The Lost Son – Part II

from indianscowboys via flickr
from indianscowboys via flickr

He made his way to the forest, and had gone inside of it, through a trail that Two Wolves had shown him. Once he was in the forest for a while, the sun was beginning to rise, and he could see everything clearly. Up and over logs, around rocks, down into a ravine, and up the other side he went. As he traveled he noticed deer tracks. There were two – no three – deer not far up ahead according to what the trail was telling him. He thought about hunting, but no, he needed to get deep into the forest and away from the village.

It was bitter cold, some of the worst he had seen, and that was another reason to keep moving. He was still being driven by what he felt inside, but he knew he would have to build a fire by nightfall in order to survive. This was the kind of weather that could kill a man.

The trail ended at a large group of boulders, which he climbed. At the top he could see nothing but trees, and a small creek. This is where he wanted to be, the deep forest. No one would find him now. There was some thick brush that would be difficult to get through and that is exactly where he went.

At the village, it took a while for his mother to realize he had left. When she woke both her husband and Talking Eagle were not in the lodge, and she thought maybe they had gone out to talk. She prayed that there would be healing in her family. Her heart ached and tears filled her eyes. A short time later though, Bull Elk came inside and stared at her. He looked terrified. He did not say, good morning, or I’m sorry, he stammered, “I cannot find him, our son is gone”. Her mouth dropped open and her heart sank. He continued, “I’ve looked everywhere, the trail he left is headed for the forest”.

Bison in SnowThey both ran to the lodge of Standing on the Mountain, and the village sprang into action once the word had spread. There was no reason to ask why, or how did this happen? The people knew already, but more importantly they judged no one, and only wanted to help in some way. A group of men volunteered to go into the forest without horses, including all of the Grie men. They were Seven Hawks, and his son Wild Horse, Strong Bear, Buffalo Talker, and the boy’s father, Bull Elk.

Standing on the Mountain thought for a moment, as they were all assembled together, and asked Bull Elk if any Grie men needed to stay in the village. Bull Elk was having trouble facing the people, but he looked up and said, “The Grie people are safe here among the Tsi, and we know that”.

Most of the Tsi men also wanted to go looking for the young man, but not everyone should go. Hawk in the Sky mentioned that the group needed to be small, because of the thickness of the brush in the forest. Fifteen year old Two Wolves spoke up, and said, “I should go. I know the forest better than anyone. Besides, Talking Eagle is my friend.” It was true on both counts, and everyone knew it.

It was decided that 8 men would go, the 5 Grie men, Standing on the Mountain, Hawk in the Sky, and Two Wolves. Songbird was scared for Two Wolves, and she told him so when she had the chance. They were too young to be married, but they were very much in love. He embraced her, and told her he would be back, but he needed to help a friend. She shook her head yes. No one objected to their embracing, in fact it was expected. After all, the Creator had put these two together.

The men left quickly, and were in the forest in no time, led by the young man Two Wolves. Standing on the Mountain couldn’t help thinking, how remarkable this young man was. Here he was just fifteen, and he was leading the men.

According to the trail, Talking Eagle was about 3-4 hours ahead of them.

Dawn Snow

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all – the best in the upcoming year!

I look forward to more of your wonderful blogs in 2015!

The Lost Son Part III, next time! Peace to you!

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

Advertisements

New Dreams

Sheena Cain - Jingle Dress Dancer
Sheena Cain – Jingle Dress Dancer

Microfiction: This is the continuing story of the Tsi people, and the Grie people, who live together in the same village. They live near a forest, on the Great Plains of Canada, in the 1700’s. For new readers, Thunder Speaking and Bluebird are a young couple that have just been married.

No one saw the young couple much for several days, which was to be expected. They were enjoying each other. Laughter could be heard coming from their lodge sometimes, so the people were happy for them. Couples, young and old, not only had knowing smiles on their faces, but looked at each other more intently!

The young couple would talk for hours inside, while he made weapons and tools, and she made clothing. The snows were getting deep now, and no one went much of anywhere. He often watched her, amazed. He was surprised by her in a number of ways.

from texasbirds.info
from texasbirds.info

He did not know that a woman could be so tender. She helped him daily with his injured arm, and fussed at him gently to take care of it. Her gentleness when she unwrapped it, melted him. She often kissed his arm and spoke sweet things to him.

He was also amazed at how wise and practical she was. He had been making a new bow, a long one, much longer than the Tsi people normally made, and he was very proud of it. He had also carved some beautiful designs on it, and was just about finished it, when Bluebird asked him, “Shouldn’t you have a smaller bow?” “The longer one will be difficult to pull”. He was stunned. Of course, she was right – his arm was not strong enough for this bow yet! He had not even thought of that.

At night he dreamed about her, mostly about the two of them in the summer, walking, and riding together, looking at birds in the forest, or listening to the river flowing over rocks. She was a friend to him, but so much more than that. She was his very life.

Bluebird dreamed about him too, but in a different way. She dreamed about his strength, his connection to the Creator, and how he was willing to talk about anything. She had never met a man like this, and she was always amazed at the loved they shared. She could see eternity in his eyes.

She also dreamed about sunsets, but they were always strange. In the dreams there were the brilliant colors of orange, red, and pink, but then, as she was looking at the colors, she heard a baby crying. The two always went together, the sunset and the baby. The dreams always ended with an image in her mind, of her holding a beautiful baby boy. She knew these dreams were important but she did not know what they meant.

On the other side of the village, Cricket in the Meadow was having dreams too, and some visions while she was praying, but she did not like the looks of them. They were dreams about dark clouds, and a storm brewing. The storm kept coming closer, and would always stop over one lodge. She knew trouble was coming, and it could turn deadly. The storm always stopped over the lodge of Bull Elk. Everyone knew that he was disappointed, over the Grie wanting to stay here in this village with the Tsi, instead of building a new Grie village. But there was more, and it had to do with anger.

One day the sun was shining, and Bluebird felt a need to get outside. After a short walk, the idea came to her that she should talk to her husband about the dreams she had been having. She called to him, and Thunder Speaking came outside, carrying another robe for her. He wrapped her in it, smiling, and proud of himself for taking care of such a beautiful woman. They looked at the sky together, with him embracing her, and she told him about the sunsets, and the baby crying.

They talked about it for a while, watching their breath make smoke. As they were talking, she realized what it was all about. The two went together – the sunsets, and the baby – because it was all about the baby’s name. She didn’t know if she was pregnant yet, but when she did have a child, it would be a boy – and his name would be….yes….his name would be….“Fire in the Sky”. After all “Sunset” was a girl’s name.

Sunset

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Wedding

American Beauty by Craig Lamere via 500px
American Beauty by Craig Lamere via 500px

It was cold the day they were married but the sun was shining brightly. It was unheard of to get married in the middle of winter, but for this couple it was right and everyone knew it. The Creator had placed them together and that could not be denied. Still, it was difficult to know how to celebrate.

A large fire was built in the center of the village and the people gathered. There was some singing, first in Tsi, and then there were some songs in the Grie language. A few people danced, but then covered themselves again in thick buffalo robes due to the cold. At first the young couple were standing only in their clothing – she in her white and blue dress, and he in his traditional red clothing, but several friends on both sides insisted they be covered with thick buffalo robes, so they were.

Thunder Speaking was nervous, but not just because of the great love he had for Bluebird. Something important was happening in the village today. Different peoples were coming together as one. There were the Tsi people, the Grie people, and himself, the lone person from the Ite (pronounced Ee-teh) people. It was a wedding for all of them.

Bluebird was not nervous at all, in fact she was bursting with anticipation. She wanted to be married and right now! In fact as the women were helping her to get ready, and helping her with her wedding dress, Bluebird had a vision. She had a vision of a bright orange flower in the summer time that had been closed, but opened up, baring itself to the strong, bright rays of the sunshine. She decided not to say anything about it though. She would tell her husband when the time was right.

After the singing and dancing, Thunder Speaking spoke for the first time publicly in his original language. Actually he sang a wedding prayer for his wife, that went like this:

May you always live with happiness,

live with happiness,

may I always be worthy of your love,

worthy of your love,

may we always be protected,

be protected,

and may we have a very long life,

a very long life,

together.

He sang it in the Ite language first and then the translation came as he sang in Tsi. He had been practicing this for a long time, and at the end he thought it went well. Many people thought his original language sounded like water flowing over rocks.

Cricket in the Meadow shared the blessings of smoke, which touched each person there, and they sensed the presence of the Great Spirit. Standing on the Mountain said a few words about the blessings of marriage, but due to the weather he made it short.

As he stood watching his daughter getting married, Bull Elk had mixed feelings. Where did his daughter go? She was just a girl the other day, running and playing, and now here she was, a grown woman getting married. He was sad, and yet the love these two shared was special. He looked over at the face of his wife, Holds the Fire, and saw tears streaming. Yes, love was good he thought, and right. Everything made sense with love.

Bull Elk also performed the Grie custom of tying the young couple’s arms together, one arm from each, symbolizing unity and oneness. And then came the tradition of putting one blanket over the two of them, and the ceremony was over.

A strong fire was burning in the lodge of Thunder Speaking and Bluebird that night, along with a great deal of tenderness. They both flew high many times on the wings of love, and they went far above the clouds, into the heavens, and then down again.

They both fell asleep dreaming about warmer weather and going for long walks with each other. At one point she woke up, and covered his bare chest with the blanket they had been given by the people. She placed her hand in his, and fell back to sleep.

Art by James Bama
Art by James Bama

Note: More to come in this series, in a few days! Thanks for reading! Peace.

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Rescue of Red Hawk

New Day After Snow by livcivic1948
New Day After Snow by livcivic1948

The crazy man had disappeared. In the old village where Bull Elk, Holds the Fire, and the others used to live, the people were terrified. If there was anything more terrifying to them than Red Hawk wandering around, it was that Red Hawk’s ghost would come to their village after he died, and haunt them for an eternity. He had not been seen for days.

No one put together a search party. Only his father went looking for him. First he went to Red Hawk’s lodge, and saw that his son had taken some warm clothes and blankets, his weapons, and his fire making tools. He also noticed that his son left on foot, so he followed his trail in the snow, down to the river. The tracks ended. Did he drown?

War Chief went back to get his horse and searched further. He rode up and down both sides of the river for long distances, and saw no sign of him. It was if his trail had been wiped away. Why did his son leave? Did he go hunting? Did he go off to die? There was no way to know. His heart ached, for the son he used to have. He was not always crazy, and War Chief had always hoped and prayed for his son to return to his right mind. As he looked across the plains beyond the river, he saw a herd of deer playing in the snow. He prayed that the Creator would protect his son.

In a way he did go off to die. Since no one was following him Red Hawk figured they didn’t care, or he did an excellent job covering his trail (it was easy with snow), or both. He was seeking answers, and he was going to find answers even if that meant he froze to death trying to find them. He had not eaten in seven days, and didn’t care. It was just him and the wilderness, and that’s the way he wanted it. He did make fires, and he did make water from the snow and that was all.

And then the pain started again, his vision went blurry, and he could hardly see or walk. He passed out from the pain, and fell in the snow. When he awoke he was still in pain, and he crawled in the snow, not knowing where he was, or where he was going. He heard a voice call his name, but he could not see through the pain, so he ignored it. He was crawling, and the voice called again, “Red Hawk”. He turned over on to his back and could only see the outline of some trees, the sun became incredibly bright, and he passed out again.

The pain was less when he woke this time, and when he sat up, he noticed a herd of buffalo, very close at his feet. He thought he should be terrified but he was not. Should he care that he would die this way? Suddenly he felt the hot breath of an animal on the back of his neck. The animal snorted and a blast of hot air came from its nostrils and went all over the back of his head. If it was time for him to die, he thought he should face it, so he slowly turned his whole body, and came face to face with the Great White Buffalo.

But the huge animal was not angry, in fact, there was kindness in his large eyes. He spoke to Red Hawk but his lips did not move. He said, “I am here to help you”.

Print by Marylyn Wiedmaier - from Fine Art America
Print by Marylyn Wiedmaier – from Fine Art America

 

Note: Part II of the Rescue of Red Hawk is coming up, and then we will return to the village of two peoples, where both the Tsi and the Grie live together. I also have some poetry to share! Peace!

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

A New Home – Part II

Flathead Valley, Canada
Flathead Valley, Canada

The day after the search party left, the people in the Tsi village waited patiently. They kept searching the horizon, hoping to get a glimpse of their return. The young people were especially diligent with looking for them. They wanted to be the first ones to shout the good news. There was much speculation, as to what the search party might find. Were the Grie still alive? Why were they traveling in winter? How many were there? These and other questions were the talk of the day.

The snow was deep after all, but as the day wore on, the concern grew. The people became concerned now for the search party too. Nightfall came and they had no choice but to retreat to their lodges. The cold was setting in.

Thunder Speaking was alone again in his lodge. As he was building his fire, he thought about the dreams he had been having for the past several nights. He held his hands up to the flames and enjoyed the warmth, thinking about the woman. He had been dreaming about the same woman. In the dreams they were not physical with each other (not yet), but they were always about the two spending time together. They were running through summer fields, chasing each other, falling down, laughing, playing the children’s game called hoops and darts, and walking by the river. He remembered one dream where they were sitting under an oak tree, in the fall, talking for a long time.

The strange thing was he could never see her face. He saw the outline of it, but her eyes, nose and mouth he could not see at all. He remembered in the dreams that he always tried to see what her face looked like, maybe to try and kiss her, but her face was not there. It was like a fog, and gray. What was that all about? Was there something wrong with her face?

At that exact moment Bluebird touched her face, and noticed that the swelling had gone down some more. There were still bruises though, and she knew she must look awful. She was traveling now, riding comfortably with the Tsi search party and her people. The Tsi men had been very good to them, and if they were any indication, she knew they would be welcomed in the Tsi village. She began to see the fires of the village on the horizon. A happy and nervous excitement was building.

In the village, Thunder Speaking laid down still pondering the woman in his dreams. He rolled over and tried to sleep. He wasn’t sure what it all meant, and it was not something he could talk to his mother about.

Once the village was asleep the search party rode in, yelling and causing a commotion. The village erupted with jubilation. Everyone came out to greet them, and there was a lot of hugging, and greeting the Grie people. There was singing, back slapping and well wishes. Only a few of the Tsi knew the Grie language but they talked anyway. Cricket in the Meadow knew the language, and talked up a storm with both the women and the men. Some spoke about holding a dance, and celebrating all night, but the Grie needed rest more than anything.

And then she saw him. After experiencing about thirty hugs from women she did not know, and hearing nothing but a language she did not know, Bluebird saw him. She knew it was him and she stared. He was watching the crowd of people.

He was the most handsome man she had ever seen. Her heart did a flip inside of her. The voice in the vision did not say he was so handsome! Were those sea shells? Did that mean he was not Tsi? He grew more exciting by the moment. Oh no! He saw her staring at him. She looked down immediately. He looked away.

Somehow they both got the courage to look at each other. They both knew. It all made sense to Thunder Speaking now. Her with bruised and swollen face, and his broken arm, both had left their people and sought refuge with the Tsi. They were two broken people that would heal each other. The voice of the vision spoke to her again, and said, “You will be married….and soon!”.

It wasn’t until the next day that she found out his name. When she heard what his name was, she yelled, “Oh!” and began weeping in front of everyone in the lodge, and holding a hand to her face. There was joy that went very deep, and she remembered the thunder in her vision. Her mother held her close, and both her mother and father wanted to know what the matter was. She cried like a child, but managed to blurt out the words, “….his name is Thunder Speaking!”

from Etsy
from Etsy

This is not only a microfiction blog, but it is flowing so strongly from deep within, that I will keep going with it. Next time the story will continue with “Two Peoples”. Thanks for reading!

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Winter Journey – Part II

Western Montana by Donald M. Jones
Western Montana by Donald M. Jones

Microfiction

Fortunately it was a light snow and it ended quickly. It left a dusting on their heads and shoulders as they were riding, and then the sky began to clear. The biggest problem was keeping their feet warm and dry. They needed to give the horses rest occasionally, so they would walk. Each time they did, they wrapped their feet in extra pieces of hides, or even small pieces of buffalo blankets. They were well stocked with provisions, but Bull Elk worried about how long the provisions would last.

Later the same day, he looked at the people traveling with them, and took notice of their courage. His anger had cooled and he was now concerned about them, as well as for his own family. Even traveling his wife, Holds the Fire, was a beautiful woman, and he thought about how much he loved her. He was looking forward to setting up the lodge in their new home, and being with her. His daughter Bluebird was the one that had been beaten by Red Hawk, and then there was their fifteen year old son, Talking Eagle. His newly married nephew Strong Bear and his wife, Runs with Doe’s were also with them. The largest family was that of Seven Hawks, and Prairie Flower. They had three daughters, Sunburst, Magpie, and White Sparrow, ranging from age six to sixteen, and their son was Wild Horse, at seventeen. Buffalo Talker and Shining Water had the youngest child at just three years old, a son named Mountain Wolf. Bull Elk realized how much he cared, for each one.

Day 4 was a difficult day. Early on there was snow and sleet. The people did not complain, but traveling was slow going. They had to stop early, and change clothes, underneath their buffalo blankets. At night was the only time they were warm. Each family wrapped themselves in several layers of buffalo blankets, much like a caterpillar in a cocoon. The warmth was wonderful and they slept well.

By day 7 the journey was taking its toll. The horses were exhausted and so were the people. Would they ever find their friends?

It was day 9 when the disaster struck. A storm had been forming overnight and by morning it was snowing and the wind was blowing. It only got worse and they had to stop walking. The women got all the warm blankets they could in one place, realizing they would be bedding down to wait out the storm. The wind became intense, and the men started yelling about holding onto the horses. Even with the ropes tied around their waists, it was impossible to hold onto jumping and frantic animals. They had no choice but to let them go.

Each family wrapped themselves together, laid down, and hung on as the wind howled. It became worse and sounded like a wild animal. They tried with all their might to hold onto the blankets. Bull Elk became sick in his heart. Would they all die together? Snow began to cover the blankets, and the people inside.

In addition to sensing her father’s anguish, Bluebird was sensing something else. Was it a voice? She tried calming her spirit and began to experience an unusual peace. The peace enveloped her and filled her. The sounds outside became dim, and there was a voice! The voice said, “Do not give up! Do not give up! Don’t quit! Your future husband is waiting for you…..You can do this, and he is not only a kind man, he will love you deeply, and always. He is a very spiritual man, and he will be a leader of his people.”

Bluebird then had a vision. She saw clouds building in the summer, and a gentle refreshing rain falling. What was that noise? In the vision she heard the noise….was it?….yes it was….it was thunder. She heard the thunder….. Was the thunder talking? She did not understand it, but she knew that it was important, and that it all had to do with the man that would love her.

 

Note: Part III of The Winter Journey will be coming tomorrow.

 Appaloosa in the Snow

 

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

Thunder Speaking – Part II

colorized photograph
colorized photograph

The next day, Standing on the Mountain met with all the people outside. There was no lodge big enough to hold everyone, so they built a large fire in the center of the village. Once everyone was assembled he began telling the people about the dream, and what the horse had said. He told them all about what he saw and heard, and why Thunder Speaking had left his village. He was a man without a people.

As he was finishing, the people heard the hoof beats of a horse running very fast. It was the horse of Thunder Speaking! They were in shock as the horse circled the village at top speed. Thunder Speaking was the only one not in the crowd, but when he heard the horse running, he came out of his lodge. He knew it was his black and white. He went to the edge of the village, and watched the blur that was his horse. He was so fast it was hard to tell the exact coloring of the animal.

After four times of circling the village, the horse stopped right where Thunder Speaking was standing. The horse greeted him with loud snorting, foot stomping, and head shaking. Thunder Speaking gently spoke to the great animal and stroked his nose and neck. They seemed to talk to each other. By this point all the people were watching them, and their circle opened up, so everyone could see them better.

In the distance some rolling thunder could be heard. This was very unusual because the sky was blue and it was cold. The people could not understand the noise. The man Thunder Speaking now had his head against the horse, and his lips were moving. Was he praying? Were they saying goodbye? No one could tell.

The sound of thunder came closer, and a dark cloud suddenly appeared over the people. As it did, the black and white stallion rose up on his hind legs and yelled in the horse language a loud yell. A bolt of lightning cracked open the sky, and the earth shook with thunder. The people crouched down instinctively and looked at the sky, fearing for their lives. They held onto each other, and many closed their eyes.

And then all was quiet. They looked up and there was no more cloud, the sky was blue again. There was no lightning or thunder. As one, they looked over at the man called Thunder Speaking, and he was alone. The horse had vanished! No one saw or heard the horse leave, but he was not there.

Thunder Speaking was not afraid of what he had seen or heard, but he did turn toward the people hoping they would accept him. He wanted this village to be his home, and these people to be his people.

No one ever saw the black and white stallion again. Thunder Speaking did become part of the people, and he became the son of Cricket in the Meadow.

by Miriam Sweeney
by Miriam Sweeney

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree