Poster: Wolf Paw
Post # 4
Meeting with the
Tribe of the Bear
but I feel it should not be common knowledge. This was shown to us
specifically." He felt there were many reasons behind that
thought and all valid ones. Detaching a small pouch from his belt,
he sprinkled some tobacco and cuttings of his hair to the wind. A
chant under his breath before closing his eyes in reverence to the
cold wintry sun that deemed to shine upon them this day. Head tipped
back and cloak's hood down, much like he had done when it started
snowing so thickly. Once he was done, the hood was swept up, though
it was sunny it was still very cold. Snowshoes were seen to before
he started forward carefully. He'd taken a tall walking stick which
was used to make sure they had solid footing. So they would go
slower but far better the precaution than a tragic mishap.
nodded her agreement, a soft smile curling her lips. As he made his
thanks to the spirits, she bowed her head in reverence, though she
couldn't help but watch him as he stood illuminated in the pale
light of the winter sun. Once her snowshoes were on, and he started
down, she and Koda followed, the wolf staying close. The snow was
less treacherous in the valley, though the going was still slow.
What the two didn't know was a small group of their enemy had been
attempting to follow. Those that survived the avalanche swore to the
elders that there was a Great Wolf standing above them before the
snow came crashing down. As Feather and Wolf neared the camp of the
Bear Clan, they were greeted by some of the scouts who watched their
approach. Feather spoke to them softly, telling them she had news of
the Twins and their companions and they were led to the elders while
others greeted them warmly as they passed.
Paw embraced a few of the warriors he knew as they were quick to
approach him. They too spoke on the Great Wolf that had been sensed,
sent their few dogs in a near panic barking last evening. Not as
they would when an enemy approached but wanting to get free to join
the spirit Wolf as a pack. Luckily they tied their dogs when the
snows came for their own protection. Once they had been spotted,
preparations for a feast were already set in motion to be had in the
great wigwam where they also held their meetings. There was much to
talk on while food and the pipe were shared. Presently they were
enjoying the initial greetings. Families spoke on, coups that were
done before winter set in. Winter was tragic enough that kept most
of the warring down. They spoke on the Fort as a few had ventured
there and they way
had been treated but more was the concern to see many of their
people turn the white man's way though never really fitting in. They
were little more than slaves, treated like dogs. Few treated them as
they should be. The names of those families were known in a good
way, just as the names of the families that persecuted them were
known on the opposite side of the scale.
listened quietly to their stories, laughing at some though how they
were treated by the white men at the Fort had her frowning. She
would wait until they were alone with the Elders to speak of the
warnings she had been given. Instead, her tales were of Heathfield
and of the Twins and their companions. Some of the tales were funny
of course, some serious but she was glad to see they were pleased
that the young men and women were doing well.
Paw had left the lands before the twins and their friends had gotten
there. So he was very interested in hearing their story, not only
how they ended up in the lands but how they were adjusting. Luckily
the lands were as he had found them to be. Accepting of everyone
equally no matter their skin coloring or beliefs. Encouraged to keep
their ways with respect as respect was given to others. A man being
weighed by his actions to be good or bad than prejudices. In all his
travels, he had not come upon another land like it although there
was always the possibility if one such existed that possibly there
were others. They were given a wigwam to share, being they had no
spare ones and the small family willingly gave up theirs for the
night or few Feather and Wolf were to stay. They could freshen up or
get some rest as the feast would be ready in an hour's time. It
would be here that they would meet with the Shaman Milap and Running
Deer, chief of the Bear Tribe. Wolf Paw ducked in needing a rest as
he was quick to claim one of the fur beds, stretching out with his
arms angled up to tuck his hands behind his head. Eyes closed in
rest but it was questionable if he would actually sleep.
spoke to a few of the younger women before she followed Wolf into
the teepee. Koda had slipped off to hunt, leaving the two alone. She
smiled when she saw him resting, and decided to freshen up first. If
there was time left, she would rest also but she wasn't tired. Clean
water had been brought after being heated so she could wash face and
hands. She hummed to herself as she removed her outer clothing.
up quickly, she pulled the white dress that was worn as a sign of
her rank and shook it out. With a glance at Wolf, she pulled off her
shirt and pants, stripping down to undergarments before washing
completely and finally pulling on the dress and leggings that would
keep her warm. While she waited for the hour to pass, she re-braided
had dozed off into visions, not quite the same as sleeping. He woke
with a start, eyes unfocused for a fraction of a moment with a
slight sweat upon his brow. He was up and over to the bowl of water
to splash some on his face. Stripping down as he went washing the
rest of his body, tossing the dirty clothes off to the side and
putting on the finer, more ceremonial ones of winter. Ones with fine
bead work woven in the strips of leather and fringe down seams.
Stripping down completely held no concern that Feather was in the
wigwam with him. Their customs were not the same although he could
wonder if being in other lands with other customs had worn on her at
all. Dark eyes turned her way with that curiosity but certainly
there was pride in his eyes for his physique, something a warrior
held in high esteem. Only the glance as he was right back to donning
the clothing and taking care with the lacings.
watched him as he woke, a slight frown appearing though she waited
for him to finish dressing. Dark eyes held no shyness as she watched
him, all the while braiding her hair. Remembering how the sunlight
had touched his bronze skin earlier, now she noted the way the fire
touched his features, showing the planes and angles of his strong
face. He was in all ways a perfect example of a warrior.
Smiling to herself, she tied the braids off with rawhide that was
trimmed with beads and feathers, then added a necklace of quills and
beads. Wolf's pride was well placed and it showed in how she met his
glance. "You woke troubled."
dreams, visions perhaps. A storm to come raging at sea but I do not
know if it is a foreboding of our trip back to Heathfield."
Storms meant trouble than actual weather conditions, then again it
could have been literal. Time would tell. He remember struggling
hard in surviving but had survived or he woke too soon. It was about
that time one of the Indian wives came to their wigwam's entry
to let them know all was ready before disappearing just as quickly
and silently as she had appeared. He finished up, putting on the fur
cloak last before waiting to escort Feather there. They would be the
guests of honor for bringing good news and visiting in spite of the
blizzard that had just passed. A sign they were to be revered,
favored by the Spirits.
to my own." She frowned then smiled again. "Whatever it
is, we will face it together. " They were to help James if he
needed them, that much she was sure of. When the woman came to fetch
them, Feather grabbed her fur cloak and followed her. The sun was
sinking lower into the west and soon it would be dark but the feast
would go on into the night. She was looking forward to a time of
relaxing before speaking to the Elders the next day.
of the tribe was gathered in this larger elongated wigwam, children
as well including infants wrapped up in furs in their mother's arms.
The only one sitting was Milap, their Shaman in a Bear's headdress
and their Chief, Running Dear. Two older wizen women sat aside each
as they indicated for Wolf Paw to take his seat to the right and
Feather to the left, across from each other. A low long table was
set between holding the various bowls of food prepared. Pheasant and
deer meat amongst them as well the favored rabbit pies. Gathered
nuts and a flat bread made of ground up grains. Winter food was not
as variant as spring and summer offered. Wolf took his seat, sitting
cross legged and waited then for Feather as well the rest of the
tribe would take their places in a growing circle outward from the
took her seat across from Wolf after greeting the Elders
respectfully. She remembered Kirima from a long time ago and for a
moment their eyes met. As the others sat, she watched the closeness
of the people and again felt the sadness that came from knowledge of
the future. Still, there was always hope.
was Running Deer who spoke once everyone was in their place. He
stood, waiting for silence. "We welcome our Brother and Sister
to this feast of celebration. The news they have brought us is good,
and we rejoice that those who journeyed to find their paths are
doing well. I know I speak for all of us and we thank you for this
news, and that you are willing to share this feast with us. Though
the winter has brought much snow, we have plenty and this too, we
celebrate. Eat and enjoy. Tomorrow we talk of things to come."
He had been told by both Milap and Kirima, the wizen woman who sat
to his right, that there were dreams and portents of the future but
they would wait until the morrow.
things were not shared with the whole of the tribe until all was
known to be known on any particular matter. Tonight was to celebrate
rather than storm clouds dimming their future to overshadow the here
and now. It could wait and not ruin the times that were good to be
had. These times cherished. Wolf ate heartily as would be expected
of him, yet not over indulging either. He enjoyed the pipe as it was
passed around and conversation reverted to good times of the past.
That of buffalo hunting and the more humorous pranks warriors pulled
on the other. He shared some of his stories befitting the atmosphere
having laughter spread as infectious as any disease could and did
far too often in the winter. Even the women were allowed to share
their stories, this being a night they were treated equal. Though
their stories might not be as glamorous as the warriors, there was
humor, love and hopes.
Elders of the Clan too, had their stories and shared these. Some
were of the Earliest Times, when the Gods walked the Earth and the
People were new. Others were of those here, in their younger days,
and of course, there were tales of the Twins and Patwin and the
tricks they played. Feather was enjoying herself, as much as any
time in the past that she could remember. She watched Wolf when he
talked and then the others, giving each the respect they deserved
when they had the talking stick. She had her own stories to share,
of course, tales of her and Wolf's people to the southeast. As
the meal began to end, the drummers began to play, sounding their
beat low for those who might wish to participate in the dance.
so often dark eyes would find Feather beneath their intense gaze. A
smile more in his eyes than upon his lips when she managed to catch
his look. The Susquehanna Tribe were friends with the Bears and at
times hunts were shared, friendships forged in mutual gain. An
extended family. When the drums started, sated with food and the
pipe, Wolf Paw was up with a look given Feather to join him in
starting out the dance. This too was expected of them being their
guests. Had Feather not been with him, female, he would choose
amongst the maidens of the tribe to honor one. As it were, he would
still need to do a few dances with them. The lot of them would
whisper between themselves, each hoping they would be picked.
she been prone to blushing, her cheeks would be a darker bronze but
it took more than looks to cause such. Still, she smiled each time
their eyes met. As he stood and looked her way, she stood as well,
moving to his side. The long fringes of her dress made her movements
look even more graceful as the dance began. Their steps were
precise, well learned but still with a quality that bespoke of joy
and life. Others began to join them, even some of the older members
of the tribe as well as the younger who would soon be falling asleep
but were determined to stay up as long as possible.
noticed how graceful she was, how alive her eyes shone under the
firelight and the touch of rose upon her cheeks in a healthy glow.
"You are a beautiful woman." Wondering if others had
told her, more in he would be surprised if not. Actually expecting
that she has been. As others began to join them, partners were
soon exchanged as he partnered, even if briefly at times, with
another woman of the tribe. Most were young and of marriageable
age. He suspected a few of the fathers purposely had their
daughter end up with him as he noticed subtle maneuvers. Noticed
but not really thought upon for such was far from his mind.
Feather would get a smile or glance caught across the flames or in
passing. Times a rest was taken for a drink before a brother
warrior drew him back in to dance with his sister or cousin. It
would seem he had danced with every single eligible woman in the
village. A fact that had him slightly frown when he managed away
with a good thirst and drank liberally from bucket of water.
was pleased with the compliment from him, even if she had heard it
before. "Thank you, and you, are a handsome man."
Perfectly at ease with giving a compliment in return. She
remembered how he and James used to tease her and compete with one
another. Days of innocence on her part. She was partnered with
many of the braves this night, but her eyes kept drifting to watch
him. She too noticed how he seemed to have danced with every young
woman and it made her smile. At least she could actually take a
moment or two here and there as it seemed there were more women
than men. When she had a chance, she spoke to Milap and Kirima
about the twins and their friends. Extra assurance for the two
that all was well.
the time the older ones, or ones with infants departed, Wolf was
tired; though he drank with his warrior friends, especially Red
Fox and Silver Eagle. Both whose sisters danced with him. They
were a little drunk by this time of the night and both going on
about the wonderful attributes of their sisters who would make one
a good wife. The humor went a bit more risque in comments made
that were kept low so they were not overheard but with more
drinking the comments were getting louder for they were getting
louder. It was time to call it a night or there might end up a few
fists flying and regretted the next day. Wolf Paw had made sure he
didn't drink too much for he knew how it could affect him. Those
days he had put behind him for the most part. He feigned
exhaustion and departed company to head for the wigwam
them. Feather was still talking to Milap and Kirima so didn't
interrupt. Once inside he moved the fur beds closer to the low
burning fire. Added some more wood then stripped down before
getting under the furs. Hands cupped behind his head, eyes closed,
he listened to the sounds of the others still up, some still
dancing. Laughter muted for the distance but comforting sounds. It
had been a good feast.
elders were growing weary and so she excused herself, knowing they
would not do so first. She noted that Wolf had left the feast and
with a few farewells to others, made her way to the wigwam. She
was quiet as she entered, thinking he might be asleep. Koda had
gone hunting sometime during the feast and would likely be back
later. She began to undo the braids first, careful to remove the
beads and feathers and store them away. She had a comb she had
bought in Heathfield and used it before stripping out of the
ceremonial dress and leggings. With a little shiver, she slipped
under the furs and sighed. They were warm and so was the fire.
Their journey back to the coast might not have many nights of
knew when she headed for the wigwam, knew her every silent step as
she entered their guest dwelling. Eyes remained closed as he
breathed in the mingled scents of the night, hers with others. He
heard the shiver that escaped her breath while he half lifted
up with parting his furs as dark eyes dwelled upon her.
"Come, keep warm with me this night as it will prove even
colder than any preceding." It was not an uncommon practice
and probably saved a few lives over the course of wintry months.
thought you were asleep." She smiled as she spoke, and slid
close to him. "It seems the winter will be long this
year." So much snow and they still had weeks until spring.
"You were much sought after tonight." Teasing just a
little. For Wolf Paw to be brought into a family would be
considered quite an accomplishment though it might leave several
of their own tribe broken-hearted.
is why I finally decided to leave. Red Fox and Silver Eagle only
wanted to praise the attributes of their sisters to where they
were becoming competitive and would end up in a fight. Worse, draw
me into it to decide which sister was better for a wife. They had
too much to drink." Folding the fur around her as she slipped
in, spooning her back in against his chest. He was already warm
beneath the furs having been under them a good twenty
minutes. "We shall leave early tomorrow, right after you
speak of your dreams to the Elders." Perhaps she might pick
up on the edge of him wanting to leave at this point than linger.
nodded slightly, not wanting to laugh. It could have been a very
bad situation and in spite of being as a brother to the two
braves, it was best that he not be drawn into a fight when they
were guests. "I am to speak to them after the morning
meal." Which for the Elders meant dawn. "I think Kirima
has had similar dreams though I can't be certain. It is just a
feeling I have." She was growing warm and drowsy as well. A
soft yawn escaped and she smiled. "Both sisters are silly
little things." Just giving her opinion though had she not
been so sleepy, she might not have said a word.
you want me there at the talks or wait for you?" Enjoying the
warmth as it was starting to lull him away, dawn would be too soon
if they were to get a descent night's sleep. He left the comment
go on the two sisters as stated.
are welcome to come with me of course." She laughed softly as
she added, "it might be safer if you do, for it will keep you
out of sight."
smile swept she'd not see for that was exactly his thoughts. He
knew his two friends would waylay him again on their sisters to
take as a wife. They even decided, which was one of the reasons he
left, that he could take both. "I do not wish to insult my
friends nor get trapped by their good wishes." He already
told him he was not settled to have a wife, too much on the move
and things he had to do before such considerations. "Let us
sleep now or we'll continue talking," which normally he would
not mind but knew they would both pay for it at dawn, dragging
themselves from the dregs of sleep and not alert. He shifted,
getting comfortable, eyes closing and allowing his thoughts to
wander that would bring into that state.
you will definitely join me. I have no wish to see you trapped
either." And having two young women tagging along on their
journey wouldn't suit either! She yawned again, allowing her eyes
to close, the sound of his heart and his breathing, lulling her to
They were awake before dawn, breaking fast with bannock and dried
fruit, with water to wash it down. The same woman who had
brought their meal came for them when the Elders were ready to
speak to them. They listened intently as Feather spoke once
again of the visions she had, trying to convey the sense of
urgency felt. She didn't include the ones concerning James
Callihan. There had been no connection that she had seen. As
she spoke, both Milap and Kirima exchanged glances. When the
young woman was through, they spoke as well. They had visions also
and with Feather giving her own, the Elders made the decision that
when spring came at least to the northern forest, they would join
the Susquehanna and move their tribe to the sacred land. In
time, they feared losing even that but they would do all they could
to preserve their way of life.
Before the two could leave, there were gifts to be taken back
to Heathfield for the twins and their friends, as well as for Wolf
and Feather. They were given an extra pack horse and rations
in case the snows fell again. By the time the sun had risen,
bright over the snowy landscape, they were well on their way, far
enough that they could no longer see the smoke rising from the
village. It would take a week for them to reach the port of
Philadelphia if all went well. Though snow fell, it was not
heavy and they would soon be on a ship to Heathfield.
Some distance behind, another scouting party had made their way
down the mountain. This time there were no avalanches to stop
them. Avoiding the village, they followed the usual path toward
the river, certain the two would have taken this way, not knowing
anyone followed. As they came to the river that Wolf and
Feather had crossed a few hours earlier, the leader of the party
made a motion for everyone to stop. Across the small river
stood the Great Wolf that had led Wolf and Feather through the
mountains. He seemed to growl out a warning before
disappearing. The scout leader made a motion to one brave
who stepped onto what should have been ice solid enough to cross.
The ice made a cracking noise and the youth stepped back. They
watched in disbelief as the ice cracked the entire width of the
river, cracking loudly before the water broke through and pushed
the ice away. Exchanging looks, the group turned as one and
gave up their pursuit.