Historical Microfiction About First Nations People in the 1700’s
It was not easy, being married to the man everyone thought of as their chief. She had a great love for Hawk in the Sky, but the people often came to him to solve their problems, or to simply ask his advice. It all had to do with his father, Standing Bear, having been chief, and everyone expected the same from his son. But Hawk in the Sky was different. When his father died, he changed the way the Tsi people were governed. He thought the people should be ruled by a group of leaders, and so now the people had a group of elders, known as the council. The people saw the wisdom in this, and their respect grew even more for her husband.
There were many times, especially in the winter, where the people from their village would come to their lodge in the middle of the day to talk. They would leave, and then another group would come in the evening, eat with their family, and talk until late. This made it difficult for the couple to have time together, and Redwing always felt like she was not able to get her work done.
Hawk in the Sky had ingenious ways to deal with the problem. If he saw his wife getting flustered, or disappointed, he would get a knowing smile on his face, wink at her (without anyone else seeing), and then keep the conversation short. There were times he referred the people to Standing on the Mountain, their spiritual leader. For sickness issues, or if there was a need for medicines, he would refer them to Cricket in the Meadow. If nothing else worked, he would say Redwing wasn’t feeling well today (she was pregnant after all), so they should come back tomorrow. It worked.
In addition to being a respected leader, he was sensitive to what she needed. Often, after the people left, he would embrace her, stroke her hair, and talk softly to her. If there was one thing he had learned, it was that his wife needed more holding when she was expecting a child. She loved him for it.
Weather permitting, he would often take their two boys outside. They were five and seven now, and old enough to start learning the bow (small ones of course). Their father had always been an excellent hunter, but they had heard many times, the story of his killing the bear that attacked Songbird. Hawk in the Sky’s arrows had been so swift that day, and so strong, the huge animal was defeated very quickly. The two boys wanted to be heroes like their father, brave and strong. At other times he would take them to feed the horses, or he would teach them about tracking animals in the snow.
It was during these times that Redwing could be alone if she wanted, or more likely, spend times with her friends. Sky and Cricket in the Meadow were frequent visitors. Sometimes Cricket in the Meadow would examine her, to see how she and the child inside were doing. She was so grateful that both of them would be there during the birth as helpers.
She loved Sky as a sister. The two of them could talk for hours, about anything. Ever since Sky’s healing from fear, she had been a powerful force for good, among the people. She also loved to hear Sky talk about her love for Wild Horse! Redwing, and Cricket in the Meadow would lovingly tease her and say things like, “Oh my, is it hot in here?!!” Three of them would then burst out laughing.
Some of her favorite times though came with Holds the Fire and her daughter Bluebird. The Grie people had been an incredible blessing to their village, and now it was true that they would stay here. They were two different peoples, with different languages, yet so much alike. Redwing loved the beautiful, rich, blue colors the Grie were so famous for. Holds the Fire was fond of wearing a dark blue color, that the people loved.
Redwing loved the way Holds the Fire carried herself, and how she respected everyone. She came to be like a mother to Redwing. Redwing felt she could trust her so much, that one day, when the two of them were alone, she asked Holds the Fire an important question, as they sat around the lodge fire.
With tears in her eyes, Redwing asked her, “Would it be alright……I…..well……would it be alright if I called you……. mother…..?” Holds the Fire was stunned, but did not hesitate, “Yes….yes….it would be alright…….daughter” as she wiped the tears from her own eyes.
Redwing closed her eyes in a prayer of gratitude, and was thinking……..life sure was good……in the village….
Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree
images from google unless noted otherwise