K’aalógii, Butterfly Boy
Join Rory and Katie on their wild adventures, veterinary school experiences, and complicated romance. It's a multi-faceted story of their love for animals, for tradition, and for each other.
“You are so beautiful, my Indian Princess.
“And you are my K’aalógii.”
“What is K’aalógii?”
“K’aalógii is Butterfly. You are my Butterfly Boy, and I am your Indian Princess.”
The curtain of water covered the entrance into a dark cave. Daylight dimmed as it passed through the moving water, casting an unnatural, cold-blue glow that played a light game on the algae growing there. It made the grotto walls look soft to the touch with their deep-blue hue. But, although appearing warm and comforting, the algae gave the walls a cold and slimy feel.
Rory was attracted to this novelty, but Katie felt a foreboding as she neared the cave’s entrance. Eager to show his gal the eerie magic, he stepped through the waterfall turning to grab her hand from inside the water curtain. She screamed when she saw his hand come through. He was going to pull her into this place that everything in her warned her not to enter.
It made her mad. Oh, come on girl get over it! She thought. Pushing through her fear she jumped through the waterfall as if it were on fire. Her sudden movement pushed him off balance, and they both fell into the foot-deep water. He rose first and was startled to see the light in the pool changing color from glowing blue to a sickly, greenish red. He looked closer at Katie and realized the odd tone was coming from her. It spread out from her, illuminating not only the floor but also the walls, the ceiling, everything in an evil, cold, horrible hue.
The air chilled, he could see his breath, and there was heaviness inside this cave making his breathing labored.
He crouched down, took her hands, and helped her to her feet.
“Katie, you’re bleeding!” he said alarmed. A steady stream of blood seeped through her bathing suit and flowed down her legs. Something was wrong.
Suddenly, Katie doubled over in pain. “Rory, please, get me out of here,” she gasped, grabbing at him, but it was too painful. Then she let go, doubled over, and vomited, crumbling back into the water, pulling at her bathing suit. “Get my suit off, Rory, I need my suit off.”
Rory helped her struggle out of the bikini bottom and grabbed her hand again. “Let’s go,” he said, trying to pull her to her feet.
“No, hold me, lift me from the water,” she pleaded as the painful cramping bore down on her again. “Ahh, oww,” she cried out. Twisting from Rory's grip, she fell back into the water into a fetal position; pain wracked her entire being. A force was wrestling her, taking her baby from her, and she knew she was losing the battle.
“Oh, Rory, our baby. It’s the baby!”
-Butterfly Boy, Chapter 33-
While living on her native Navajo reservation, Katie Reynolds develops an interest in veterinary medicine when she helps Dr. Colgrave, an extension veterinarian find the connection between animals on the reservation and the death of tribal members.
Although leaving her world for college and veterinary school is scary Katie finds support and guidance into the bilagáana’s, the white man’s world from Ellen, Dr. Colgrave’s wife. Excelling in her undergraduate studies, Katie accepts a place into the elite and prestigious University of California veterinary college at Davis.
Katie enters school intending to return to Dinétah, the Navajo homeland to serve her people after graduation, but her heart gets in her way, and she finds herself in a quandary when she falls in love with Rory, a white fellow entirely unaccustomed to her way of life.
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When they meet in veterinary school Rory is instantly enamored while Katie is the opposite. But veterinary school takes four years, and the small class of veterinarians gets close during their tenure.
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It is during veterinary school Katie’s love quandary unfolds. That’s when she develops feelings for Rory Evans, a bilagáana not of her culture. Given Katie’s segregated upbringing this was entirely unexpected, with common sense tugging her back while conditions of the heart propel her the other way.
Katie eventually gives in to Rory's persistence as slowly but surely he becomes her man. There are severe disruptions as they grow together but that's what makes life complicated and books interesting.
As her love for this bilagáana called Rory develops, Katie must seek guidance through her Navajo traditions, her mother, Rose, and ultimately from Rory himself. Rory needs to grow too, but unlike Katie he is hesitant to look to friends for guidance, still seeking those with more knowledge than a contemporary would possess.
Although this emotional railroad engine came as a surprise to Katie, her mother initiated the first foray by marrying a bilagáana herself; Katie was only half-Navajo. But the mixing gave her daughter an incredible head start advantage to try to forge a deeper way into the bilagáana world. She could bring badly needed knowledge back to her people.
Katie moves in with Rory once they find common ground, and they take trips to the redwoods and California's bayou country during breaks from school. On these excursions Rory begins to understand the side of Katie that compels her to return home to the reservation. But, for him, the ‘rez’ is a foreign and dangerous place and he hesitates to commit to a move there.
When he finally agrees to visit Katie’s homeland she shows him the beauty and majesty of the Havasupai Reservation, where the turquoise waters of Havasu Creek tumble over one-hundred-foot ledges before mixing with the muddy waters of the Colorado River.
Rory’s maturity accelerates when René, a handsome Basque, whose history and family security offers Katie the confidence she is seeking herself becomes an attractive alternative suitor.
Being educated away from her people, Katie’s path inexorably draws her away from her tribal goals, the very ones she has clung to during the first part of her life. Suddenly, because of unexpected love, rigorous education, and exposure to a different culture, Katie realizes her carefully constructed world is disintegrating. To maintain both their sanities, Katie must decide whether she will enter Rory’s world or stay within the confines of her homeland.
Finding composure, Katie agrees to take Rory hiking to the Blue Waters.
Rory finds a cave next to Havasu Creek and excitedly shows Katie his discovery. However, the cave is a place of evil and Katie collapses inside. When Rory goes out to find help, a log falls over the entrance. Meanwhile, dark forces within the cave cause Katie to miscarry their unborn child.
Just to let you know, your book is fresh and captivating. Glitches very few and slight, and you're clever to pre-apologize for being a dyslexic genius. You have a big "payload" of information that's unfamiliar to us mundane readers and keeps us reading. Also, the personal stories and outlooks are genuine and engaging. (I'm trying to be quotable here.)
It may take me a long while to finish, because I'll read a few pages and then get lost in my own reveries: tragicomic encounters with girls and other large animals, horse crashes, etc. I'll read along blindly while remembering my first courship 50 years ago, or my current Cuban one with its highs and lows. Then I have to flip back and pick up your story.