirming puppy up to the wrapped up girl.

"Thank you, Nala." The Queen expertly wrapped Kane into the bundle that was Dana, keeping both snug and safe for the time being. "The rest of you, thank you as well. I will see you back at camp. Please gather and cut extra firewood, and get water. I think Caitlin is going to need it."

Then they were gone.


The little warrior had been a good girl all morning. She made her bed, fed and brushed Kane, swept out her room, shook the rugs, and filled the oil in the bed lamps. She had done every single thing her aunt had given her to do, before she could go visit Killian in the healer’s hut.

Dana rushed, pell mell into her aunts quarters, nearly tripping over the kneeling contingent of…strangers. Whoops, thought the little girl as she met the stern eyes of her queen.

"Excuse us a moment, won’t you please." The queen spoke to the traders, as she rose gracefully from her seat and took her niece by the elbow, heading her back into her room.

Dana began to explain, but was halted by her aunt’s voice. "Don’t. Dana, sit down." Uh oh, Dana thought, I know what comes next.

"Listen to me carefully, young lady." Vanessa’s voice was hard, but she sat with her hand softly cupping the little girls chin. "What you just did in there is unacceptable. I will not have it. At any other time, I would put you over my knee right now. Today, I will not, because of why you were running in." Vanessa took Dana’s face in both hands and looked at her sternly. "However, my little warrior, if you interrupt the queen’s business again, your bottom will be paying for it. Have I made myself clear?"

Dana was sorry, very sorry, but her feet were twitching, and her hands were holding the little horse she had carved for Killian. She wanted to go already.

"Yes, Aunt Vanessa, I will be good next time. I promise."

Vanessa hugged the girl to her, knowing she hadn’t heard a word she said.

"Ok, you may go see Killian, But Dana. Look at me. This is serious. You do what Caitlin tells you too, just as if it were I talking to you. You need to agree to that, or you can’t go."

Dana was about to come out of her skin, she wanted out of there so bad. "Yes, I promise, I will listen to Caitlin. I promise, really, aunt Vanessa."

"Ok then, give me a hug, and off you go." Dana gladly embraced her aunt, who she loved so much. Then off she was, rushing wildly in the direction of the healer’s hut.

Caitlin caught her just as she burst through the door. The Warrior clamped the child’s mouth shut, and swung her around until they came to rest at the foot of Killian’s bed. Killian was asleep, her left arm splinted, and hanging from a pulley Caitlin had designed just for this injury.

Caitlin crouched down so her mouth was at ear level to the girl. "Dana, You need to be really considerate when you come by here. No running, no screaming. Understood? "

Boy, everybody is bugging me today. I just want to see killian, she thought as she looked at her silent little friend. "Yes, Caitlin, I understand. I will be quiet and good. Can we wake her up?"

Dana didn’t have to wait for Caitlin’s answer. Killian stirred, and opened her big brown eyes, fastening them on Dana.

"Oh, Dana, you’re here! You’re here!" Killian tried to sit up, but screamed in pain as she twisted her arm."

Caitlin was by her side, fixing her arm in a flash. "Whoa sweetie, you can’t do that. Shhh, it’s ok, I’ve got you."

Killian clung to Caitlin as she fixed her arm, crying in short little bursts. Dana sat on the other side of the bed, and held her good hand.

"Ok, Killian, I will prop you up, so you can talk to Dana, But you have to promise me you will stay put, no jumping around, or I will have to tie you down." This was said with a wink, making both girls laugh.

"Caitlin," Dana asked, "Can Kane come in for a visit. He misses Killian as much as I do. Please?"

"Yes, please, please, Caitlin."

The tall warrior healer was no match for the doe eyed pleas of the eight-year old pair. She simply sighed, "Oh, ok. But, Dana you have to hold him close, so he doesn’t jostle Killian’s arm. OK?"

"Yeah!" Screamed the two, as Dana ran off to get Kane. Caitlin was just happy the healer’s cottage had only one special guest right now.

Caitlin took the time while Dana was gone to check the bruising on Killian’s ribs.

"Ow! Caitlin that hurts a lot." Caitlin had Killian’s shirt up, and had gently checked the purplish blue patches all over her left side.

"Yes, sweetie, I know. They aren’t broken, but those boulders got you good sweetie. I’d go beat them up if I could for you, lass."

"You would?" Killian stared, mesmerized by her protector.

"You bet. As Dana says, ‘Nobody harms our Killian, or we’ll kick butt.’ "

"I love you guys."

"Us guys?" Dana was walking fast into the room carrying Kane, with Queen Vanessa hot on her heels.

Dana put down the puppy by Killian’s good right side. Kane sensed that he needed to be gentle, and he was, as he crawled up to lick Killian’s tears.

"Why the tears little one?" Vanessa touched Killian’s face softly, moving her hair out of her eyes, as Dana took her hand.

"I just fee…" Killian suddenly got very shy.

Vanessa crouched down, and played gently with Killian’s hair.

"What is it sweetie, you can tell us."

"It’s just." Tears ran down her face as she looked at the four who loved her most.

"You all. I feel so safe here, and you… care." Killian started crying again.

Dana had an idea. While the adults were soothing her friend, she got up and went to the next bed where she had stashed her gift. She brought it back, and handed it to Killian.

"I made you something, Killybean."

"Oh Dana, yeah, a present. Can I open it, Caitlin?" Killian had already forgotten her tears.

"Yes, sweetie, you may."

They all watched as Killian opened up the burlap wrap, to find a beautiful carved wooden horse.

"Her name is Keena, and someday I will have her for real, and I will take you riding all over the countryside.

Caitlin and Vanessa exchanged knowing glances over the children.

"I love her, Dana, let’s play."

With the crisis past, Caitlin and Vanessa left the girls and Kane to play at Killian’s bed.

The queen and Caitlin walked outside the healer’s hut just in time to see Dana’s gift being walked across the center of the village. She was a striking black mare, with two white stockings, fore and aft, with a slash of white on her forehead. The Queen turned to her friend, "You know, Caitlin, this is not going to be easy to keep from Dana. Do you think Killian can be moved to the viewing platform, for the gift giving ceremony?"

"Well, I think she would be very upset to not see Dana getting her reward, and I don’t think it is going to be any easier to move her until the new moon. So, to answer your question, yes, I will carry her over myself, and take care of her. You can focus on your little warrior."

Vanessa was beaming, " She is just like her mother at that age, do you remember?"

"Do I remember? Ha, I still have a couple of scars from when she beat the tar out of me for teasing you. And, she was younger than me by a season. Yes, I do remember. Dana is turning out to be a brave and solid little warrior. I love how she risked her life for Killian, and had the wits to send Kane for me. She is a true child of Cali. Complete with that single-minded focus. You are going to have to keep an eye on her."

Both women chuckled, and parted ways. Caitlin’s job was to keep Dana occupied while the others cleaned and decorated her gift. She didn’t think it would be too hard with Killian being forced to stay in bed. Or so she hoped.


The ceremonial dais was set, covered in an array of royal rugs, and surrounded by sunflowers. The tribe had gathered around in front of the stage, dressed in full ceremonial gear, sans masks. Masks were used only for raiding the enemy, and changing of the crown.

Seated on cushioned royal chairs were the day’s dignitaries. Queen Vanessa sat on a raised section, on her queen’s throne. To her left sat 6 of the 7 high council members, {Caitlin being the 7th} in multi-colored robes. To her far right, sat the three Traders whom the queen made some excellent trade deals with earlier. To Her immediate right, sitting in Sacred Council chairs, were little Dana, holding Kane, and Caitlin, holding little Killian on her lap, as if she were as delicate as a newborn babe.

Caitlin had admonished Killian, before she carried her out to the dais, to be still, and gentle. Vanessa and Caitlin had gone into a mini council about whether to tell Killian about the gift, so she wouldn’t hurt herself when she saw Keena. It had been decided that the secret would have driven Killian to distraction, so they decided to have Killian sit in Caitlin’s lap for the ceremony.

The queen lifted her hand, and the tribal drumming began. Loud rhythmic thumping on ancient ancestral drums captivated the tribe. Dancers emerged from deep within the gathered women in slow, panther like movements.

Dana realized, as the dancers moved up to the very front of the dais, that they were doing her favorite dance. She screamed with joy, and grabbed for Killian. Luckily, Caitlin had placed herself so Dana would be by Killian’s good side, so all that happened was a reverie of children yelling and clapping, and a little dog going crazy. Everyone took it in stride, knowing this whole ceremony was for their bravest little warrior.

As the dancer’s retreated, Queen Vanessa stood to address the tribe.

"Today, we have witnessed one of the greatest acts of bravery this tribe has ever seen. Our very own little warrior, Dana, risked her life to save our precious Killian. Come here, Dana."

Dana turned bright red, and sat stunned in her chair, staring out at all of the people focused on her. Killian reached over and grabbed Dana’s hand.

"It’s ok Dana," Killian whispered. "They all love you, give me Kane, and go to Queen Vanessa. Ok?"

Dana looked at Killian, who had fresh tears streaming down her cheeks.

"Why are you crying, Killian?" Dana forgot about everything as she focused on her friend.

"You are the bravest friend I have ever had. I love you, Dana."

"Oh, Killybean…."

Dana wiped Killian’s tears from her eyes as her friend spoke.

"Ok, Dana, give me Kane, and go to your aunt. Go on, we will wait right here for you."

Dana got up, handed Kane to Killian, and walked into the loving arms of Queen Vanessa.

"Today is a very special day. It is Dana’s Day. For the rest of this day, and tonight, we will have a special holiday in honor of our noblest little Warrior. Mattie will be serving Dana’s favorite meal for supper, and all will play games, until our special guest has had her fill, or falls asleep. Caitlin will be taking bets for which one happens first!"

Dana’s tribe broke into clapping and shouting to honor the young champion.

"Now, for all of her courage in the face of dire circumstances, we give our little sister our finest reward. Bring her out."

Dana’s eyes got wide as Keena was walked through the opening in the crowd.

Killian screamed with delight, almost toppling her, Kane, and Caitlin from the chair. Caitlin’s quick reflexes were the only thing that saved further calamity.

Dana stood with her mouth hanging open as Keena was walked up close to the stage, mere feet from the little girl.

"Aunt Vanessa, you can’t be serious. She is mine? Mine?" Dana couldn’t stop staring at the most beautiful horse she had ever seen.

"Yes, my sweet. She is all yours. Caitlin will help you care for her, and teach you what you need to know to become a horsewoman for our tribe. You are now an official horsewoman, Dana"

Killian screamed again, as the tribe cheered and applauded the new title.

Dana’s face was fixed in disbelief. Her greatest wish was coming true. To be allowed to become a horsewoman, like Caitlin. She swallowed as her aunt enveloped her in a fierce hug.

"Oh Aunt Vanessa. Thank you." Dana’s tears came for the first time since Killian’s injury. She wept heavily as her aunt held her tight.

Caitlin helped Killian and Kane down from the chair. Kane ran and nuzzled Dana’s leg, as Killian, with Caitlin’s help, made it to Dana’s convulsing form. Killian reached out her good hand to Dana.

The little warrior turned, so Killian, Caitlin and Vanessa could all embrace her at once….

And still the crowd cheered, with nary a dry eye anywhere.


Caitlin pulled Dancer to a halt at the top of the meadow. Gaia had favored her daughters with a wet spring. Now the meadow stood full of wild flowers and lush green grasses.

Down the trail a ways rode Vanessa, in all of her breathtaking beauty, atop Joran. The Queen waved up at Caitlin and smiled. Behind her sat Dana and Killian on Keena. The two looked tiny upon the great warhorse, yet Dana held the reins like a seasoned warrior. Caitlin had taken great pains during the long winter to teach Dana everything she could. For her part, Dana was an excellent student. Only being distracted by her need to see Killian in the healer’s hut.

Two weeks ago, Caitlin finally sprang Killian, but it was only today that she allowed her to ride, with Dana for the first time.

Caitlin whistled that she had found their picnicking spot. Kane heard the whistle, and bounded through the tall grass to find her humans waiting for her.

The four Amazons gathered under a blooming Magnolia tree. She was fragrant and lush, as if she grew only for them, just for today. Killian name her Grace. The large tree seemed to Killian to nod and thank the lass for her name.

Dana looked at her friend, her mentor, her dog, and her amazing aunt. She smiled inside as she sat down on the blanket.

All was well again in the world of Vanessa’s Tribe.

The end

Lisa Weimer

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