~...She had come into the world on the night that the first soft white snowflakes of winter had started to fall. Apart from the first hearty wails of a newborn, once she had settled against her mother's breast she had fallen peacefully quiet throughout her first night. Every so often she would take in a great gasp of breath that would make her little body shiver against her mother's body which reminded her mother of a shivering little fawn.
And so it was that she was named White Fawn, the first and as fate would have it, was to be the only child of Silver Wolf and Wild Dove.
White Fawn was a beautiful and very intelligent child and as she grew up her parents would often find her and her constant companion, a white wolf named Spirit given to her on her eighth birthday, in the company of the tribe Elders, listening to their many stories, learning so intently of the
ways of her forefathers. They were as enthralled by her company and great hunger to learn, as she was of them and their stories. When other children her age were running around and playing, White Fawn would much rather be in the company of the Elders begging them for just one more story.
For all the love and joy that she had bought into her parents lives, for some reason unbeknownst to her she had always felt a distance between herself and her father. Oh he loved her in his own way, she knew that, but he never spent much time with her, preferring to spend time with the male folk and their sons of the tribe. She would often see him teaching the young boys how to hold a bow and arrow, how to read tracks in the dirt but then he would spot her watching him and he would almost guiltily pat them on the head and send them on their way. When she would ask to go with him on a hunt, he would refuse her telling her it was not a woman's place which always resulted in her sobbing in her mothers arms questioning why.
It was on the eve of her tenth birthday in the middle of the night when when she woke from her sleep hearing the soft sobs of her father that she had come to discover the reason for this distance between them. The fire in their teepee was burning low, only embers but enough light to see from under her skin covers, her mother holding her father, gently wiping the tears away from his eyes. White Fawn, feigning sleep and protected by the shadows of rug that hung between them listened to their conversation.
" Oh my beautiful wife, I don't deserve the love of our child. I love her for she is my blood and skin, a gift from our own love and union but I cannot bring myself to bond with her. The Great Spirits deemed that we were not to be blessed with a son and it is something that we have both accepted but no matter how hard I try, I cannot put aside that grief that lies deep inside my being that I will never have the chance to teach my son the ways of our tribe.
And now, on the eve of her tenth birthday, I feel great pain and guilt when I should be happy for our daughter. A daughter who beautiful, intelligent and who gifts me her unconditional devotion and love.
Yet all I feel is pain. It is the eve that a son would leave the tribe and begin his journey into manhood and I mourn. I mourn for the bond that I cannot strengthen with her, I mourn for the son the Great Spirits denied us."
White Fawn had been holding her breath as she listened to these words. Words that cut into her heart as swiftly and as deeply as her own blade that had cut out the heart of the wild rabbit she had hunted this morning that her parents didn't know about. She wanted to cry, she wanted to jump up off her pallet and yell at him that she had heard every word he had said and she wanted to tell him that she hated him. All the love she felt for her father had at this split moment turned to pain such as she had never felt before in her life.
And now as she stood on the rock at the edge of the lake with her beloved companion Spirit, she remembered that night so vividly. A night many, many moons ago now. A night that when her parents had finally fallen asleep, she had crept from their teepee and had left her home to become that son her father had so yearned for. She knew of the passage into manhood for she had listened to the ways of the tribe through their teachings. She knew what she had to do and knew that she could not return till she had proven herself worthy of her bloodline if she were a male. She had lived off the land, hunting, stalking and tracking in the ways of her forefathers and always protected by Spirit. They had both had some very close calls where they had at different times both come to each others rescue and there was one incident with a bear that had turned particularly nasty for Spirit just before she had lunged at the bear with her large hunting knife from behind the bear making it release its grip on Spirit, that she had seen they were not alone. As the bear had released Spirit and started to amble off into the forest wounded from her knife, out of the corner of her eye she had seen who she thought was her cousin Black Eagle. She knew that someone had been following them for weeks and had suspected that he had been sent to keep watch on her. She had decided that if he was there to take her home, she would not go but he had kept his distance the whole time which she was thankful for and put it out of her mind. She had to do what she had to do and no-one was going to stop her. She had forgiven her father a long time ago for those hurtful words. Many long lonely nights alone with Spirit had allowed her time to think about her life, her parents, her home and her heritage. She was a true blood and she would not return to her tribe and her father till she was worthy of all that was as Cherokee.
It was time to go home.
The moon had sunk low over the distant mountains casting a mystical light through the valley, the soft mist cloaking the lake. Spirit had felt her excitement and knew too what was about to happen for they had travelled for days heading back toward their home. He had picked up on the familiar scent of the lake and their home. She had never seen Black Eagle again after that day with the bear. She knew that her cousin would have already reached the village long before them and soon they would be home too, back in the heart of their family, a place they belonged, a place that White Fawn finally felt she had the right to be.
"This is it my friend.....time to go home" she said to Spirit as she raised her horn and together they called the"Call of the Wild
This piece is dedicated to
BEST SEEN IN FULL VIEW
The sky, clouds and whispy mist were made by me in PSP.
I hope you all like "Call of the Wild".
This story is a product of my imagination and I do not claim to know of the true ways of ANY Native American tribe and in particular that of the Cherokee. As such I do not wish to offend any person or persons born or related to any such culture in how my story is told and hope that you will enjoy the story for its worth as a compliment to the visual I have created and for no other purpose. Thank you.
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