Tag Archives: Moon Cow

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXXII (day 2046)

(part XXXXXXXI)

In the morning
After Sara had fed us all we could eat
We were again on our way home
With slightly lighter packs on our backs
Leaving such a warm and friendly place
Always makes one feel a bit homesick
For their own special people
Their own family
I knew that both Moon Cow and I
Had home on our mind
But nonetheless
We had a happy jump in our step
As we made our way through the forest.

That morning when we were stopped by the creek for a drink
We saw two Elk come up and have a drink, too
We knew that there must be more around
But neither of us could handle carrying any more on our backs
So we just sat and watched them drink water
Saw them communicating with themselves
It’s hard not to project human emotions and feelings
Onto animals that you see
Are they in love? Are they romancing?
They are probably just thirsty
And their instinct led them to water…
Peaceful animals and very quiet.

When we started to recognize our home trials
Our spirits became much lighter
And we were practically skipping along carelessly
When out popped one of the young scouts
Right in front of us and scared the willies out of us!
Moon Cow started playing around as if he was shot
And the young scout named Beaver Slap
Accompanied us home as Moon Cow shared stories with him
About how we had come by the meat we carried on our backs.

Willow and Lily were expecting us
And as we came into the village
They came over to us and gave us hugs
It felt so good, even after just a short time
To hug Mercy and Lily again
It is hard to explain the goodness one feels inside
When such a thing is experienced
I guess all I could do was squeeze extra hard
Like a giant bear
And hold them extra long
And laugh extra deep.

part XXXXXXXIII

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXX (day 2044)

(part XXXXXXIX)

We had been going North for three days
And decided to head West towards the mountains
Until we could go no further
And then begin the journey South
Towards our home
Hoping by that time, we’d have some meat.

By noon we had two deer, one male and one female
Moon Cow had found the first one
Put an arrow into it that went in through the rib cage
And Long Arrow put a second arrow into it
Which went right into its neck
We followed it for a short time
Easy to keep track of as it moved slowly
And as we were doing this
Moon Cow saw a second one, the male
Which Runs Wild also saw at the same time
So he snuck up on it a little bit
With Moon Cow right there beside him
As Long Arrow and I kept tracking the first one
And Runs Wild put his arrow right into the second deer’s heart
Which fell right there, on the spot.

For the rest of the afternoon we dressed the deer
And feasted on the hearts
A delicacy I had acquired the taste for
Hunting with Moon Cow
He once told me a story of why it’s important
To first eat the heart of the animal
That has sacrificed it’s life for us
“When the moon bleeds it’s light
We must see it
And the Coyotes howl
We must hear it
When the wind blows
We must send our messages in it
So to must we eat the heart
Of the life we took.”

There is an unspoken tension
That exists when upon the hunt
And no hunt has been made
Land speaks to one in this way
Without words
Call it superstitions
Call it coincidence
But food is food and when no food has been got
One will go hungry
A winter with no food is a cold winter indeed
We were all happy that night
To have very full bellies.

At this point, we were only a day and a half
Away from Sara, Bill, and Johnny-Boy
Who I hadn’t yet gone to check-in on this year
I made mention that I’d like to go see them
And Moon Cow was eager to meet them himself
But Long Arrow and Runs Wild showed no interest
So we decided that the two of us would go see them
With extra heavy packs
And give them a healthy portion of deer
We traveled together for one full day
And when Moon Cow woke me up the second morning
Long Arrow and Runs Wild had already left
Moon Cow and I arrive at their cabin by noon
Just in time for fresh bread from Sara’s oven.

part XXXXXXXI

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXXXVIII (day 2042)

(part XXXXXXVII)

After seven full days of talks
Mountain Chief decided that we would stay where we were
And let the White Man’s determination
Determine our future
Our hopes were that we would remain safe
Where we were, uninvolved
But I knew that they would eventually come looking for us
However, I knew it would be more peaceful if we stayed out
Of the wars that were happening
Everywhere upon these lands, apparently.

It was also made known to everybody
The dangers of keeping U.S. Army enemies
That is, members of other tribes on the run
In our own homes
As the U.S. Army would most likely
Come looking for them
It was also made known that some of the men
Would be going off to help
Some of the other tribes
This caused tension
About whether or not Mountain Chief would allow back
Any man that went away to fight
But eventually Mountain Chief decided the right thing
And said those who decided to fight
Would always be welcome by his fire
Seven men with family in other tribes
Left after two days preparing,
After much ceremony,
And all for us returned to our usual simple life
In our mountain valley.

Moon Cow and I talked about going on a hunt
So we asked Long Arrow and Runs Wild,
Mercy’s man and eldest child,
To see if they wanted to come hunt with us
They of course were always eager
So we left after a day of preparations
Happy to be wild and free again
Searching through the forest
Using our instinct and skill guide us.

part XXXXXXIX

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXIV (day 2018)

(part XXXXIII)

I work up early and there was a sense of calm inside of me
As I stepped outside to relieve myself
I realized the calm may have been coming from
A fresh layer of snow
The first snowfall of the Winter
There’s a beautiful calm
That exists only when large snowflakes are falling in the air
And when everything around
Seems to be muted, simplified
Like it’s all water.

I had my moccasins on making light footsteps in the snow
And as I turned around to go back inside
I faced the village
And saw a lone fox trotting through
On its way somewhere important
Such a delicate creature
Always alarmingly small
Yet incredibly smart
Sneaky.. crafty little buggers.

I made a little movement
And it noticed me standing there and stopped
Cocked it’s head to the side
As if to say: “Hello, what are you looking for?”
I cocked my head to the side and replied:
“I have been looking for you.”
It stayed like this for at least three breaths
Each breath I watched the fox
Through the steam of my breath.

We stood about 50 meters apart
It started slowly walking towards me
I didn’t move, it came to me
I thought to myself,
‘Why don’t you always keep
Some morsels of food to share with animals
In your pocket?’
For now would have been a great time to share
But alas, I could not conjure up the food
Nor could I probably feed this fox
Solitary creatures they are.

It came a few steps closer to me
Listened more intently
Then suddenly turned it’s head to Moon Cow’s teepee
And I looked in that direction too
And there was Moon Cow
Standing outside of his teepee
Just as I was doing
Watching me, watching the fox
And the three of us stood here for a few more breaths
And then the fox trotted off
In the direction it had been going
Before we had said hello.

part XXXXV

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXV (day 2009)

(part XXXIV)

Moon Cow, Long Arrow and I went hunting
We were gone for four days and three nights
We went South to try and find the buffalo
But what we found was elk and a moose
They were buffalo people but also reasonable people
So we knew that we had to take the animals that came to us.

We made camp that night and began cutting
I reflected on the beautiful Swiss blade that
Frank had given to me,
Wondering how his summer had gone
How things were in his Valley
By night time we were all covered in blood
But had everything cut that we could use
Leaving mostly just the bones
For the wild coyotes and wolves and ravens
That were always around.

We built a makeshift sleigh
That we took turns pulling in twos
It was hard work
But we were in no rush
And had feasted till our hearts content
The night before
On the fresh meat we had
Moon Cow talked about the buffalo a lot
He worried our people wouldn’t have enough food
And Long Arrow agreed, as always
Grunting in his affirmative way.

I asked if they wanted
To go see Amy & Frank
To hunt at their traditional buffalo run
They reminded me it was no use
Unless we moved back to our traditional winter home
That we had been at last year
I asked why that was a bad idea
And they made me understand they disliked the U.S. Army
And also that Mountain Chief had said
We would stay here now
And they didn’t want to go against him.

When we got back, the women were very happy
We had done so well on our hunt
Smoking began at once
This time I was able to build a smoke house by myself
As Moon Cow built the second one
I was proud when he came over to inspect it
And had nothing to say bad about it
Giving his nod of approval
As he poked at the holes
And casually patched them
With his skilled hands.

I talked to Mountain Chief about Winter
About how he felt his people were prepared
He said he believed everybody had a good hunt
As we looked around and saw all the smoke houses
Filling the camp with mouth watering smells
I asked him if he thought about the buffalo run
And he said: “Of course,” as he pointed to his inner arm
Making a motion of cutting it
Showing me it was in his blood
I could not guess the pain he felt
Not being able to lead his people
Where his people had always gone.

part XXXVI

Moon at Midnight – Part XV (day 1989)

part XIV

I woke up to two angry voices outside my tent
Slowly my eyes adjusted to where I was
And what I was in
I noticed there was a second bed spread inside my teepee
That looked like it had been slept in
In the center, a small fire was burning
With a wrought iron pot starting to steam
I had hoped that tea was on to boil
I reached my bag and pulled out a piece of jerky
And snacked on that as I watched the fire jump.

Shortly after the voices died down
Moon Cow came inside and smiled at me
Saying: “Man Who Sleeps Long”
I smiled, offered him some jerky, and said it had been a long night
He agreed
He asked me if I had understood the conversation last night
And I told him that for the most part it was lost to me
I remembered that every so often
During the evening
Moon Cow had nicely leaned in to describe just enough
For me to understand what the conversation was about.

I stepped outside to relieve myself
And sitting cross-legged just outside the door
Was a young girl with long braids
Who had been waiting for me to come out
Since before daybreak
I could see all of this in her eyes
As they danced when I appeared
I didn’t quite know what to do
Or how to communicate with this cute little creature
So I grabbed a little scrap of leather
Clarinet had shaped into a heart
And gave me as we said our goodbyes,
And handed it to her,
When she understood what she had
She immediately ran away.

I watched as Moon Cow carefully dried his hands
In the fire that was burning
I can only guess he had already refreshed himself
In the creek that rolled close by
He said I was in luck
Handing me an egg and an ear of corn
“Not quite like Amy’s kitchen, is it?”
I tried to balance the hot egg in my hands
While pealing it.

Now the little girl reappeared
Looking into the teepee cautiously
Then taking three quick steps to me
With something in her hand
That she laid beside me on the bed I sat on
And quickly running back out the door,
Moon Cow told me it was his sister’s daughter
And it was his sister who he was arguing with this morning
Who was trying to tell her daughter
Not to sit outside and that I was danger.

“What now?” I asked Mountain Chief
After he summoned me into his teepee
“You run.” He said matter-of-factly
Looking very sternly at me
I stood there, not really understanding what he meant
Still with Moon Cow’s niece’s little arrow
She had given me in my hand,
Trying not to recall some horror stories
That had circulated far and wide
Of some Blackfoot torture methods.

After what seemed like a very intense two minutes
Mountain Chief broke into hysterical laughter
Along with everybody else that had gathered
Inside of the teepee
I didn’t quite understand
But he put his arm around my shoulder
And walked me a few steps away
Seated me on a mount of skins
And passing me a pipe to smoke
And a bowl of burdock tea,
I had been judged and passed.

part XVI

Moon at Midnight – Part XIV (day 1988)

(part XIII)

I was with Blackfoot
I knew that before I had seen them
I was in their land, after all,
And Frank had told me I would most likely run into them
Or at least see evidence of them
Luckily he had mentioned
That he had a good relationship with them
And I could easily use his and Amy’s names
To start with a good foot with them.

As I walked with them to their camp
One who introduced himself as Moon Cow
Asked me a few questions about myself
And relayed them to the first man I had met
Who I learned as Mountain Chief
He asked me what I was doing with Frank
And also why I had gone,
“Such good kitchen!” he laughed
I guess they were fond of Amy’s cooking
And regularly stopped in to see how the family was doing
Frank had told me they always have space
In their front lawn for a camp of Blackfoot.

When we walked in to camp,
Moon Cow led me into a big tent
With fresh Bison hides hanging beside it
And a young woman arranging things inside
For us to sit down comfortably
Moon Cow relayed questions to me
And then interpreted what I said back to the others
I could tell some of them
Could understand what I said too
By nodding of their heads when I answered
And Frank had said he didn’t speak Pikuni.

They asked many questions about animals I had seen
And if I had come in contact with any other tribes
Many questions about various Armies
And if I had heard any news of their movements
The whole while women would come in with various plates
Of what the group had killed while out today
Before they had found me
I could sense there was something happening
That they didn’t quite lead me on to
But I knew that things were getting hostile
Between them and the various soldiers of allegiance
Coming rather quickly into their hunting grounds
Calling it their own
The Lakota had been sending runners to implore their assistance
Fighting the United States Army.

I kept myself awake
Long after I felt I was starting to fall asleep
Somebody threw a warm bison pelt over my shoulders
And led me kindly out of the big tent
Into a tent a short walk away
Where my pack awaited me
I could see the big swollen moon clearly
Lighting my doorway and inside
I could tell I was safe for now
I wasn’t worried
Mostly because I knew the integrity of this tribe
Instinctively, when I first met them,
They were friendly people.

part XV

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