The Strange and Wonderful Place

dancer

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.

from pinterest
         

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.

The next day the men decided to have a dance…….

Blessings to everyone and PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google

video from youtube

Rescued by the Eagle

from pinterest - Golden Eagle
from pinterest – Golden Eagle

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.

woman in snowShe 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. tipi on mountain

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.

flying

This is day 4 of the 5 day challenge of 5 photos – 5 stories. Thanks again to http://randombytesfromlife.wordpress.com and from Reflection of a Rainbow at http://saadiapeerzada.wordpress.com

Blessings to everyone and PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google/unless noted otherwise

Eagle in the Mountains

golden and blue

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.

from pinterest
from pinterest

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.Dreamcatcher Hawk Feather by Cheryl Lewis via Pinterest

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?

talons

This is day 2 of the 5 day challenge of 5 photos – 5 stories. In addition to the challenge from http://randombytesfromlife.wordpress.com I have also received the challenge from Saadia at her site, Reflection of a Rainbow. You can find her at http://saadiapeerzada.wordpress.com

Blessings to everyone and PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google

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 Rain of Sorrow

pouring rain

Historical Microfiction About First Nations People in the 1700’s

Note: If you are grieving over the loss of a loved one, or have grieved recently, please do not read this. I would never want to cause anyone more pain.

There was the good kind of rain of course, the kind where young couples would snuggle closer, and fall back to sleep. But that’s not what this rain was. This rain was the kind where the clouds hung low, heavy with the weight of it, where the air was thick, and refused to yield. At times the heavens were released, and the rain pounded the village, only adding to the feelings of foreboding, and sadness.

It rained, a cold rain for days. It was too warm to snow now, yet it was still cold enough to be miserable. The people were miserable but not because of the weather. Cricket in the Meadow was sick and it appeared to be her heart. Just like the clouds hanging over them, they felt the weight, the sorrow of it, and at times their grief was released, in great torrents, when no one expected it. Many wept.

It had been two weeks since the birth of Redwing’s baby. There had been two weeks of joy and happiness. There had been singing, and several of the men had brought back fresh food from hunting. Sky now realized her mother had not been giving into the pain, so that the joy of the birth would continue. up into the heavens

After two weeks though, Cricket in the Meadow collapsed. She and Sky had been visiting Bull Elk, and Holds the Fire, and their family, when it happened. Cricket in the Meadow stood up to leave, when she grabbed her chest and fell. They did manage to carry her to her own lodge where she was attended by a number of women and men.

That’s when the weeping started, and the pain, and the grief that seemed to never end. They were losing her, and did not know what to do. Sky, was not surprised but was grieving too. She knew her adopted mother was a tough person, but the two of them had talked a lot for the past two weeks. Her mother had prepared her well. Still, the pain was intense. The clouds rolled in and the rain began.

from wyomingpublicmedia.orgTheir lodge was filled with people during day, unless someone wanted to be with Cricket in the Meadow, to speak with her privately, only for a few minutes. Two Wolves said he wanted to be the keeper of the fire, and with the help of Songbird, they began the difficult task of keeping stacks of wood dry enough to use. They began using lodges that had previously kept winter supplies, in order to dry out some piles of wood.

Four days after she had collapsed, Cricket in the Meadow stopped talking. When that happened, the people gathered quickly to her lodge. Those that could not fit inside the lodge stood outside, using buffalo blankets as protection against the relentless rain. It was love that brought them there, and they wanted to be as close as they could. Several hours later, Cricket in the Meadow stopped breathing, and her spirit soared into the heavens. She was being held at the time by Sky, and by her side was Thunder Speaking, who also considered Cricket in the Meadow, his adopted mother. In fact, who did not consider her their mother? They all did.

The grieving was intense, even though they had been expecting the end. The rain poured, but gradually it lessened. It seemed like never before had the people cried so much at one time. They loved her, with a great love, and they needed to let all of creation know it. rain

It seemed like a long time, but at some point it did stop raining, and Standing on the Mountain moved through the crowd. He briefly mentioned, in a gentle way, that they needed to prepare her for the burial grounds.

During the preparation time, the people made themselves ready, by changing into dry clothes if needed, and by pulling their hearts back together, long enough to function. Two Wolves and some other young men were asked to build a large fire in the middle of the village so that the people could sing some songs later.

They did carry Cricket in the Meadow to the burial grounds. There were no speeches. A few expressed their love, but most remained silent. It was their custom to sing back at the village, and when they returned there, they gathered around the large fire, in a circle.

redwingRedwing’s newborn was fussing, so she took her into their lodge to feed her, as the people began singing. They started with the “Goodbye Song”, which was sad, yet beautiful. As the people continued singing, Redwing was only half listening. She was still filled with the joy and wonder of her little one. A song came to her, and she began singing it, but it was not a mourning song. It was a song about…..spring!

Something urged her – prompted her – to stand up and share the song in her heart. It was a song about new life! She had never felt this way before, but after the feeding, she covered herself, and stepped outside the lodge.

The people were quiet now, and standing around the fire. So she sang softly at first, and then as her confidence grew, her voice got louder. The song went like this:

Spring, spring is coming my people….

my people….

Spring is coming to our hearts….

Spring is coming to the earth….

Spring, spring is coming my people….

my people….

 And that is how it went. She repeated the song twice, and at the end of the song, she knew what they should name their little girl. She held the baby close, and whispered into her ear……your name….. will be “Spring Song”…..
flowers

Blessings to everyone, and PEACE! 

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google