Tag Archives: Horse

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXIII (day 2037)

(part XXXXXXII)

The first night we stayed up with our fire
Sitting close to each other
Wrapped in our blankets
Willow sang me some songs
Chanting and singing in pikanii
Sometimes I would pick up on the words
Words I knew
And I would join her
And we sang to the little sliver of a moon
That came out and shared itself with us.

We were woken up by our horse
Who came over and started to lick our faces
Quite an interesting way to be woken
But it worked,
And before I knew it
Willow had some warm nettle tea
Ready for us to sip on
As we warmed our bodies
From the evening chills.

I walked over to the cold creek running close
And washed myself
Invigorating my life force at the same time
By the time I got back
Willow had had some roots she had gathered
Which she gave me and said: “Eat this,”
And some meat
We ate silently
I told her I loved her singing last night
She smiled and told me she was asking the gods
For a safe passage on our journey.

By the time I slung the blankets back onto the horse
Willow was ready to go
And we began walking West
Down the spine of the valley
And up the far side,
When we came to the peak
We looked out
And it took both of our breaths away from us.

What we saw was not the great plains Buffalo
But a massive herd of Elk
Grazing and minding their own
Very leisurely
We sat there at the peak
For quite a while
Snacking on leftover meat
From breakfast
Just watching the massive herd
It was pure delight to our eyes.

part XXXXXXIV

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXII (day 2036)

(part XXXXXXI)

As Spring melted the snow
I could hear the mountains calling my name
It was like the wind
It would just come into my ear
And I wouldn’t hear anything else
Except my name
And a direction it would come from
I asked Willow if she could hear it
But she said that she didn’t
She said that she had heard
A similar voice in her ear
At a different time calling her
Neither of us really knew what it was about
Never had anything like it before
But we did admit that it was intriguing
And she told me she had never
Felt so much like going for a walk about
As she did that Spring.

When nearly all the snow was gone
And the moon was new
Willow and I decided to head
Directly into the mountains
To see what we would find
Lily River stayed with Mercy
And she was old enough now to mind herself
No doubt she would sleep most nights
By herself in our own teepee.

We decided we would only take one horse
Pack what little things we needed on it
Particularly some warm blankets
As it was still cold at nights
Lots of dried foods
But Willow knew all the Spring food
We could get in the woods
And I had my bow and arrow with me.

We decided that we would stay well South
Warmer, and the direction the whispers came from
The valley we soon discovered
Was in full stinging nettle bloom
And we picked there for a day until
Our fingers were stinging and our spare sacks
Were full of the tea for us to drink.

part XXXXXXIII

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXV (day 2029)

(part XXXXXIV)

Two weeks after Willow had been run
She was feeling good enough
To go back out and try the passage again
So, we packed up
And headed out in the same direction
This time we passed over the woodland
And made it to Amy & Frank’s
Within four days of riding
Very slowly
For it was still a little bit tender
For Willow to ride for too long at one time.

Amy, Frank and Clarinet were ecstatic to see us
They had a new baby boy named Jack
Who Lily of course fell in love with right away
So Lily and Clarinet played house
With the three of them
Taking extra special tender care
Of the little baby Jack.

Willow and I enjoyed the baby too
And I could see that she was thinking about
Having our own little Jack
But we didn’t talk about it
We were too distracted with conversation
Willow and Amy got along really good
I was happy to see that,
And Moon Cow, Frank and I
Mostly worked in his garden and shop
Helping him with some of his projects
We made poles and fixed some fences
Milked his goats and churned the butter
Fed the chickens and chopped some wood
Sharpened some axes and shooed his horses.

Every night we felt like a family
All sitting around anywhere we could
Eating what Amy and Willow had made
They were both interested in exchanging recipes
From each other’s minds
Willow always had so much to share with Amy
About herbs foraged from the forest
Willow learned so much from Amy
About things like flour and pastries
I could see her eyes expand
Watching some of the techniques
Amy did with her oven.

part XXXXXVI

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXII (day 2026)

(part XXXXXI)

As Spring shifted into Summer
Everything began to come into full bloom
I decided that I wanted to go to see Amy, Frank, and Clarinet
See how they had been getting along
And also get out into the wild
Explore a bit
Both Moon Cow and Willow said they wanted to come
And Lily also wanted to come
Everybody knows that four is a great travel party
So we were all set for a journey.

Spirits were high as we began
Each of us riding our own horse
Lily having been able to ride a horse on her own
Quite well since before she could walk
Though would usually ride behind her mother
When any distances were covered
This trip would be her first major one
On a horse of her own.

We didn’t want to push too hard each day
In no rush, and more then enough food for all of us
For the whole trip
With Moon Cow and I such good shots with the arrow
We expected to mostly catch fresh meat for dinner
We slept under the stars
With a close fire keeping us warm all night
Something that Moon Cow was very skilled at doing
It’s not easy, you know
To keep a good fire burning hot and low all night
With fresh wood scavenged from the grounds.

Willow was up before me
Gathering some water and heating up some meat
Leftover from the night before
And had gathered a few wild fruits
That were in the pasture we had stopped at
Strawberries mostly I saw
But some stinging nettle
That she wrapped the meat in
And some mint tea she was boiling
From where I lay watching her
I fell more in love with her, easily,
And just as I was starting to get a bit aroused
We both heard a sound coming from the close bushes
She looked at me and I at her
Worried what it might be
I instinctively reached for my bow
And sensed that Moon Cow had too.

When the bear cub broke into our clearing
I knew the mama bear couldn’t be far behind
I was immediately awake and circling around wide
Trying to find the mother bear
Moon Cow had went the other way
When suddenly
I was face to face with the mother
She was standing on her hind legs
Not at all pleased that her cub
Had found us
And that she was now face to face with me
And her baby wasn’t behind her
Before I knew what had happened
She was charging me
I tried to sidestep it behind a tree
Which I did, forgetting to shoot my arrow
The mother kept running
Charging right at Willow
In the center of the camp
Still by the fire minding the food
Moon Cow was there, he had heard me jump
And as the mother charged
She received two arrows into her neck
But kept charging anyway
Bowling right through the fire
And knocking willow about 2 meters backwards.

part XXXXXIII

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXII (day 2016)

(part XXXXI)

On the third day we left
As always, it was hard to leave Amy, Frank, and Clarinet
But it was necessary
For I could see that Moon Cow and Tall Pine
Were eager to return to the family
As was I
I missed Willow and Lily.

The first night we camped it was very cold
So cold, we woke up with a layer of frost on us
This made me a bit grumpy, and of course stiff
But soon we had a fire going
That slowly warmed our bones
We made some warm tea
And had some of Amy’s world famous jerky
She had so kindly given us,
Stuffed our pockets as we departed ways!

We walked all day
Expecting to either see our cache
Or hopefully another large animal
But neither we found
It was a bit unnerving because the land we were in
Didn’t remind me of the land that we had left the cache in
But Moon Cow and Tall Pine both said this is where we left it
So I trusted them, they had never been wrong with such things
It took us until noon the next day to find our cache
Which was exactly as it had been left.

Just as we were pulling it down
Tall Pine, who was off a little way scouting
Saw himself a deer
So as Moon Cow made a sled for us to carry our meat home
Tall Pine and I dressed his deer
This was going to be hard work
To pull the meat home
So I suggested that we might send one of us home
To get a horse
Moon Cow thought for a while
Pulled the sleigh a little while longer
And said: “You know, this isn’t such a horrible idea after all.”

We sent Tall Pine to run and fetch Moon Cow’s horse
Which he returned with by nightfall
We walked all the next day with the horse
Leisurely
And made it to the camp by nightfall
Just in time for some delicious soup
From Willow
She had received some fresh buffalo meat and
Saved it for us, for our return
As a treat for us
The perfect welcome back
From the woman who holds my heart.

part XXXXIII

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXI (day 2015)

(part XXXX)

I know that Frank appreciated having us there
To help him chop wood
He wasn’t prepared for so much help
So we only had two splitting axes
But everybody managed to stay busy
Stacking and carrying and loading and unloading.

On the second day at their place
We could feel a great rumbling
And knew it could only be the buffalo stampeding
So we immediately made our way
Out of their valley
And in to the next
Where there was a migratory path
The buffalo would always take
We sat atop the crest of the valley
Just watching them there
Thousands, movement as far as the eye could see
What a beautiful thing to behold
Frank was happy to have sure food all winter.

We only took down two buffalo
That was all the meat that Frank needed
It wasn’t smart for us to carry on our backs
Meat from this far away to our own village
We let Tall Pine and Moon Cow pull the bow
For it was clear they mourned not being able
To have their buffalo run this year
It was beautiful to watch them ride
Frank’s stud, bareback
Into the buffalo, fearlessly.

Tall Pine got the first one
Which landed with a thud and a big pile of dust
He then hurried back to us
Jumped off and before the dust settled
Moon Cow was off with a hoot
To get the wind in his hair again
I could see him smiling even from where I sat
As he wove his way into the herd
Bow cocked and sighted:
Thud… dust.

With four of us dressing the buffalo
We had them quickly on a sled
Being pulled by the horse
And were on our way back to the house
Excited to celebrate the luck
Frank knew better then to offer us his moonshine
But he had plenty of tea
Amy made us the most delicious bread
And we had a mighty feast of it
Afterwards all of us had to undo
Our belt buckles
So we could sit comfortably around the fire
Clarinet included!
It was nice to be with such kind people
And to have helped them such.

part XXXXII

Moon at Midnight – Part XX (day 1994)

(day XIX)

I slipped in to camp quietly
And set the horse loose
Moon Cow was sitting outside his teepee
Waiting for me
And as I sat down next to him
He handed me a blanket
And asked if I had stopped to watch the sunset
I told him it had changed my life
And he nodded silently
Taking a long inhale on his tobacco pipe
And handing it to me.

“What will you do?” he asked
Pointing to the moon
I knew he meant my heart
I fished out my little arrow
From my breast pocket
And told him that everything was already answered
And that I was still staying the winter
If I was still welcome in his home
He said I was always welcome in his teepee
Unless he had a girlfriend
Joking a little bit at the white man’s ways
Then he nodded towards his sister’s teepee
“She is expecting you now.”
I looked and noticed
That Willow was standing with her door open
Firelight dancing along the grass
As she looked straight at me
I walked over holding her gaze.

She held the door open for me
And when I reached her
Stepping to go past
Into the warmth of her teepee for the first time
She reached out her hand
And touched my forearm
To look me in the eyes
Learning the story of my soul
I looked back into hers
And gave her the story of my soul
And I gave her my soul
When she had learned it
I reached out and touched her
And pulled her closer to me
And held her there
For a very long time.

When she looked up
She had tears in her eyes
And said to me:
“I am yours now.”
And I looked her in the eye
And said as clearly as I could,
“Willow, I want to share my life with you
I want to provide for you
I want to protect you
I want to grow stronger with you
I want to bed with you.”
And she smiled her Wild Willow smile
And said again:
“I am yours now.”
And I repeated back to her
“I am yours now, too.”

This time she leaned in to kiss me
And I kissed her back
Until I heard a noise
Coming from inside the teepee
And I looked over
And it was Lily River
Smiling back at us
With her big eyes of joy
We all broke into happy laughter together
And Willow invited me to sit down next to her
On her bedding
And Lily brought us two cups of tea.

day XXI

Moon at Midnight – Part XVI (day 1990)

part XV

Every day I would wake to Moon Cow
Cooking eggs he had found
The air outside was still holding on to summer
But one knew it was going to be changing soon
And the comfort of the heat was welcome
Moon Cow would always smile
And comment on my inability to get alerted
By sounds in the night
He’d say: “Did you hear the wolves last night?”
Or something similar
And of course I hadn’t heard a thing
Comfortable as I was.

I learned Moon Cow’s niece
Was named Lily River
But I affectionately called her Little Arrow
One day I was sitting cross legged on the ground
And she pulled Moon Cow over to me
They both sat down joining me by the brook
And asked him to ask me for her
“What is this name you call me?”
I explained what Little Arrow was
Pulling out the little arrow I now kept in my breastpocket
She smiled and blushed
And I pulled at a tuft of grass
Tossing it playfully at her
Moon Cow just laughed.

The day after I had the meeting with Mountain Chief
He left with seven men riding with him
To where, I could not know
And Moon Cow just shrugged his shoulders
So I didn’t pry too much
I asked Moon Cow if he thought
We could take two horses and give
Amy, Frank and Clarinet a visit
I suggested we take Lily River with us
To meet Clarinet, and he agreed
So we set off for a full day of touring
Bareback, on three horses.

Frank met us at the front door
Amy in the kitchen busy with bread
And Clarinet always close beside her
I don’t think Frank recognized me
But he knew the horses and looked a bit worried
Once he saw me his furrowed brow
Turned into the widest grin
And he laughed his friendly and warm laugh:
“Amy, guess who just rode up?!”
We dismounted and gave our greetings and gifts
And introduced Clarinet to Lily River.

Neither could talk to each other much
But I knew Clarinet had respect for the Native child
As I had hoped, knowing Amy and Frank,
And that made me smile
For the Native folks of this land
Sometimes didn’t get the respect they deserved
As humans sharing the land
With Europeans and their firesticks
Clarinet wasn’t a shy kid
And a bit to my surprise
Lily enjoyed some of the little games
Clarinet made her play around the house.

We enjoyed fresh bread
As I told Frank and Amy about my story
Of first meeting Mountain Chief
And everybody laughed when I told them
How he had known their jerky by smell!
With this, Frank pulled a few sticks for us
And we sat their drinking tea and nibbling on jerky
Enjoying each other’s company.

I asked Frank if he needed any help
While he had two extra men around
And he put us to work for a few hours
Lifting bales of hay up into his hay loft
And walking a few of his ditches with him
Clearing branches that had fallen
We enjoyed the light work and helping.

Amy made us an early meal
Of boiled potatoes, carrots, saurkraut
And a few more preserves
I kept almost laughing looking at Lily
Who was looking at the food
And not really knowing what to do with it
Never having eaten with utensils before
But she was a quick learner
And she copied us quickly.

We made it home by dusk
Lily’s mother, Wild Willow, was happy to see her home
She was beautiful,
And I could only smile when I saw her
I could tell she had been a bit worried
But Moon Cow just laughed it off
I’m not sure why I didn’t take Frank
Up on his offer again
For me to stay with them
Except that I liked learning the way of life
The Blackfoot kept,
They were also family now
But I did promise to return
Before the Winter came.

part XVII

Foreign Tongue on the Rise (day 1949)

My horse is a stallion
That I ride into fields afar
Sasanian teas on my tongue,
And a giant sun in the sky
Leans in to tell me secrets
Of land my mind runs to
Where family awaits
No word of my pursuits.
I am their father
Fierce as a tiger
Our manes running free
And my horse is a stallion
Decorated with all I am able,
A powerful warrior and me
And a foreign tongue on the rise
With a sword at my side
Thundering ten thousand hooves riding
In dust through the sky
And my mind runs wild
Like silk floating
Through this twilight, afar.

Autumn Coat (day 1920)

Black Horse, my name
Far off in the field
Springtime has gone
To caress an Autumn leaf
That has written
Ten thousand words of praise
For each wild step
Taken, into cool breeze
That refreshes each giddy neigh
Echoing in the smell
Of my warm Winter coat

Autumn Coat by Ned Tobin

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