The snow stopped long before dawn, never reaching very far above a man’s ankle. After sunrise the hunting party returned with a huge amount of food for the winter, the village was a buzz with activity, and with news about the stranger. With the buffalo, and the elk, the people knew they were well supplied, and they were happy.
When he woke up he did not care whether he lived or died. This was the end of his journey, either way. He had seen too much to go any further. If they killed him, then so be it. He sat up and looked around the buffalo lodge, and noticed he was alone.
He was surprised at how warm and comfortable it was. There were pelts and hides of every kind, and the buffalo blankets were especially warm. The lodge was stronger than he thought, and far different from his own home, or what used to be his home. A shot of pain came from his arm and went through the rest of his body. Before passing out again he noticed how well he had been cared for.
The next thing he knew his head was being lifted up and something warm was being pressed to his lips. It had a strong smell of herbs. When he opened his eyes he saw that it was the old woman, so he drank. It gave him strength and gradually took away some of the pain. He sat up and looked at her closely. She had a lot of wrinkles, but there was a light coming from her face, he was sure of it.
After a while they began to try to talk with each other, making signs, sounds, and drawing pictures on the floor of the lodge. It took a long time to just find out each other’s name. She noticed his language was similar to water in a stream, flowing over rocks. He figured out she was Cricket in the Field, he wasn’t sure about the last part though. When he tried to tell her his name, he made a lot noises and felt foolish, but he kept trying. She understood the first part, Thunder…., but the second part was harder. Finally he moved his lips without saying anything, and the thought dawned on her – Speaking…. It was Thunder Speaking.
Over the next three days he was visited by different people, including a very tall man, whose name he understood to be, Standing on the Mountain. He also came to understand that he was their spiritual leader. He liked the man and they spoke freely, sort of, with making signs. Cricket in the Field also met with him each day and they were busy trying to learn each other’s language. He felt uneasy about what he understood regarding her name so he asked her about it. She explained it wasn’t just a field, it was a particular kind of field where animals graze. He was from the forest near the coast, but he did notice the grasses here and the animals. Finally he caught it. It was a meadow.
A strange thing took place as they were talking. Cricket in the Meadow, realized she really liked the man, and she thought about her son who had died at the age seven. She was happy and sad at the same time. An image of Lone Horse appeared out of the corner of her right eye. She said nothing but felt his presence. He moved very close to her, and whispered in her ear, “this man will be your son”. Chills ran up and down her spine. She closed her eyes and tears streamed down her face.
Thunder Speaking saw the whole thing, including the man dressed in light. He was not scared, but he knew this was a special woman, and this place was a special place.
Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree