The more she learned about him the more she loved him. When he told Bluebird about leaving his original village near the coast, she cried. She was horrified about his people dying, and that the village was mostly abandoned. She thought out loud that maybe the Grie and Tsi should go and fight the bad people there. He pondered this for a moment and said, “Then we would be no better than they are”. She cried again and held a hand over her mouth, this time because she was so happy the Creator had given her this particular man.
Both the Grie and Tsi people made sure the young couple had time together. They talked freely for hours, only occasionally stumbling over words, smiling or laughing about it. Sometimes they were outside but mostly they were in a lodge. A lot of shifting had taken place since the Grie people arrived. The Tsi people were one of the few that had lodges for their supplies. This was especially important in the winter, and included food for their horses. Supplies and people were moved so that each of the Grie families now had their own lodge. The young couples did share their space, but only with extra supplies of food.
Thunder Speaking was living alone in his lodge again, which was good for having people visit. Bull Elk and Seven Hawks were regular visitors. At first he thought the visits were just social, but he caught on they were also teaching him about the Grie people. Their origins and customs were of a particular interest to him. They spent hours talking together, eating, and smoking the pipe.
As his love for her grew, there were times when she came to his lodge, and he loved these times! She would fuss over his arm, and they both were busy setting up the lodge for when they were married. They talked about their lives and their dreams. They often kissed, and held one another, but stopped before it went any further. “Soon” they both said, smiling.
Since they were near the forest some of the Grie and Tsi men went deer hunting, and Thunder Speaking went along for the ride, even though he could not hold a bow yet. They were stretching their supplies by going hunting in between storms. The Grie were clearly impressed with the fact that there were so many deer and elk living in the area. Bull Elk spoke in perfect Tsi, “this is a good land”.
When his mother, Cricket in the Meadow, came to visit she always spoke about her relationship with Lone Horse. He learned about men and women, how they see things differently, what makes them think a certain way, and how to resolve conflicts. She did this by telling stories, and what she and Lone Horse did in different situations. He could clearly see a light coming from her face. She would often stir the fire when she spoke, but he could also see the image of Lone Horse’s spirit sitting next to her, nodding his head in agreement, and smiling. Thunder Speaking always thanked his mother for these visits but he really had no words to express his gratitude for the gifts of wisdom that she shared.
After she left, he would always sit alone and ponder her words. She truly was a mother to him, and he knew without a doubt, that the Creator was living in this village – his village – and that he belonged here…. among the Tsi and Grie people.
Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree