1 Spring - Sprit Man
She leaned over and looked at her reflection in the clear cold water. Her hair was in twin long black braids and shined of the bear grease she had used in it. They were held in place by the leather band that was around her head. She dipped the skins into the still cold stream. The water still had the icy feel of the melting snows from the mountains. The air in the early morning had the bite of the passing winter, yet it also carried the sweet smell of the coming spring.
Soon the land would be filled with new life and her people would eat well. Gone would be the days of dried meat and vegetables. The hunters of the village were already making new arrowheads and soon they would feast on venison and bear. The great feast would take place not long after the hunts.
The feast was when many of the tribes would gather in friendship, to talk, sing, dance, tell stories, and trade. She could almost taste the food and hear the dancing and singing of the great feast that was to come.
But this year was special for her, for this was the year that she could take a mate and take her place in adult society. It would mean leaving her home and village, since the people did not take a mate from within their small village.
The last few years she had looked over the young boys who would soon become hunters. Once they had proven themselves they would gift pelts to a girl's father as proof that he could provide for her and her children. But the choice of which one she would go with would be up to her.
Now that the skins were filled she lifted the heavy bags on her shoulders and started the trip back to her camp. Her mind was wondering on this find spring day. The day was warming up after the early morning chill, and the bags were heavy that they slowed her steps. Because of her slowed pace she saw the first flower of spring. It white petals shined in the sunshine. The flower would look so pretty in my hair, she thought.
She laid the bags down and stepped off the trail. That was when she heard the grunting sound. She froze listening; it could be a bear just waking up from it's winter nap, she thought as she began to look for a way to escape.
Then she heard the growl again, no it isn't an animal it sounds as if someone is in pain. Slowly she looked around the bare bushes. Following the now recognized sound of someone moaning, she came upon the blood covered figure.
She had seen many warriors hurt, but this person was unlike any that she had ever seen before. He was covered in strange looking skins that had been ripped and torn. But that wasn't what confused her the most. This creature looked like a man, yet his skin was as pale as the moon and his hair was the deep red of ripen berries. She wondered if this was a man or some sprit that had came upon the Earth.
But if he was man or sprit he was injured and it was not the custom of her people to leave one that was hurt all alone. She returned to the water bags and came back with one. She cupped a handful of cool water and began to clean his wounds.
His wounds were many but none would take his life. But he soon would have a fever and that would be harmful. He spoke aloud in his unconscious state. His words were unlike any that she had ever heard before. He must be of the sprit world, she thought. She lifted him up and tried to pour some of the water down his mouth.
"Do not worry, I shall go to my village and bring back help," she said. She may not understand his sprit words but surely he could understand the words of her people.
She ran to her camp and soon several of the hunters returned carrying the stranger into their camp. He was placed in the medicine teepee. The medicine man began mixing herbs for his wounds as he chanted his strange yet most powerful spells.
The day was slowly ending when the medicine man came to her. "Water Barer, his wounds are cleaned and I preyed to the great sprits to heal him. Now we must wait, but he must be kept warm during the cold night or the fever shall over take him."
There was no question that she would be the one to stay in the medicine teepee to make sure the fire stayed lit and kept him warm. It was her duty since she had found him and first given him aid. Her duty to him would not be over till he recovered.
She went to her mother's sister-daughter, who was her own age and her best friend. "I shall stay in the medicine teepee with the sprit man to tend to the fire tonight would you stay with me?" she asked.
Both girls had often spent the nights together telling secrets and talking of the young hunters and wondering what it would be like with them.
This was not the first time that the girls had tended one that had been wounded. As the sun set both girls went to the medicine teepee and enter the small room. There was a fire going in the center which made it very hot inside and some wood to the side to feed the fire so they wouldn't have to open the flips till morning. There was a skin stretched over the fire like a bowl with water and herbs in it. This warm water added a sweet steamy smell to the hot inside air. This would help aid the man in his recovery. There was a basket with a mixture of bear fat and herbs. This would have to be placed onto the wounds during the night.
They lifted up the skins looking at the now nude strange white man. Neither girl had ever seen a person so pale of color nor hair of red before. It was easy for them to believe that this man was indeed a sprit taking the form of a man. His wounds were ready to be cleaned so they took some thin skins and dipped them into the water and bathed the man down. Next they scooped some of the strong smelling grease and rubbed it across his body. They then washed the grease off their hands in the skin over the fire.
After they had cleaned the man both girls were now becoming hot in the steamy teepee. They removed their soft outer skins and walked around nude. There was no embarrassment for them. It was normal for them to strip down in the warm months or in the warm teepee. Often times during the warm months they walked around the camp wearing nothing more then a loincloth. Now they took a blanket and laid it across the strange man. Then both girls sit by the fire talking together as they had done many time before in the past.
"I wonder what it will be like to lay with a man," said Yellow Dear.
It seemed that more and more the girls main conversation revolved around the young hunters and what it would be like to have their own teepee.
"Do you think that you with take a mate during the great feast?" asked Water Barer.
"I might," said Yellow Deer. "I think that Flying High Hawk may ask you; I have seen him looking at you, but then so has Muddy Beaver."
Both girls started to laugh at the joke. Muddy Beaver was small and ran from any girl that came near him. Most of the girls had taken to calling him Scared Beaver. But their laughing stopped when the man let out a loud moan.
They lifted up the blanket and saw that the man was covered in a thin coating of sweat. Yellow Deer threw another log onto the fire and Water Barer placed more grease onto him. Both girls laid beside the man adding their own body heat to his.
Yellow Deer looked over to Water Barer and said, "when you laid with Scared Beaver will you rub him like you did the sprit man?" she asked.
Again both girls started to laugh as they laid next to the fevered man. Soon their laughter died as they fell asleep.
2 Spring - The Hunter
Cursed this land, he thought. He wondered why he had left England to come here and work from sunrise to sunset. The winter had been hard and what little they had grown had been eaten and now he had to go out and hunt to help feed the village. So far his luck wasn't very good and he was hunting in a strange land that he never had been in before. Not only did he have to look for game, he also had to look out for the Godless red devils that lived in this land. All these savages should be wiped off the face of the earth, they had no right to this land that was rightfully theirs by the law of both God and the King, he thought.
His thoughts blocked out the all thoughts and sounds and it proved to be a mistake on his part. He realized this when he heard the deep toughly sounds of a bear. He turned and fired his shot striking the beast in the chest. The monster swung one paw out hitting him in the chest. He felt the claws digging into his flesh and tearing into him. He fell and the beast came toward him, he smelled the foul breath on his face. The man placed his hand under the bear's neck trying to keep the teeth from biting into his own soft neck. With his other hand he pulled the knife out and began to stab the monster.
The bear was not fully awake from his sleep or else he was to weak from his winter nap. He backed off and went in search of easier prey. He looked at his chest and saw it covered in blood. I have to get out of here he thought. The bear may return at any minute.
He tried to stand and it felt as if his head was swimming. He ripped some of his torn shirt and tried to stop the bleeding. He tried to crawl away but he felt the strength in his body draining out. I'm going die here and no one will ever know, he thought.
Slowly he felt his life draining out of his body. He felt the sun beginning to warm his body. Then he heard the bear returning. Here I died, he thought.
As he laid there in pain he thought that he a voice from far away. Something cold and wet touched him touched him. In his fevered state he said, "our father who are in Heaven..." Now he thought something wet was running down his parched throat. Then the darkness over took him.
.... There is more of this story ...