Love on the Plains
Author's note: I used to watch westerns alot and I just wanted to use my knowledge of Indians and mix it with... Show full author's note »
Meeting ChameliWe rode for quite a while with nothing but grasslands as far as the eye could see and my hindquarters started to fall asleep before we got to his village. It consisted of about twenty teepees painted with buffalo and horses. The horses were in the back grazing until their hearts’ content. They were of many colors and breeds, all with three orange handprints right behind their right front legs.
“Wow, this is absolutely beautiful…and so open and free.” I told him as he helped me down off the paint.
“Yes. As are you.” He smiled and revealed two rows of perfectly snow white teeth. They contrasted beautifully with his copper-colored skin. I felt my cheeks heat up at the thought of somebody besides my family thinking me beautiful.
“What’s your name?” I asked him turning my head so I could see him fully.
“Minninnewah, which means wild wind in your language.”
“Why do they call you that?” I asked taking him by the arm. He led me through his village as he explained.
“When I was a child, I would run around the village, through the river that’s up over the hill over there.” He said pointing. “Nobody could stop me unless they had food or Little Paint, who you’ve already met.” He explained gesturing to the horse we had just ridden in on. Just then a little girl that resembled Minninnewah ran up and hugged his legs.
“Minninnewah, who is that?” She asked in a sweet little tone only a child could accomplish. He leaned over and whispered in my ear.
“What is it they call you?”
“Lacey.” I said.
“This is Lacey and this is Chameli. Her name means flower in your language.” He explained while standing there with the copper-skinned little girl on his side. She stuck her tiny arms out and clenched her hands over and over again; she was reaching for me I realized. Minninnewah handed her to me and she started playing with my hair which had come loose from its usual pony tail position.
“Your hair is so pretty, mine is just boring and black.” She said pouting.
“No, your hair is beautiful, mine is boring and the color of straw.” I smiled at her. I looked over at Minninnewah and he was smiling at us and it felt right being here with him and Chameli. More so than when I was with my family on the wagon even.
“I’ll go tell the village that you’ll be living with us.” I nodded as he walked away and left me with Chameli. Before he returned, she’d twisted a bunch of bell flowers into a crown for me.
“It’s beautiful Cham.” I smiled recognizing that I’d just made her a nickname. She smiled back at me, that same beautiful smile that was Minninnewah’s. He returned to us after I’d watched him turn Little Paint out into pasture.
“The tribe and I have made up our minds; you’ll be staying with me in my home.” He told me and I didn’t really know what to think. He gestured towards the teepees and started walking away. I hoisted Chameli up onto my hip, like I’d seen Mama do so many times with my cousins, and followed him to our home.