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Her Land

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Strong Bird lifts the soft, cream cow pelt at the corners of her house, and peeks out at the gray dawn. Peach and strawberry pink swirled with hoof gray, soft gray, dark gray, and fairytale gray. no one is up yet; this is her favorite time of day. Barefoot, she slowly peels away the entire door to tread on the rock and prairie of her land. The tassels of her dress clang together, dances around the ankles like their own dance. It gives her a sense of importance, the clacking, a sort of warning to the land before the master treads upon it. Past other homes, past firepits, and meat hung up to dry. Not even the dogs are up yet, though it will be time soon.
Free from the demands of the elders, the questions of the children,and the increasingly nagging comments of the men, she makes her way to the blackened ground, shiny and solid as onyx, only slightly sinking beneath her feet. A breeze picks up around her hair - not yet braided - and her dress tassels chirping madly. She takes a breath then, invigorated by the water in the air, the cool lightness teasing her. And she edges to the part of the cliff where the land finally drops off. And there, there is pure clouds rolling back and forth, a faint flute larking in her head. Trees silently bowing, long blades of grass kissing, buffalo feeding, rock glistening against their stream down below. A faint smoke billowing up from their relatives below. Below the cliff, in the valley. A hawk calls, and circles. She looks up and cries out to it, forgetting her place or the waking village. She smiles. This is her land.





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