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Tragedies of Life

By , Roswell, GA
Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever witnessed a tragedy? For most, a tragedy comes once in a lifetime, and they happen to almost everyone. For some, a tragedy may come later on in their lifetime, but for the few special people on this earth, tragedy can come at a very young age.
My Father was a much loved tribal leader. He had been appointed at least 5 times in a row. He was also a very wise man. My mother was a common tribal wife. She did most of the cooking, washing, and she gathered fruits and vegetables for the tribal feasts. My sister was older than I was; around 2 years or so. She mostly helped my mother with the common, everyday tasks.
I had woken up to a cloudy yet damp morning. I was around thirteen at the time. What made this day significant over the others is that it was my last day of passage into manhood. When it reached ten o’ clock, it was time for all of the other boys and me to head back to the village, where we would be granted our manhood. On the walk home I felt ecstatic because of the great respect that is revealed when one becomes a man. However, my feelings were completely annihilated as I entered the village. All I could see were bullet casings and blood baths on the ground. All I could smell was the smoke that a gun made when it was fired. A massacre had occurred. After a long time of exploring the wreckage, I finally saw it. My family had all been shot and killed. I had also seen my closest friend, Dacu, completely vanished from the face of the earth.
Dacu was a special friend that came every spring to live with his dad. He was born in this tribe; however he lives with his mother most of the time, who originates from another tribe. Dacu acted like a brother to me. He was the one who taught me how to read and write the Cherokee language. The two of us had met at around the age of seven, when Dacu first came to live with his father. We have both been close friends ever since.
I knew that I had to leave the village immediately. The marauders would be back soon enough, to kill off any of the survivors. Then, they would return one more time, to claim all of the gold that lies beneath our feet. Our tribe is located in a special spot that could contain over five hundred thousand dollars in gold, buried beneath the dirt. This was the main reason that the marauders came and attacked our village.
I had no choice but to leave. I knew that leaving behind my people, my culture, and my way of life was going to be very difficult; however it had to be done. Within one hour of thinking that I could come home and claim my manhood, I had to leave forever, and go out on my own. Gathering up all of my belongings was not that difficult, because the Cherokee people are raised with very little. We are trained to be one with nature and live off of the land. Going out on my own, I left with no money, no food, no water, only the clothing on my back and the knowledge inside of my head.
After several days of continuous walking and sprinting, I had finally reached civilization. It was a small town with no more than 500 people, but I thought it was an entire empire compared to my village. The town only had three roads, and around 6 stores, however it was enough for a man to get the supplies that he needed. The first thing I did when I arrived in the town was go to the grocery store. I was amazed at how much food that the grocery store had in it. My tribe had no sense of money, so I did not know that I had to pay for anything. So, I stuffed my pouch and ran out onto the curb so that I could begin my feast. But five minutes later did I find myself face to face with the owner of the store, who was trying to make me pay for the food. I tried to explain to him that I did not have any money and that I was just a boy, but he did not seem to care at all. This was when my first strike of luck came into play. While I was being yelled at, a tall, yet skinny man came to my rescue. He had made an agreement with me that he would gladly pay for the food, but I would have to come and work for him for one month. I agreed ever so quickly. I thought that it would be a simple task to fulfill.
My night sleeping in town felt like being stabbed in the back over two hundred times. The concrete sidewalk was very cold, hard, and painful. Plus, the cracks seemed as if they were oozing bugs because of how many critters I could see crawling around. Honestly, I couldn’t wait until the morning. When the morning finally arrived, I had to walk three miles outside of town to arrive at the man’s farm. I thought the job would be simple; however, I was completely wrong. I would have much rather been hunting with no food for several days with my tribe. I was commanded to shovel dirt, hoe the field, and lay sod, all in one day. Also, the worst part was that it couldn’t have gone by any slower. When the sun had finally set and I was just about to head home, the man decided to strike up a quick conversation with me. “Where you stayin’ on this visit of yours son?” asked the man.
“Nowhere permanent yet.” I replied. Since the man had a helpful and humble background, he offered me his spare bedroom until I quit working for him. I gladly accepted his offer.
This relationship between the man and I grew until we were very close individuals. It took me all of three years before I left and decided to go off on my own. I missed the man at first because he had clothed me, fed me, and raised me from the age of thirteen. I had worked for the man all that time, and I had raised enough money to start a life at the age of 16. Now, at 30 years old, I have a family of 4 and I live a humble life.
My tragedies at thirteen helped me to see the world differently. This is why my tragedies were very devastating yet helpful to me in many ways. Besides opening up the world to me, those tragedies also showed me how kind people can be. My life was changed forever all because a man helped me buy groceries. Now I live an easy-going, yet humble and traditional lifestyle.



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