Wednesday's Words on a Friday

 

The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles. Sadly, Delores has now closed her blog forever due to other problems.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write. A story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.

If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along to read it and add a few encouraging words.

This month the words/prompts are supplied by Alex J Cavanaugh and can be found here.

This week's words/prompts are: 

1. fates 

2. warning 

3. armoured 

4. saint 

5. dynasty 

and/or: 

1. wolfheart 

2. serenity 

3. dream 

4. theater 

5. voyager

Here is my story (minus a couple of words)

Daniel Jackson and his Grandfather sat under the statue of Saint Peter and watched the armoured truck roll towards the center of town. Warnings were pasted on all sides of the truck to not tempt fate as even the windows were bulletproof. “There’s our money, Danny boy,” said Grandfather. “Tomorrow is payday for us factory workers and that’s the money being delivered to the bank. I’ll have to get there early this time. If I go later the line will be so long I might need a chair and a packed lunch. Good thing I’m on holiday for the next two weeks.”

“I’m glad you’re coming to school tomorrow, Grandpa,” said Daniel. "When we were learning about how names have changed throughout history, with Jack’s Son becoming Jackson and so on, Mrs White wanted to know about my middle name, Wolfheart, and I said it was an old family legend that you could tell much better than I could. I know how you love to tell it and Mrs White said we could arrange the chairs and mats in a circle so it would be more like tales around the campfire.”

“If they dim the lights it could almost be a theater production,” said Grandfather. “I used to dream of being in the theater, but in truth I was never good enough. It just wasn’t in my dynasty.” Daniel laughed. “You mean destiny, Grandpa.” “Are you sure?” said Grandfather. “Our family is so old it might be a dynasty and not a single actor in the lot.” “You do enough acting when you tell the legend Grandpa, the kids are going to love you.”

In the classroom the next day, the kids all settled on rugs with teachers in the chairs, the lights were dimmed as Grandfather began.

“Many, many seasons ago, in the times of ice and snow, a small group of our people lived high in the mountains. Most had gone to the hunting grounds in the sky and only two tents were left. One was my ancestor, Black Buffalo and his young wife White Feather. She was heavy with child, but quite ill from lack of food. The winter had been more harsh than usual and game was nowhere to be found.

Every day, Black Buffalo and his neighbour Swift Fox would tie their tent closures tight against the winds and falling snow and head to the pine forest where they would lay traps in hopes of catching something to eat. Even a skinny rabbit would make broth to help warm them. Swift Fox and his wife Little Dove had stayed close by to help White Feather when her time came, but all were now worried that perhaps she and the child would not survive.

Later that day, after soothing White Feather to sleep, Black Buffalo went to the traps and found a snow wolf had been caught. Skinny from hunger and shredded where he had been trying to eat through his foot to get away from the trap, Black Buffalo killed him quickly with one blow to the head and carried the wolf proudly back to the tents. Now they would feast!” 

The movements Grandfather made as he acted out the tale had his audience transfixed.

“Black Buffalo skinned the wolf and set the pelt aside, it would make a fine wrap for the new baby. He cut out the liver and heart of the wolf and tossed them onto the fire to quickly roast before the heat died down from the meagre logs, twigs really, that crackled gamely within the stone circle. As he scraped the roasted heart into a cup of hot water made from melted snow, Little Dove cut the rest of the wolf into portions and buried some in the snow to freeze and keep for later, then placed a hindquarter into her largest pot and set it to simmer over the small fire. Black Buffalo held his wife gently in a sitting position and helped her sip the broth of wolf heart for two days, before she was able to sit up by herself and eat small amounts of the meat.

During this time the sun began to come out again a little at a time and they knew that soon there would be more game to be hunted for eating. Rabbits, and maybe a beaver if the stream thawed enough. But for now the heart of the wolf and the liver had brought colour to the cheeks of White Feather, (here Grandfather pinched his cheeks to make them blush) and her eyes shone bright again. The child within kicked strongly as if wanting to be born already. Little Dove had been working on the soft white pelt from the snow wolf and it was ready just in time.

Early next morning a strong baby boy filled the tent with his lusty cries and as White Feather wrapped him in the soft white pelt, she declared his name should be Wolfheart to honour the spirit of the animal that had died so her child could live.

And so it came to pass that every generation since has named the firstborn male of that generation, Wolfheart, to remind us of this new beginning. In time, our people learned to live again with other people, different from us, but so similar, and the name is sometimes a middle name, like my Grandson Daniel here.”

At the end of the legend, the classroom lights were brightened again and a small parcel containing a small piece of the original white wolf pelt was passed around for everyone to see.


Comments

  1. What a great story. And yuck to be starved enough to eat wolfmeat. You're always telling like it was your own ancestors, be it Japanese, native Americans or whatever else. It's great! and I feel my 'ancestor-stories' in Unicorn Farm are paling besides your tales.

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    1. Charlotte; Thank you. I was imagining this to be so far back in time, probably just past the stone age era, when people ate whatever they could hunt. This particular band of people had mostly died from hunger in a time when winter raged longer and harder than usual.

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  2. This is lovely. I am sad that the wolf died - and loved that they honoured its (unwilling) sacrifice.

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    Replies
    1. Elephant's Child; thank you. The wolf would have died anyway, already too thin from not having been able to find food, this way it gets to live on in the memories of the people.

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  3. And here I thought "wolfheart" would be impossible to work into a story and you fashioned the story totally around that word and what a delightful tale it was. Well done.

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    1. Arkansas Patti; Wolfheart was destined to be a name the moment I read it. Thank you.

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  4. Well told! So many families have an ancestor story worth telling, you made this one come alive.

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    Replies
    1. messymimi; thank you. I think I do this because I know nothing of my ancestors and what they did apart from the names of several sets of great grandparents on my mother's side. I like to imagine they were adventurous, strong and brave, when all I know is my immediate maternal grandfather raised rabbits.

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  5. Interesting story - guess once they would eat anything to survive.

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    1. Margaret D; way back in the beginnings of time, that's how things were. Eat or be eaten.

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  6. I felt the cold, and wished for a wolf pelt to wrap around my shoulders!

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    Replies
    1. Val; I wouldn't mind a wolf pelt or two myself on some of our frosty mornings.

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  7. A strong story.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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