Fox and Returning Moon

February 29, 2012
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It is a gloomy day. Dark clouds soar above the sky making the sun shy away in shame. Even though it is not a pleasant day, I aspire to go hunting. The constant thuds of the gentle raindrops comfort me. I want to prove to Father who is also the Chief, that I Tsula, am not like the other girls who sit in the wigwams all day just cooking, cleaning, and making pottery. I will not be destined to such a boring life. I am like an eagle, I should be able to be free and fly to where ever pleases me. I want to go hunting with the men, go on adventures just like them. To prove so, I will go hunting and catch prey.

We’ve been on the ship for countless months, some 2,990 km away from home and I have become a tad bit queasy. My father is the leader of this ambition. He claims we are coming to a new world, some call the Americas. I Eleanor, must admit that I am a bit of a pessimist, and fear that this is complete nonsense. I lean over the edge of the ship, and watch a school of fish, hoping for the best; that we don’t get lost. The water, ripples in the gentle breeze, swaying fish in the waves, and rising high and low with the wind. Suddenly, I see a reflection of a girl! She is slender with long pitch black hair, skin the color of beach sand, and a dazzling smile. Her driftwood eyes are staring right back, piercing through me. They’re filled with wonder, fascination, and awe. She is the first Native American I’ve seen, and she is truly beautiful.

I stare in utter shock. I’ve heard about Europeans coming to our land, but never imagined in a million years they would come to my home, and me of all people to find them. Their boats are ginormous compared to our tiny rowboats made of wood. I know what I must do; I shall go back to the village and tell Father about my discovery. He would surely be pleased with me and would let me go on the next hunting trip. I need to hurry before they spot me. So I run as fast as my swift legs will carry me through the bare trees, the dried leaves crunching underneath my feet, the rain still pouring. When suddenly, I hear a voice.
“Wait, stop, don’t run!”
The voice is soft and hesitant. I am startled, and nearly slip in the mud created by all the downpour.
“Oh, I’m sorry; I did not intend to scare you”.
I recognize that she speaks English but I don’t know much English, and I doubt she knows any Pottawatomie.
“Do you speak any English, what’s your name, mine is Eleanor, and what are you doing out here in the rain?” she blabbers.
“I know little English, my name is Tsula, and I was hunting”, I say proud that I could decode most of what she said.
“Really, how interesting. What is the meaning of your name?”
I explain to her Tsula means Fox in Pottawatomie, and we decide to give her a new name. Eleanor's new name is Migina which means Returning Moon. We decide on that name because she is bright and promises she would always return, just like the moon. Migina and I share about our cultural differences and I even teach her some Pottawatomie and she teaches me more English.
“I have a feeling this is a start to a great friendship!” Migina exclaims before she skips away gracefully in search of her ship.
I rush back to the village to tell Father everything. It is easy to tell his wigwam apart from the others because his is decorated with elaborate paintings and feathers. In front of Father’s wigwam is a small child crying. It appears that he has broken his triangle and ball toy. It is a triangle made of wood, with a hole in the center to get the ball through, and normally a string at the end with the ball. But the ball is missing. So I quickly find an acorn and tie it to the string, it will work just as fine. The little boy wears a thankful smile on his face. When I run in the wigwam, Father is in the middle of a meeting with the other elders.
“What is so important that you must interrupt my gathering, my daughter?” he asks accusingly.
I tell him everything with joy, from the boat, to meeting Eleanor. But Father’s face drops from calmness to outrage. This is not the reaction I expected, and I fear I have betrayed Eleanor and will not be able to be friends with her any longer. “Please Father, please don’t make them leave, she is my friend and I couldn’t bare it if she left!” I beg. But Father ignores my pleads and commands me to lead him and the elders to them, and I must obey.
We reach their camp and Father and the elders conference with Migina’s father and his crew. Migina and I sit in silence hoping for the best but expecting the worst. When they come back they all have smiles on their faces. It seems they have come to an understanding. They merely have come to our land to trade their valuables for our animal skins and skilled crafts. After they trade numerous items for days, it is time for them to leave.
“I promise I will return some day”, Migina shouts as their boat leaves.

About three years later on a day where dark clouds soar above the sky, making the sun shy away in shame, I ride on a ship for countless months, yet again looking in the water when I see a reflection of a young lady with long black hair, skin the color of beach sand, a dazzling smile, and piercing driftwood eyes.

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