The Search Party

lake

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.

from pinterest
from pinterest

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 coyote 2was 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.

Bear in the Woods

Blessings to everyone and PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google/unless noted otherwise

Lost in the Mountains

mountains in snow

Historical Microfiction About First Nations People

He knew they shouldn’t have come here. He told them they shouldn’t come, and they wouldn’t listen. They had dreams that told them to find Thunder Speaking, and so here they were, lost at the end of the world. Were they insane? Dreams like this could kill a person, and it was snowing again, in spite of the fact that it was early spring.

The four of them made a shelter from hides they had carried. It was three sided, with the open side facing the fire he started building. The back of the shelter was against some large rocks, which also helped to protect them. It was late afternoon, and the valley was quiet, except for a herd of elk they could hear in the distance, and the snow falling softly.

He tried to calm down. He hadn’t been civil to anyone all day, barking and snapping at them, even when they asked simple questions. He was being stupid and he knew it. He also resented traveling with a woman he did not love, and her two younger cousins. The girls were about 10 years old, and twins. But the four of them were the last surviving members of the Ite people, besides Thunder Speaking. Once they were in the shelter and the fire was burning brightly, he began thinking quietly, that he should apologize, and pray that they would find their way out of the mountains. herd

“I think Thunder Speaking is warm in his lodge, with his wife right now”, the strange but hopeful words, came from Shining Water. He shot a glance at her that said, “Don’t talk about being warm right now!”, but he said nothing. She was a good woman really, but she was too quiet, usually. When he thought about that, he realized that her talking just now, was an act of courage, an act of faith – that somehow it would all turn out ok. He looked at her closely and thought that she was not only sad, but tears were forming in her eyes. He looked at the twins and saw much of the same. They were all losing hope.

“I apologize”, he was surprised that he said it, but there it was. These two words, these two simple words, changed everything. They all started smiling again, as they ate together in their shelter. Hope returned to the four of them.

Later that night, in the Tsi village, Thunder Speaking woke up screaming, “No!”, “No!”. His wife Bluebird, grabbed his arm and asked him what it was. When he explained the dream, they both cried together, and prayed for the Ite people. They did not think the dream meant that the Ite would die, only that they needed help. He was more determined than ever to try and find them. They both knew he would be leaving soon, even if it meant going alone. Then the thought came to her…. she could go too.

 

woman on chestnut horse

Notes for new readers:

The Tsi people, and their village, is where most of the stories take place.

The Grie people: Have been friends with the Tsi people for many generations, and 15 of them came to the Tsi village over the winter, seeking refuge. They now live with the Tsi.

The Ite people: Originally these people lived near the western coast, but war and sickness decimated them. Today there are only 5 people left. Thunder Speaking, who lives with the Tsi, and the 4 lost in the mountains.

All of the tribal names are fictitious, which I have done for two reasons. For one, I do not want to offend any First Nations people if I do not represent them accurately. Secondly, it gives me greater flexibility in being creative, with the characters, and the customs of the people.

 Blessings to everyone and PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google

The Healing of the People and the Earth

Woman in Blue

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.

mother and toddlerOn 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 praying by the creekhad 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.

Blessings to everyone and PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

top image from pinterest/additional images from google/video from youtube

The White Wolves

from fineartamerica via google - two wolves

Historical Microfiction About First Nations People of the 1700’s

It was unusual to see a white wolf, yet alone to see two at the same time. The three men moved carefully now through the deep forest. Standing on the Mountain, Thunder Speaking, and Two Wolves, had gone out deer hunting. Now they felt hunted themselves.

In addition to be being white, the wolves were not hunting in a pack. The men could only see the two, and wolves did not hunt like that. And how did they move so quickly? Were they spirits? The men would be walking, careful to not make any noise, and see the two white images moving on their left. They would turn and speak softly to one another or make signals with their hands, and when they looked up the strange animals would be on their right. One thing was certain. They needed to turn around and turn back to the village.

The sun had not gone down yet, but the forest was getting dark. The three men got down low, and whispered to each other, conferring about what to do. They decided to go back the way they came, and quickly. They stood up to leave when the heard the first voice. “Please do not leave, we need to speak with you.” It was a woman’s voice. They looked around, saw no one, and then looked at each other. They walked briskly now, the way they came. Rounding a corner through thick trees, the three of them were shocked when they found their way blocked. The two white wolves were blocking the trail! They were also the largest wolves any of them had ever seen, at least 3 times the size of most wolves. bow and arrow

Instinctively the three men reached for their bows, but they did not draw them, or aim them. The woman’s voice spoke again, “Can we speak with you?” It came from the wolves! What choice did they have? They did not see their mouths move, but clearly the wolf on the left had spoken. The young man Two Wolves, knew something special was happening, and looked at the two men he was with. In his eyes he was pleading with them, to let him talk to the wolves. The two men nodded yes, and Two Wolves stepped forward. He was remembering another time he had experienced two wolves in the wilderness. Those wolves had not spoken to him, but he knew they had been sent to him that day. That was the day his name had changed, to what it was now.

“I am Two Wolves”, he boldly declared. The two wolves looked at each other, turned to the young man, and said at the same time, “Yes we know”. The white wolves spoke with the young man for a while, as the three men stood there. The wolves spoke, about the village, and that Redwing would have a child soon. She would be a beautiful child, that would make both of her parents very happy. They turned to the young man and said, “Two Wolves, you have an important job to do among the people”. “You are to be a peacemaker”. With that, the wolf with the woman’s voice asked the men, “May we talk to Two Wolves, alone?”

Standing on the Mountain, and Thunder Speaking were hesitant, and were considering the young man’s safety. Standing on the Mountain, asked the white wolves a question, “Are you spirits?” They did not expect the answer they received, but it did help them to relax. The female wolf said, “In a way yes.” “We have been sent from the Creator.” The male wolf also added, “It is much like when Thunder Speaking, received help from the black and white stallion”. With that the two older men backed up and felt that Two Wolves would be safe……

from Pinterest
from Pinterest

The Conclusion of The White Wolves very soon!

Blessings to you and Peace!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google, unless otherwise noted

Dreams of War

by indus

Historical Microfiction About First Nations People

He could not understand why he was dreaming about war. The Tsi and Grie peoples had had peace for many years, generations in fact. Thunder Speaking was at peace, with everyone, including himself. He was in love, newly married, and he and Bluebird were now expecting a child. His arm (injured from fighting wolves) was almost completely healed and he was starting to practice with the bow again.

Yet the dreams persisted. They were always the same, and started with a single warrior watching their village, and then there was an army of warriors behind him. The warrior was always the same. He wore three feathers in his hair, and one side of his head was shaved. Then, in the dream, the men and women of the village, his village now, fought for their lives. There was smoke and destruction, dead bodies were everywhere. And the dream always ended the same, his wife Bluebird, still carrying their child, lay outside their lodge, dead in the snow. He always woke up at this point, sometimes yelling, and always in a cold sweat.

Thunder Speaking prayed about these dreams constantly, even as he walked around the village. Sometimes he went walking and praying, so much so, that his wife grew concerned. She asked him, was there something wrong? All he would say was, “I’ve had bad dreams, and I need to pray”. war

For several days he thought maybe it was because he had experienced so much war himself, and that it was still bothering him. He was the only Ite (pronounced Ee-teh) person in the village. He had come to the Tsi village and had found refuge. After thinking about this for days, he decided his past was not the cause, and each night the war dreams continued.

He decided to go to Standing on the Mountain, their spiritual leader, and they spoke privately in order not to alarm the rest of the village. He was shocked to find out that Standing on the Mountain had a very similar dream. “The warrior is Ulani”, he explained. “It has been four generators since the last war, in fact, we have not even seen any Ulani for more than ten years.” Then Standing on the Mountain further explained that there had been other people in the village with the same, or similar dream, and he was about to call a council meeting to discuss the matter. It was not a good sign.

Dreamcatcher Hawk Feather by Cheryl Lewis via PinterestThunder Speaking later found out that some of the people having the dreams, were those that were spiritual people, like Cricket in the Meadow, and Sky. Many of the people having the dreams though, were not known for having dreams at all, at least not this kind. This included Seven Hawks, and his wife Prairie Flower. They were some of the Grie people. Two Wolves and Songbird, also had the war dreams.

It was the next day when the storms began. It was late winter, early spring, so having storms was not unusual. These storms were odd though, in that they had rain, snow, sleet, then it was warm, then it was cold, and always there was a lot of fog. There was often thunder and lightning, even in a snow storm. The people became uneasy. By this time the whole village had heard about the dreams, and everyone was praying. The men got their weapons ready.

It was during one of the foggy mornings, after a night of rain, that a single warrior used the cover of fog to get close to the village. He kept his horse quiet as he slowly crept forward. He had smelled the lodge fires, and could now see the outlines of the lodges in the fog. A dog barked on the other side of the village and he stopped. He could hear thunder rolling in from the west, and used the noise to get closer, undetected. The fog was thick. Once he was in between two lodges he stopped again to survey the little that he could see. He had three feathers planted in his hair, and one side of his head was shaved….. tipi in the fog

The conclusion of Dreams of War, later today! Thanks for reading! Blessings to everyone and PEACE!

 Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google

Redwing

The Finishing Touch - Painting by Alfredo Rodriguez
              The Finishing Touch – Painting by Alfredo Rodriguez

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. from bccoon via google

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.

closeup from googleWeather 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….

from diabetesnd via google

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google unless noted otherwise

Sky – More to Learn

from jessicacrabbtree

Historical Microfiction

She was worried about Songbird and Two Wolves. How could two young people be so much in love and yet be so young? How did this happen, and why? Did they really understand what love was? Was it just infatuation? Sky could not understand it, so she turned to her mother for answers.

Sky, explained to Cricket in the Meadow, her concern for the young couple, as they ate their evening meal, next to the fire, “They are only fifteen, and too young to marry, and everybody says so.” Cricket in the Meadow was quiet for a while, and stirred the fire, like she often did while she was thinking.

Finally she said, “You mean you don’t know why this has happened?” Sky, responded with a surprised look, “No, why?” Cricket in the Meadow explained that there were two main reasons, and probably many more. “First, it is so that our concern for them will result in caring about them, and then praying for them.” “We should always pray out our concerns.” “It is the Creator placing the people on our heart.” “This has always been so.”

campfireSky felt stupid that she did not understand this before. It was so easy to see when she explained it that way. “Mother, what is the other reason?” The answer came quickly, “It is so that we have an opportunity to help them, meaning in some tangible ways.” Again, the wisdom of Cricket in the Meadow baffled her. She made it so easy to understand.

The next day Sky went to see Songbird, to not only see how she was doing, but to become a better friend. They worked on making clothing, as they stayed close to the fire, in her parents lodge. Her love for Two Wolves was very clear, but she also displayed a maturity, and a strength, that surprised Sky. Songbird had an inner strength, that came from a determination to love. Songbird said in whisper, so that only Sky could hear, “We are not on fire for each other, not yet.” “Holding back makes us stronger”. Sky blushed at this, but envied the young woman.

She had come to Songbird thinking she could help her in some way, instead it was Sky that was doing the learning. She left that afternoon with a lot to think about. This waiting…..seemingly terrible waiting…. was actually causing the young couple to grow and become strong. To be truthful though, she was glad that she and Wild Horse, her husband-to-be, would not have to wait long at all!herbs from google

Sky was also learning about herbs, and their uses. Everyday, Cricket in the Meadow, spent hours with her, teaching her nothing but herbs. She spread out a deerskin, and took small amounts of each herb from pouches she had stored away, and placed them neatly in piles. First came the lessons on what each herbed looked like, smelled like, and tasted like. Then for days Sky had to learn what each herb was good for. Sky knew some of this already, like all the people did, but it was in much greater detail.

The most difficult part to learn, came with which herbs should go with which other herbs, and how much, depending on the ailment. She was convinced she would never remember all the combinations! In the back of her mind Cricket in the Meadow knew she was pushing too hard, and she slowed down when Sky seemed overwhelmed. She was just trying to teach Sky all that she could….before…..well…. before leaving this earth.

Sky’s learning about helping people was put to the test one afternoon, when several of the men came carrying her husband-to-be, injured, including with a bad cut to his leg. They had gone deer hunting and a mountain lion scared their horses. Her husband-to-be was thrown from his horse (the stallion was always difficult to control) into a pile of broken tree branches. He was badly cut and scraped up.

It was Sky that cleaned the wound, applied the herbs, then cleaned the wound again, and did the stitching, as her mother watched, saying nothing. Wild Horse could see she was doing a good job. More importantly he felt her love, as she worked on him with tears streaming down her face…….

mountain lion from google

 Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Images from google. Original painting by Jessica Crabbtree

Thanks for reading!

PEACE!