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Bright Eyed Chers

When we are born, we are cradled by the pines. The crickets whisper good night and the frogs chirp our bedtime stories. In the distance the coyotes sing us a lullaby. The dogs guard us all night. The moon above and the stars around stroke our brows through our windows. The sound of cars is nowhere to be heard.

As we grow, the animals teach us as much as our parents and teachers. Cousin snake warns us that there are always dangers and to be careful. Brother wolf teaches us how about the importance of family ties. Grandfather heron shows us patience. Uncle Gator reminds us to be strong. Granny donkey explains that it is important to stand for what you believe in. Auntie beaver values the ability of work. Sister ant tells us that we can do great things no matter how small we are. Father deer tells us to be quick and to be brave. Mother Hen shows us how to love.

Our feet are constantly dirty and our arms are tan. The dust in the air kicks up as our knees hit the dirt in prayer. The woods call to us; the bayou croons gently. We know the hidden paths the rabbit takes. We know the secrets the oaks hold- they told us them as we nestled in their arms, high above the ground. Summer showers wash away our sorrows. The ocean soothes our souls. The sunrise greets us every morning and the shooting stars play with us as we chase the fireflies.

Honeysuckle is the girls’ perfume and the mulberries are their lipstick. The boys are covered with the cologne of the wind and their gym is the farmyard. The kids’ playground is the pasture and their best friends are the pups.

Joy is often felt in our hearts, but we know the pain of death. We remember our ancestors and their names. We’ve watched soldiers leave, never to return. They were our brothers and sisters. Flags hang proudly on front porches and our love for our land hangs heavily in our hearts.

We face hurricanes boldly. The winds and waves don’t scare us. Droughts have tried to smother us in heat and fires have destroyed everything we know. Snow is a strange new creature to us. We watch in wonder as the delicate white flakes flutter to the earth. It is as wonderful and cherished gift to us.

Our land is different. It is wild and untamed. Others call my people ‘hicks’, ‘hillbillies’, ‘rednecks’, and many other names. We have come to except these titles with pride. We know we are weird to you and sometimes seem stupid. You appear like that to us too sometimes, but we are who we are. We admit, we probably are strange, but we like that about ourselves. Our little boot state is going to stand her ground and we will stand behind her.

Strangers: there is a song in this land. It is a mixture of country, jazz, zydeco, gospel, and soul. It is the unspoken prayer. It is the music that pounds in our hearts. It pulses in our blood. We know the timeless melody; it is as much of a part of us as our DNA. If you listen closely you may understand the rhythm in our souls:

Remember the language of the land. May we always take the dirt roads. Forever let us swim with the fish and run with the deer. Might we always hear the call of the earth and the voice of the sky. Bless us to always return to our roots. Recall the ones before us and the ones who come after. And please, never forget us.

For we are Louisiana’s bright eyed chers.



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Guardian.Of.HonorThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Oct. 11, 2013 at 9:09 pm
I always loved driving through places like you described, that are untamed and such.  After I get out of the military(if I even get in)  I want to live in a place like that.. Anyway aweomse job on the imagery, descriptin, and emotion.
 
guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm
Thanks for reading, Honor. :) 
 
GreekGoddessThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Sept. 17, 2013 at 8:14 pm
Awsome work, just great! In the begining it was a little unclear as to what you are, but it didn't take too long to find out. You kept me enterianed, and thinking. Great peice!
 
guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm
Thanks. :) I wanted it to be a bit confusing at first so I could capture your attention. 
 
thewriter247 said...
Sept. 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm
Just wow. This is amazing and I just love all your work! Keep it coming please.
 
guardianofthestarsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm
Aw, thank you. :) 
 
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