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 »
Horses and Tribal WaysI awoke to arms wrapped around me and sharing a caribou skin blanket with Minninnewah. I blinked the sleep out of my eyes and saw my clothes lying on the other side of the teepee and the events of last night came rushing back. I couldn’t help but smile when I remembered everything that had taken place in this very teepee just hours ago. My fingers went to my lips, remembering how his lips had crashed onto mine with such longing and fire that it made my entire body ache for him. I heard him take a deep breath and turned my head just in time to see his eyes flutter open.
“Pévevóona'o Minninnewah.” I said to him; this means good morning wild wind in Cheyenne.
“Pévevóona'o Lona.” He replied. I smiled and craned my neck up to kiss him. We eventually got up and readied for another day of work in the village. I would try to get my family accustomed to tribe life today; maybe not all the way but more than yesterday. We stepped into the early morning sun light and made our separate ways, promising to see each other later tonight. I made my way over to my family’s teepee the women had made up for them last night after I’d retired for the night. I went inside to find my cousins still asleep and Mother and Aunt Caroline making breakfast for them.
“Hello Mother, Aunt Caroline.” I said nodding to both of them.
“Hello Lacey, wonderful morning isn’t it?” Aunt Caroline said smiling. Mother wasn’t that optimistic, she just stayed silent, and not even acknowledging that I’d arrived. I waited silently for everyone to awaken and eat breakfast before I’d show the girls how to do everything they needed to know how. After everybody was finished eating, Anna, Mother, Aunt Caroline, and I went up to the pasture.
“Well, who wants to go first?” I said, smiling all the time.
“What is it that we’re doing?” Anna asked.
“You’re choosing your companion; or better yet, your companion is choosing you.” I explained the best I knew how.
“How is this done?” Aunt Caroline asked me. I grabbed her by the elbow and lead her to the center of the where the horses stood. The horses that weren’t claimed of course.
“Now, just stand here and close your eyes; think about what you’re looking for in a friend.” She did as I’d instructed and a beautiful cherry bay mare wandered up to her and nudged her hand. Her eyes flew open at the contact of her velvety muzzle to her hand.
“Now what?” She asked while smiling and stroking the bay’s forehead.
“Now you give her a name with meaning.” I stated simply. The wheels in her head were turning and you could almost hear them cranking.
“How about Harmony?” She said, the bay nudged her hand in approval and I smiled.
“Manda is how you say it in Cheyenne.” I told her so that she’d know. She led Manda away and into the pasture where Little Paint and Black Jack were grazing.
“Anna, do you wanna go next?” I asked turning towards her and Mother. She came over to where I was and did the same things that her mother had just moments ago. After only a few moments a gorgeous buckskin stud came up behind her and nudged her in the back; she stumbled forward and whirled around to face her “opponent”. She softened instantly when her eyes landed on him. She stroked his long nose and looked into his big brown eyes.
“I think I’ll call you Bear; you remind me of one in a way.” She smiled at him and looked over to me for the interpretation of the name she’d given him.
“Honiahaka.” I told her. She tried it out in her own voice a couple of time before she could successfully pronounce it. I giggled at her when she finally got it.
“Not everyone can share your fluent Cheyenne tongue Lacey.” She tried to be mad at me but ended up smiling at Honiahaka instead.
“Your turn Mother.” I said reaching out for her hand. She took it after a few seconds of debating with herself. She did just what Aunt Caroline and Anna did but it took a little longer than what it took for them. Eventually the ever famous untamable white stud came up and nipped at her clothes. She jerked away from him and tried stroking his nose only to end up being toyed with. He grabbed her hair in his muzzle and lightly jerked.
“Alright Whirlwind, stop that.” She laughed and dodged another “attack”. She looked at me for further confirmation. I nodded and thought back to my Cheyenne teachings.
“Hiamovi is his name in Cheyenne.” I explained to her. After they had settled their mounts and placed them in the correct pasture, I taught them how to gather and wash clothes Cheyenne-style.
“This is definitely different that we’re used to.” Anna said, all the time eyeing the warriors’ teepee where they were holding council. They filed out of the teepee and Anna’s smile grew at one of them in particular.
“Lona, who is that?” She asked me pointing over to them.
“That, Anna, is Kuckunniwi. He’s a very nice young warrior; and just your age.” I said winking at her. She smiled sheepishly and continued adoring him from afar. Mother and Aunt Caroline weren’t interested in the men at any point of the day. I guess I can understand that since their husbands were just murdered right in front of them a mere day ago. We went over all the basics and we were all wore out by the end of the day when the fire was lit and the sun was setting behind the horizon.