The Lost Son – Part III

via flickr
via flickr

Microfiction

Bull Elk did not say a word as the men quickly moved through the forest. He knew that all of this was his fault, and it was all he could do to hold himself together. He was torn up inside and he knew it. Why was he so stupid last night? Somehow he found the courage to apologize to his wife before they left. She said nothing but shook her head “yes”. He loved his wife more than anything on this earth, but he had caused her great pain. He hated himself. He knew it would be a long time before they embraced again. She had every right to leave him, according to their custom. At least if they died out here, trying to find his son, he did what he could to make peace with his wife. At least he had done one thing right.

And now it was time to find his son, before it was too late, before they all froze to death and there would be no asking for his forgiveness. He didn’t usually pray but Bull Elk prayed for help from the Creator. They moved swiftly, and made good time following the trail of Talking Eagle. They found themselves at a group of very large rocks, where they climbed and surveyed the land. There was a creek and thick brush up ahead. It was very clear that the trail of Talking Eagle went into the thick brush. They all looked at each other, and knew that it would be tough going from here.

By the time Talking Eagle made it to the other side of the thick brush he had no idea where he was. To be honest though, he didn’t care. He was away from his father and all the pain of the village. He came to a clearing and decided to rest. He also needed to do something about his feet. They were wet and cold, very cold. He took off the many layers of buckskin, and replaced them with fresh ones, after drying off his feet. He did have sense enough to prepare for this, but he was starting to become concerned about the extreme temperatures.

He built a fire, which was not easy, just before the sun began setting. In the distance he heard aWolf 1 wolf howling, which sent chills down his spine. He decided to do something his father had taught him, and that was to dig a pit in the earth, and put heavy logs over top of him, once he was in it. The pit would protect him from the wolves but there was no way to have a fire, once he was inside. He might freeze to death. It was either the fire and probably facing the wolves, or sleeping in the pit. Either way he might die.

Oh no! As he started digging he realized the earth was frozen, which ruined his knife. It was slow going, but he made it deep enough, to move the earth with his hands. At the same time, he had to keep the fire going. Wolves did not like fire. Off in the distance he saw several sets of eyes. They were not people eyes, and they were not friendly. He would have to move quickly to get the large logs.

The logs were so big he had to roll them into place. Then he put more wood on the fire, and kept digging. He could see forms moving in the forest, shadows really. He guessed there were 4 or maybe 5 of them, pacing back and forth, looking for the right time to attack. He worked quickly, but not quickly enough. The wolves became bold and showed themselves. He began throwing burning pieces of wood at them which held them at bay.

Once he had the pit deep enough, he got in and said goodbye to the fire. He might be saying goodbye to life, and for the first time he realized that coming out here by his self was not a good idea.

The men had a tough time getting through the brush. Most of them were cut or scratched on their faces, and then on their hands as they tried to protect themselves. Seven Hawks got the worst of it, as he tried moving his huge frame through branches that hit him like ropes with knives on them. He gave up trying to protect himself, and barreled through like a buffalo in a corn field.

By dark, they had made it through the brush, but they had lost the trail of Talking Eagle long ago. There was no sign of the young man, and they had no choice but to build a fire, in order to stay alive. Was that a wolf? Night Scene

 This weekend the conclusion of The Lost Son, and some poetry!

Thanks for reading! Peace!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

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

The Lost Son

Harley Upton Jr. (Diego James Robles) from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork
Harley Upton Jr. (Diego James Robles) – Apache from indiancountrytodaymedianetwork

His father was angry again, and he couldn’t take it anymore. Why did he always have to yell? There was something wrong with his father for sure, but he dared not say anything. Fifteen year old Talking Eagle loved his father but not when he was like this. He had had this problem for a long time, but it was worse now that they were in a new village.

No matter what his mother (Holds the Fire) did, his father would not get out of this mood. She tried yelling back, but that did not go very far. She tried talking softly, and even touching him but he pushed her away. He was an impossible, snarling animal, and Talking Eagle was fed up.

The topic was always the same. Bull Elk felt betrayed by his own people because they did not want to start a new Grie village. They had come to the Tsi village only for safety in the middle of winter, and they were to start another village in the spring (or so he thought). What was to become of their customs, their ways? Were they all supposed to become Tsi? Were they even to give up their language? “Never!” shouted Bull Elk at the top of his lungs.

Talking Eagle was sure that everyone in the village heard that outburst. He was becoming so angry at his father for humiliating them in the eyes of all the people, that he thought he would burst. Holds the Fire was trying to calm him down and moved in closer to her husband, but he pushed her away again. Talking Eagle jumped up and started yelling, “Stop pushing her! Stop pushing her!”. A swift blow came to Talking Eagle’s face from the back of his father’s hand, which knocked him sideways. His father had never done this before, and all of them, even his father were in shock. Nobody said anything. Talking Eagle instinctively placed a hand on his face, and found that his lip was bleeding.

Holds the Fire was weeping now. Her son had never seen her weep like this, unless someone had died. Perhaps they were dying. His family was dying right before his eyes, and he wanted no part of it. He was about to leave, when someone came to their lodge, and scratched at their door.   Horse at Night

Standing on the Mountain came in with concern written on his face. Being a tall man, he also carried a certain amount authority and calmness. The spiritual leader of the Tsi, spoke in perfect Grie, and asked to talk to Bull Elk outside. They talked for what seemed like a long time. Through her tears, Holds the Fire tried to gather herself together, but she did move her bedding as far away as she could from where her husband would be sleeping. Talking Eagle laid down in his place but did not sleep. Instead he made plans. He knew exactly where he would go.

When his father came back in, he stood and looked around but said nothing. He laid down as well, but no one slept for a long time. Talking Eagle was thinking about what he needed to take with him. He would also dress with many layers and travel to the forest. Should he take a horse? No he thought, some parts of the forest were too thick with brush for a horse.

He loved the forest. He and Two Wolves and some of the other young men would go there, just for fun, or to do some hunting. It was peaceful there, not like this place. He needed to be away from here. As soon as he could hear his parents sleeping, he would leave.

Eventually he fell asleep too, but woke up with a start. He quietly moved around the lodge gathering what he needed, and dressed as warm as he could, especially his feet. Grabbing his weapons, he slipped quietly out of the lodge. He could not stay in this place any longer. Night

Next time Part II of The Lost Son. Thanks for reading! Peace to you!

 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 Decision

photo by Kate Purdy from startupchimp.com
photo by Kate Purdy from startupchamp.com

Seven Hawks had a problem, and he did not know how to tell his wife about it. They both lay in their lodge, awake one night, not knowing what to say. How could he tell her he wanted to stay here and live with the Tsi? The plan had been from the very beginning, to stay with the Tsi over the winter, and then in the spring they would begin a new Grie village somewhere else.

He loved the people here. There was something about them that made them different. They seemed more… connected somehow. He remembered his family visiting the Tsi when he was a boy, and he noticed then their spirituality. He also played games with the Tsi boys then, such as Whirlwind, and Standing on the Mountain, and lately he was able to get to know them as men. They were becoming more of his “brothers” than the Grie men were, in his old village. He turned over again towards his wife, and looked at her. Noticing she was still awake, he lifted his head, and thought about kissing her but she turned away.

Prairie Flower also had a problem. She could not figure out how to tell her husband that she wanted to stay here, and it bothered her to no end. It was the way the Tsi people treated them more than anything else. It was the love and respect they gave the Grie, that impressed her the most.

Her husband was a huge man, with a chest and shoulders more like a horse than a man’s. His arms were like two small trees. Over the years he had saved more than one life simply because he had the strength of three men. But he was the most gentle and humble man she had ever met, and that’s why she married him. She wanted their children to have his personality. In spite of her name, she knew she was too often harsh, and he smoothed her out with his gentleness, like no one else could.

Because of his gentle ways, her husband never got the respect that he should have, in their old village. She knew deep down that was one the reasons they left. She was also tired of the jealousy from other women at the old village. Young women would often giggle as he walked by, hoping to catch his attention. Even married women whispered cruel jokes about him. It often made her angry and sick in her heart.

Everything was different here though. They had been here two months already and the people respected her and her husband for who they were – on the inside. Then too the relationship between Thunder Speaking and Bluebird was the most amazing thing she had ever seen. It was supernatural really.

Thinking about this couple inspired her to get up for a while, and work on Bluebird’s wedding dress. Holds the Fire, had given her the tremendous honor of helping to make it. It was a beautiful white buckskin, with fringes and beadwork. Prairie Flower loved doing beadwork and as she sewed carefully she heard her husband gently snore. She loved hearing that sound, and smiled because of it.

She would also be installing a beautiful and distinctive blue color at the top of the dress. The Grie were known far and wide, for this color they used so often, to decorate their clothing and horses. It reminded her people of the blue sky and deep blue lakes.

She decided that in the morning she would talk to him. She had a peace about this, and she knew deep down they would stay. She would also tell him about the new child she was carrying. She smiled again, realizing how close this would draw them together.

 Brown and White Vanner

Note: Next time – the wedding! Blessings of peace to you!

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Healing of the Grie People

Sequoia National Park by Ben H.
Sequoia National Park by Ben H.

“I cannot go back there.” “You must”, came the answer. “No, they should kill me and throw me in the river”, Red Hawk was surprised they had not done it already. “I will be with you”, came the answer. “You will?” “Yes”.

The Great White Buffalo further explained, “There needs to be a healing within the people, and fear must be removed. You can explain that you were sick, but many will not understand that, so you can apologize for harming them.” This all made perfect sense of course, and Red Hawk knew it was right. The White Buffalo continued, “Over time the people will begin to trust you again.” With this statement, Red Hawk had hope that began to grow, maybe it was all possible. He did want to repair any damage he had done.

“First we need to take care of that pebble”, The Great White Buffalo was filled with compassion. Red Hawk closed his eyes again and shook his head yes. This time there was only a bright light. He could not tell if it was coming from the outside of his body, or if it was only in his mind, or if it was both. It did not hurt, but the light was so intensely bright that he covered his eyes with his hands. Then there were flashing images of his mind, where he could see the pebble in his mind shrinking until finally it disappeared, and his mind became well! He also saw the tree branches, but this time they became untwisted, and untangled, as he watched. Red Hawk knew that blood was flowing properly again.

A little while later they were walking towards the village, side by side. The Great White Buffalo explained that Red Hawk should talk to his father first and go from there. Healing would flow like a river. Red Hawk was thinking he needed a new name, and knew right away what it should be – Buffalo Medicine.

Then they stood at the top of the small hill that overlooks his village. Would they accept him? Either way, at least he would do everything he could to make things right. There were several people milling around the village, and two women noticed them first. They saw both Red Hawk and the Great White Buffalo. They froze where they were, with shock. Others saw the two women and wondered what they were looking at and they saw the man Red Hawk, and the Great White Buffalo too. Ten people saw the Great White Buffalo, which was a sign of abundance and restoration. Then they all fled to get their families to come and see this wondrous sight.

When they returned to look, there was only Red Hawk. Eyes were popping, and jaws were dropping as he walked into the village, now obviously in his right mind. He found his father, and they went inside his lodge, where they had a long talk. He told his father everything. As he was listening War Chief wept, grateful to have his son back.

Epilogue: Buffalo Medicine (formerly Red Hawk) did all he could to gain the trust of the people. He went hunting and gave the food away. He caught horses and gave them to the families of women he had injured. He made things, like bows, arrows, knives, anything he could think of, and gave them as gifts.

Gradually the people began to trust him, but it took time. There was a healing process, and fear had to let go of the people. Fear walked away from the village with its head hanging low, looking for other victims elsewhere.

War Chief decided not to be the chief anymore. He did not feel right about it, and he told the people they should decide who their leaders should be. He also changed his name to reflect who he was now. His new name was – Grateful Man.

Years later Buffalo Medicine married, and they had three beautiful children.

 

Tipi in Snow

Note: There will be more microfiction in the future but this weekend I’ll share some poetry. I long to return to the village where the Tsi and some of the Grie people live together. After all there is a marriage pending! I call this village the village of “Two Peoples”.

Peace to all of you!

Thanks for reading!

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Rescue of Red Hawk – Part II

Sky and Clouds

Microfiction

The huge animal’s head was at least ten times the size of his own. He knew it was real, he could not deny what he was seeing, and that he was feeling the hot breath of Great White Buffalo in his face. Yet, he could not comprehend the animal being just inches away, so he just sat there and stared.

“You have hurt a lot of people, and there is a lot of work to be done, so come walk with me”, the great animal spoke without moving his lips. They walked together into the large herd of buffalo, and Red Hawk stuck close to the White Buffalo’s left side. Normally Red Hawk would have been crushed by the menacing herd, but they simply parted for the Great White, as if a great chief were walking by.

The White Buffalo began speaking to his mind about all the wrong things he had done, and the way he had hurt people. There were times that Red Hawk stopped in his tracks. He only remembered pieces of what he heard. Then they would walk on, and he would hear more of his cutting lodges with a knife, yelling at people, throwing water on cooking fires, and many more. He began weeping, with tears streaming down his face.

Then the worst of it came. The Great White Buffalo told Red Hawk about four different women he had beaten, three of them badly, when they had rejected him. This broke him into a thousand pieces, and he fell to his knees. He could not believe he had done such a thing, yet flashes came to his mind and he remembered the women. He remembered the anger he felt, so it must be true. He let out a scream of grief which could be heard for miles, and he wept bitterly.

He could not remember much after that, other than a warm yellow light shining on him from the heavens. He lay on the ground holding his head, wanting to die, weeping until long after dark.

He did not remember sleeping, but the next morning he woke to a small pile of wild vegetables, and berries next to him. The White Buffalo was off in the distance, as if he was guarding Red Hawk to keep him safe. He heard the Buffalo say, “Eat, Red Hawk, you will need your strength”. He had forgotten what food tasted like, and it did help him. The huge white animal walked over when he had finished and said, “I need to show you something, but you must be willing. It will be a vision.” Red Hawk shook his head yes, and closed his eyes.

Suddenly in his mind he saw flashes of light, mountains, rivers, the great sea, ten thousand thoughts came flooding in all at once – and then he was flying. Into the heavens he soared, above the clouds, more flashes of light, streams, rivers, water flowing over rocks. Trees were waving in the wind.

And then he saw himself sitting in the snow, and the vision went deep into his mind. He saw something that did not look right. In his mind there was something that looked like tree branches but they were all twisted, and tangled. The White Buffalo’s voice told him, that blood was not flowing right in his mind. The vision went deeper, like searching the depths of the sea, and he saw something there. In his mind he saw….well it looked like…..it looked like a pebble. There was a pebble in his mind that should not be there. He saw it. And the Great White Buffalo told him that it was causing a problem with his blood flowing. There were more flashes of light and the vision ended….

On the Edge of the Woods

Note: Next time healing comes to the Grie village. Thanks for reading!

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree