When he arrived back at the village there was a lot of whooping and hollering by the children. They were running and jumping around, as if they had never seen a person return from a hunt before. Hawk in the Sky led three horses (including the spotted one) full of provisions, as he walked back to the village. Old women smiled, and men slapped his back with congratulations.
It was always good to have food, and give to those in need. The elderly were always given their portions first, as a sign of respect. He couldn’t help but smile, as he entered the lodge of the elderly Bear, and his wife Running Doe. “Good hunting is always an excellent sign”, Running Doe said, with her smile beaming.
It wasn’t until later, as he was sitting around the fire with his wife, that he remembered the dreams he had been having, and they were not a good sign at all. Staring into the fire he realized there would be another race of people coming to their land, and there was a horrible storm behind them. They were a race of light skinned people, with hair on their face……and well to be honest……they smelled. No these dreams were not good at all.
His wife stared at him with concern on her face. He had not touched his food. He shook off his worries, and smiled as he looked up at her. She relaxed as she stared at him, wondering if tonight was a good night? It was her smile that got him each and every time.
Tomorrow he would meet with the village counsel and talk, right now it was time to be with his beautiful Red Wing. He loved her softness. The children were asleep, and the two of them would soon be as well….. underneath….. the buffalo blankets.
Note: This is inspired by First Nations/Native American stories.
It was the thunder that caught his attention that day. He was sitting on the 32nd floor, of the company’s office building in Manhattan, in a board meeting, watching the storm lashing at the ceiling to floor windows. But when the thunder shook the building it got everyone’s attention.
The CEO stopped his presentation, they all looked, momentarily concerned, and then they started the meeting again. The storm was only mildly interesting to them, a temporary interruption. James Dreamwalker thought about it differently though.
This storm was an affirmation. As he listened now to the company president, talk about the numbers, the strength of the company, the exploding market in Singapore, it all became background noise to the much more important event going on outside. He was having yet another vision. In the vision, he was dancing at an event, with his cousins, his feet were pounding, his heart beating with the drums, his body moving, as he felt the presence of the Creator. He continued to see in the vision, people moving, colors in a blur, and for some reason a horse. He was riding bareback, in a place with red rocks. It was all moving and spinning, but he could see the horse sweat. The horse was pounding away, flying over the ground at top speed. It took his breath away.
The vision ended with his mother’s voice in what appeared to be a cave, with smoke. Was she in the afterlife? He could not see her, but there was a light, and she repeated what she had said, seconds before she died, “You were not made, to chase after money”. He stood up now, in the middle of the board meeting, and walked towards the ceiling to floor windows. With his face against the glass, he could hear the wind howling. It was saying to him, to get out of there, and to not come back. It all confirmed what he had been sensing for weeks. He was to go back to his people.
“Standing Bear”, he said out loud. The board members stopped talking, and turned to him. “James?” “What are you talking about?”, one of them asked. James, turned to the group of men, now realizing what he had said. He went with it anyway. “I need to talk to Joseph Standing Bear”, he said. “Excuse me”, he mumbled as he left the room.
As he left the group of men (there were no women) they mumbled about James’ mother passing away recently, and he was taking it badly. Then the president of the company began quoting numbers again, and the meeting recommenced, with the strength of the company in Hong Kong, and Taipei.
In the elevator, James Dreamwalker pushed the down button, realizing he wouldn’t be seeing this place again.
Historical Fiction About First Nations People of the 1700’s
Note for New Readers: The village you are about to enter has three distinct First Nations groups, the Tsi, the Grie, and now the Ite.
He was not used to people saving his life. Now he had an entire group of people that he was thankful to and thankful for. He didn’t know what to say. He had nearly died from the fever, and the search party waited for a week to travel again, until it broke. And then there was the eagle. How do you say thank you to an eagle? Was the bird for real, or just a spirit, or some of both? He was not sure.
They traveled slowly back to the village, due to Coyote still being weak. Shining Water and Thunder Speaking were at his side the whole time. Everything else was a blur, and he remembered little, until they arrived. He remembered the noise, the celebration of the people, welcoming everyone back home. The languages were so different, he could not understand a word they were saying, but he knew the people were happy, and he knew a sincere greeting when he saw one.
He remembered being helped to a lodge, with a person on each side of him, and that once he was inside, he collapsed. He awoke late the next day, when a number of people came to check on him. Sky continued to supply him with a number of herbal drinks, and they brought him food.
Thunder Speaking and his wife, Bluebird, spent a lot of time with him over the next several days. They told him all about the village, and that this was a village with three different peoples, and their languages. This had been a Tsi village, and then Thunder Speaking arrived, being the only Ite. Over the winter a group of Grie people had arrived, seeking refuge. And now Coyote, Shining Water, and the twins had arrived, being the last of the Ite people alive.
Shining Water also came to visit him and to bring him food. Everyone wanted him to eat! Why did he not like her before? He began to notice her, and he thanked her often for her kindness. She was a tall thin woman, and she often smiled at him. Was that a sparkle in her eye?
As he gained his strength he began walking around the village, and he saw how special the place was. There were not only different peoples, with different languages, these people were also very loving and kind. He often smiled at them, and they did likewise.
The more he walked outside in the cool spring air, the better he felt. When it rained he stayed in the warmth of the lodge, by the fire, and wearing thick buffalo blankets. Since it was early spring he started noticing young couples in love.
He often saw Wild Horse and Sky walking hand in hand, sometimes embracing on the edge of the village, or out by the horses. Wasn’t she a holy woman, a healer? Did they allow that type of thing here? He couldn’t help smiling, as he walked back to his lodge. He knew they would soon be married. He wondered what it would be like, having a woman so close, that she became his best friend. A woman as a friend? For some reason, as he was walking, he had an image in his mind of Shining Water. He saw her face, and she was smiling at him. “What a strange and wonderful place this is!”, he said out loud.
Historical Microfiction About First Nations People
There was snow on the ridge that day. Shining Water did the best she could keeping the others warm. When she saw the eagle, she was hopeful that something good was about to happen. The eagle looked at her and came lower. She could see now what was in the huge bird’s talons. It was a feather! It was not just any feather – it was a feather that was decorated, a feather that someone would wear!
She boldly stood, and placed her hands in front of her. She understood the feather was a gift for her, and she placed her arms out to receive it. The eagle seemed to understand, because he swooped down and dropped the feather in front of her. One of his huge wings brushed her face, as she felt the air from his power.
She was elated, and as the immense bird took off to the south, she raised her hands to the heavens. She was filled with the power of encouragement. The Creator was in this place and working. She yelled to the eagle, “Go and tell them where we are!” The eagle responded with a beautiful yell, an eagle yell.
It took the search party more than a day to get there. They followed the eagle the best they could, and hoped for the best. When the eagle first returned to them they measured the time and how fast the eagle flew, giving them an estimate for the distance. They moved as fast as they could, even Bluebird did well with the travel.
Shining Water realized the search party may need more help in finding the four of them. Early the next morning she gave Coyote the last amount of herbal medicine she had. He was still burning up, and she was concerned about the cough. She explained to the twins on what to do while she was gone. She took Coyote’s bow and his arrows, and two knives, and headed down the valley to see if she could find the people looking for them.
By midday the eagle kept hovering over Shining Water as she walked alone, by the creek. The search party could see the eagle hovering, circling in one area, even though he was miles away. They took this as a sign, and two of the men, raced ahead of the others, as fast as their horses would carry them. It was Thunder Speaking and Wild Horse, that found her first. When she saw them coming, she sank to her knees and wept. She had never been so happy to see other people, in her whole life. When she heard Thunder Speaking – talking to her in the Ite language, she wept even more.
When the search party made it to the ridge, where the other Ite people were struggling to keep warm, it was late in the day. They decided to make a camp for the night, complete with the small lodges they had brought. Sky, sprung into action, with medicines, and warm buffalo blankets for Coyote. They decided to stay there until the healing had taken place.
Just before the sun went down, they heard the yell of the eagle. They all went outside, except for Coyote. As they saw the eagle circling, they each raised a hand to him, and said, “Thank you!” As they watched him soar into the heavens, they all had tears in their eyes.
Maybe she was being selfish. Bluebird had traveled with the search party because she did not want to be without her husband. Was that so wrong? They were newly married, and she couldn’t bear to think of going weeks without seeing him. Plus if something did happen to him while he was gone, she would never know, what happened. So they went together.
She was exhausted now though. They had been traveling for a week, and the child within her was growing. She alternated riding and walking which were both good for her, but the pace was difficult. Each day was very long. Fortunately the search party had brought several small lodges, and she could rest, and feel at home in the evening.
The next morning Sky did something unusual. She thought they should stay in their temporary camp, and to pray. They had no idea where to go and they needed guidance. They compromised by having some of the men go scouting, to see what they could find, while Sky made some smoke and lifted up prayers. This also gave Bluebird time to rest.
About midday, the men started returning to the camp, when they noticed an eagle flying very high above them. The majestic wings seemed to follow them, and came lower. It was as if the eagle wanted to look at them and discover who they were. When they dismounted their horses at the camp, the eagle was still there, soaring gently above them.
Sky could not sense anything from the Creator, and was frustrated, but when she saw the eagle, everything changed. She began talking to the creature, quietly. She seemed sure, that the great bird could hear her. Bluebird came out of the lodge, and noticed everyone was quiet, with their heads looking up. “We need you to come and help us great eagle”, she heard Sky say. The eagle did come very low and circle them. They could tell now, he was looking at them. Sky continued to speak, “We need you to come and help us great eagle”.
The eagle darted to the left and landed in a tree not far from them. The bird was immense, with beautiful golden feathers. Sky whispered to Bluebird, to get a decorated feather from the lodge, the kind they wore on their clothing. Once Sky had the feather in her hand, she continued talking to the eagle softly, explaining they needed to find the people in the mountains that were lost.
Sky gently, slowly, walked towards the eagle in the tree, talking in a whisper. When she was very close she crouched low and placed the feather on the ground. She then backed up, facing the eagle, and whispered. When she was back with the search party, she could be heard saying, “…please take this feather to them, and let us know where they are…” She then raised both hands, and as if on command, the great bird launched from the branch, swooped down towards them, and grabbed the feather from the ground. They were in awe.
The eagle flew high, and towards the north, his massive wings lifting him up. Did he understand what Sky was saying? He seemed to. Would he lead them to the Ite people? They could hope. Sky said nothing, but she seemed convinced.
In another part of the mountains, things had not been going well for the Ite. They had been carrying Hummingbird, due to her injured ankle. It had also been raining for the past three nights, and the hides they were using as a shelter were now a useless pile of soggy rags. Coyote had been carrying Hummingbird, but he was sick, and coughing. Shining Water asked him to stop, but he would not, and walked for several more miles, staggering, and exhausted. Finally he collapsed.
When Shining Water felt his forehead, she found that he was burning with fever. They needed some help, and they needed it to be soon. They were on a ridge, with some large rocks, and Shining Water decided to make a camp there. She began building a fire.
It was then that she noticed the eagle, circling overhead. Was he looking at them? And what was that, he was carrying in his talons?
Historical Microfiction About First Nations People
“Daughter you cannot do this, it is much too dangerous!” Bull Elk was raising his voice now, but it was not from anger. He was terrified for his daughter. Bluebird loved her father, but she stood her ground. “Father I need to be with my husband, and we believe most of the Ite in the mountains are women or young girls.” “They need a woman there.” This part made sense, but Bull Elk launched out again with, “Daughter you are expecting a child!” Bluebird did not waver, “I will be on horseback father, and you know how children love the motion of riding”. She was right again. Her father was about to grasp for more straws, when someone came to their lodge door.
When Sky came in, she did not hesitate, but explained, “I too can go with the search party”…..she looked at both of them, and continued “… and with Bluebird.” Bull Elk was speechless. Women in a search party? This had never been done before, at least not that he could remember. Who was going to talk some sense into these two?
It had been a warm day, and the snow from the day before, had melted. Trees could be seen with buds, and there were more birds singing in the area now. Life was returning. The people decided to have a meeting, around the large fire in the middle of the village. It was about the search party. Everyone agreed that a search party should go, but who should be a part of it? Men and women were at the meeting (another area of concern for Bull Elk), and everyone that wanted to, had an opportunity to speak their mind.
Sky was a strong woman, and she made a good case for her going with the men. She might be needed as a healer, and she thought she could help find the Ite, due to being a seer. She said this with the utmost humility, the way Cricket in the Meadow had taught her. She wanted to help, and the truth was, they would have an easier time of finding the people, with her along. Her husband to be, Wild Horse, spoke in favor of this. It did make good sense, and the people agreed.
The only question now centered around Bluebird. Of course it would be up to her, and Thunder Speaking, but everyone was concerned for her safety. It would be dangerous. The rivers and streams would be flooded due to melted snow, and impossible to crossover. They also might be gone for weeks. Would they be safe for that long?
It was warm the next day, and the four Ite people in the mountains made a lot of progress, going east. They always traveled east, up hills, down into valleys, and along the sides of mountains. Shining Water and the twins, Hummingbird, and Walks with Deer, were greatly encouraged by the sun on their faces. Even Coyote, starting thinking that their adventure was a good thing. He knew that wherever Thunder Speaking was, it was a good place, and they would be safe there. He knew they needed a people to belong to.
Everything was going well…..until the bear started chasing them. They rounded the bend of a mountainside trail, and saw the cave. Before they knew it, they heard the roar, and the bear charged them, as they ran as fast as they could down the mountain. Fortunately the mother bear was weak, from hibernating. She did not run after them very long, but Hummingbird took a bad fall, and sprained her ankle.
One thing was for certain, they could really use some help right now.
Historical Microfiction About First Nations People of the 1700’s
The snow was melting now and the people were beginning to heal. The long, difficult winter was fading as a memory. The first sprouting of flowers could be seen, peaking through the ground, sometimes coming up through the snow, determined to make an appearance. There was no holding back their life. It was time to live again.
The people felt the same way. They had experienced great sadness, but there had been joy too. There had also been tremendous victory over fear. Sky, was especially grateful for the freedom from fear that she had experienced, even though thinking about the victory, brought back memories of Cricket in the Meadow. The people had also won a victory over the spirit of war. Relying on the Creator, they had come together and been moved by the Great Spirit. The Ulani warrior (and the hunting party he was part of) had vanished. There was peace, and there would be peace, and everybody knew it.
On a very practical level the people were busy, and humming with new life. Young mothers, including Redwing, were busy with their children, and the men were hunting. The people were growing and needed to be fed! The pregnant women were busy also making plans, making clothing, and comparing notes with each other. There was more time spent outside, and even talking became an outdoor activity, as long as there was a fire close by.
There was a large fire built almost every evening, in the middle of the village so the people could be together more as a group. On one warm evening they were all singing, when they noticed two points of light in their midst getting larger and taking shape, turning into people – or rather the spirits of two people. It was very brief, but the people were surprised when they saw the spirits of Lone Horse, and Cricket in the Meadow, standing with them and singing too. At the end of the song, the spirit couple waved goodbye, joined hands as they turned, and then disappeared into the night. Sky mentioned, she thought the two of them wanted the people to know they were at peace. No one ever saw them again.
Thunder Speaking was actively seeking wisdom from the Creator on how to help the 4 remaining Ite people, find their way out of the Great Mountains. His people had been devastated by war and sickness, and the White Wolves said they were looking for him. He needed to help them but he did not know how. Should he follow the same path that he had used, when he came to the Tsi village? How would he ever find that trail again? He decided to seek the advice of men he looked up to, like Standing on the Mountain, Bull Elk, and Seven Hawks. This was too big for him to handle alone. He would often go into the woods to pray.
A number of the women of the village decided to surprise the men one day. Since it was early spring they decided it was time for a Jingle Dress Dance, which was thought to bring healing and restoration. It was the right time. They decided to dance first thing in the morning, which had never been done before, but they wanted the village to wake up to the sound of their dancing. Each woman would dance around her own lodge, and then they would dance in the center as a group. They did need to tell a few men, so they could have the drums ready.
As the women began to dance that morning, there was a feeling of joy, of good things coming in the future, and that they were seeing another day, with the sun shining. There was hope. It was good, and right, and everybody knew it.