I remember how brightly the moon shone the night before they arrived. I sat with Tamas and our youngest boy Isha, who was eleven, while he ate the fish he had humbly caught that morning. He told us of an ugly, black bird that had startled him when it land on the rocks while fishing. I didn’t think much of it until he told his father how scary the sound that came from it was. At that moment I knew something unfortunate was upon us. Tamas and I exchanged a look of worry as Isha described the crow he had encounter with. We had both been raised under the theory that the sight of a crow meant death, and it had proved on more than one occasion to be true. However, we kept our concerned thoughts to ourselves while in the presence of our little fisherman. Over the next few months our worries became reality.
Isha was the youngest of our 4 children. Our middle child was our only girl; however she was granted the spirit of an eagle. Chiti was just a few seasons older than Isha. She rarely let me play with her hair and despised the thought of sewing with me, but the first words of any exploration made her spirit soar. She had mastered how to make a bow or hatchet and could use it to hunt better than any of the men around us. Finally, our first born was Jai. He started a family of his own with a woman he met while off hunting buffalo two previous winters. I wish I had known the fate that lain ahead of him when the white men showed up. Chiti awoke me while the sun rose and told of the
beautiful colors the sky had given us. We took a walk down the Patel Path and I picked berries while she gathered sticks ideal for a new bow she wished to hunt with this winter. We came upon many of my brothers and sisters from our band that were crowded by many unfamiliar faces. I found Tamas and he explained that white men had voyaged here. We had heard bad things of the white men from moving tribes and I began to worry. However, my people had always welcomed new faces with open arms,...
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