Daniel "Walking Tree"
Daniel has recently moved to Washington to live with his Uncle Paul, who
works at the National Zoo. Daniel is a
(Ojibwa) Indian from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where the snows
begin in October and end in May. Ever since the tribe opened its big
casino in the UP, Danny's mother has been worried that her son will lose
the old traditions and be corrupted by gambling and drinking. She has sent
Danny to her brother to protect him from this.
Although Danny, 15, misses his life in Michigan, especially the ice hockey
that he shares with his friends there, he is fascinated by the city, and
even more fascinated by the creatures who inhabit the zoo, where he spends
as many hours as he can each week. This gives Danny a chance to see the
zoo animals up close, and to practice his private passion for tracking.
Dan likes to pretend that he is living in the United States before
Europeans ever arrived. When he looks up at the rocky hills which surround
the zoo, he imagines villages of Powhatan Indians.
Danny knows he's handsome, with strong features and black hair
over thick, black brows, but he doesn't really care much what
people think of him. The only real friend of his own age that
he's made since he moved to Washington is a kid by the name of
Trickster, whose passion is skateboarding and who is teaching
Danny how to fly on wheels. Dan loves the feeling of skimming
downhill on a skateboard almost as much as he loves the feel of
ice under his blades.
The most secret part of Dan Logan though, something he has never
even told his mother, is that, since he was a little kid he has
had a dream guide, an old and horribly disfigured man who calls
himself Tsquallane. Danny has never seen this name in the
history books he's read, but he's pretty sure the Grandfather is
somebody important. When Danny was little, the old man would
come and tell him stories of a time when Dan's people, the
Ojibwa, lived all up and down the Eastern part of the country.
Now that he's older, Danny seldom sees Tsquallane except in
dreams, Nonetheless, the old man is as real to Dan as the people
around him are. Tsquallane is his teacher and friend.