Antoinette
James
WORDWRIGHT
Walking on the earth is me, Mahpiya Hunka, Chosen Sky.

The sun's body lifted above the horizon banishing the screen of clouds that had blanketed the earth for near three moons, hiding light and heat from all two-legged ones; giving us time to ponder Wakan Tanka, The Great Spirit, and his benevolence.
I stood with my Ate, his hand upon my shoulder, eyes looking down to his son, and his face bearing a smile. The awaited life-giving circle was taking its turn to stand radiant and proud in the sky, shedding spring's tentative warmth upon our small village. Optimism showed on our faces; and none more than my father's; the face I returned a smile.
Many in our village of twenty-seven families, had huddled braced in their tepees during the long winter, rationing dwindling food supplies and praying to Wakan Tanka to spare our lives; to be able to breathe again the fresh sweet smells of Wihakata Cepapi Wi, Moon-of-Making-Fat, and feel the warm southern breeze through our hair.
Some families had members stricken with sickness, calling upon the medicine man and his array of herbs. They held tightly to this world, waiting for the first hunt that would bring strengthening nourishment.
The tepee next to ours, where my good friend's family laid their heads, would soon know the blessing of new birth. Enola Iyotake, Sitting Solitary, fourteen winters old and still an only child, readied to welcome his brother or sister.
We all sighed with pleasure that sun filled morning; feeling the emerging touch of warmth through the budding trees; the worst of winter behind us and the excitement of the tribe uniting ahead.
Soon all the bands that camped around the area, in the small hollows at the edges of naked woodlands, would dismantle their tepees and relocate closer to the plains; once gathered - dancing, singing, hunting, crying for visions and courting would fill our days. This year I was going to realize everything.
"Now fifteen, Chosen Sky will prove himself'," I affirmed quietly under my breath.
Last year I fasted, went to a lonely place to show myself a man. The Fat Bellies and the Contraries said I was ready. Even Shaman agreed - because I was ready. This year I was ready to do more, I could feel greatness amassing.
Early spring, The Plains North American Continent 1525

      "
Tatanka not returned."
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