Sunday, April 25, 2010
Prairie Story 3
Grandmother was first to smell the smoke. In the horizon another sunrise had appeared, and as for many other dry seasons they watched for the fires. It was a cleansing spirit, if one could protect themselves from its ravages. It would bring in the grazing animals with the birth of new grasses, when they were only starting to make a new green prairie. There was thunder in the distance, probably elk, already trying to outrun this cleansing flame. Others began to notice the smoke and an alarm went through the camp. Horses were brought into a fork in the river and tethered tightly.
They had just burnt an area for corn, beans and squash, knowing that these swift fires could be stopped, should they come from the east. The fire continued staying to the north of them, fading in the northwestern horizon. Another rumble came from the east, the wagon of lost souls the hunting party had encountered a few weeks before, and they remembered the big twist of tobacco he had cut a piece for each of them from. They ran to meet their old friends, having told many of their meeting. This bond would continue with the settlers homesteading nearby, and times could and would be tough for all the families.
Later that first year they shared stories while drinking coffee made from roasted wheat. Friendships were rekindled and made stronger with various games each had to share. Corn talk and fishing stories, kept many up late into the night, eager to hear more whether it was true or untrue. This exchange promoted good farm practices and a healthy atmosphere to raise families, throughout the ages. Life was good and bad, happy and sad, you can make it what you need, in the simplest ways and continue to be happy. It was the good life in this ocean of prairie, much better they thought as they prospered together well. And the waves of grasses that covered this grand land slowly dwindled away with the advent of row crops and better plows. It was still a sharing world, living as best as one knew with nature. Happiness shared spread across the new horizons, on a gentle prairie breeze.
What price to pay
And who is to say
What happens today
Will change tomorrow?