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The Cherokee Girl

September 14, 2020

Spring [1775]
    The talk of war was already created. Agitsi has always said that we would never have to worry about war, but I can’t help it. We are simple people.
    “Gola! Come harvest the corn dear!” Agitsi said. 
    “Yes Etsi,” I said, putting my journal down. I walked out into the garden, the air crisp with the faint smell of fires with pine. I saw my five year old brother, Waya, playing with one of the warriors in our village, Atohi. I watched them for a while, Waya wasn’t like the rest of the boys in our village, he had dark gray eyes that seemed to hold the galaxy, caring for nothing. 
    “Good afternoon, Adsila,” Atohi said. He never used the first part of my name, only Adsila, not that I was complaining. I was just glad to be talking to him. 
    “To you too, Atohi,” I said smiling at them. Atohi was, also, not like anyone in the village. He had a spark about him whenever he heard of a hunt, however, he also had a soft spot for the village. Everyone loved Atohi, even I.
    “Did you hear about the white man?” he asked. 
    “Who hasn’t,” I said, gathering the corn.
    “Everyone fears they will come, and plan to take it or worse,” Atohi said with a grim expression.
    “Atohi, not in front of Waya,” I said nodding over to my brother, however, he was just picking the grass.
    “This boy is going to have to learn about our ways, isn’t that right Little Warrior?” he said ruffling Waya’s hair, but Waya shooed his hand away.
    I looked at the two of them, thinking about the future and how it would affect not just our village, but countless others as well. What if the white man did harm our villages? I could not bear the thought of it. Whatever they started this war for, it has nothing to do with us, we are not equipped with such things to aid in a war. 
    “Atohi! We are needed immediately! Quickly!”
    Atohi looked to the other warriors and nodded towards them. Before he left, though, I took his hand.
    “May the animal spirits guide you,” I said.
    He then took my hand, kissed it gently, and placed a rabbit's foot.
    “May they guide you as well.” And with that, he left in a hurry, leaving Waya there looking at me quizzically, and I, looking at the rest of the warriors, holding my hand close to my heart. 

Summer [1776]
    There has been no sign of the warriors still, and the heat is unbearable. Everyone in the village has been praying to the Gods for their safety. 
 
   “Gola, do not have such a sad expression on your beautiful face,” Elisi said. 
    “I can’t help it, Elisi, Atohi and the others have not been back for more than a year, what if something had happened to them? Oh I could not bear the thought of it,” I said, clutching the rabbits foot.
    “Gota, your Atohi will be safe, and so will the others. Now, we must sleep, tomorrow is another day,” Elisi said. 
    She was right, tomorrow was another day, a day I would never forget.
  
    I woke up to the smell of smoke, at first I thought someone had started a fire, for breakfast. However, upon further inspection, it was not a normal fire, I stood from my bed, Agitsi was not there, but Waya was, sound asleep still. I looked out the window, and horror was all I could see. 
    Fires. Fires made by the white man. The white man, killing many others. People I had known my whole life, there on the ground, lifeless. I didn’t know what to do. Before I realized, I gathered some food, a bow and arrows we kept for emergency, and Waya. I bursted out of my house, and saw many people running for their lives. A loud pop could be heard, this pop happened many times. I couldn’t bear seeing it anymore, I looked straight ahead, holding Waya in my arms, looking away from the madness. 

***
    I don’t know how long I had been walking, but I was exhausted. The sun was setting, and I finally looked back to where our village was. All I saw was black smoke emitting from home. After we finally stopped, I put everything down, including Waya, and just started crying. We had lost everything in a morning. I didn’t even know if my family was alive. I kept my hopes up, though, and decided to keep going. 
Fall [1776]
    We had passed through countless villages, all were turned to ash. I couldn’t believe it, the next village couldn’t be hundreds of miles away. Food is also becoming scarce. 
    I did end up teaching myself how to hunt, the constant thwack of the string, my arm was in bruises and cuts constantly. However, I did it for us, I hunted for food and asked for forgiveness.
    After months of the brutal winter, we finally found another village. Waya was already seven, and I, a young adult. I had taught Waya everything he needed to know. 
    We had been welcomed into this new village. I had told of my adventures, and what had happened to other villages along the way. That night, we prayed.
    The next day, I was helping with making clothing, and then a group of warriors had entered. They looked like they had seen the afterlife. Then, I saw their tattoos. 
    I ran to the group and pushed my way to see this group. I saw him. He was bruised extremely.
I barely touched him and said, “the Gods have answered my prayers.”
He took my hand gently, as if I was going to break like glass and also said, “mine as well.”
“I thought I lost you Atohi. I feared the worst.”
We both wept for each other, and sat there, in a comfortable silence, with the rabbit’s foot dangling from my neck.
 
Agitsi- Cherokee name for “My Mother”
Gola- Cherokee girl name for “Winter”
Etsi- Cherokee name for “Mother”
Waya- Cherokee boy name meaning “Wolf”
Atohi- Cherokee boy name meaning “Woods”
Adsila- Cherokee girl name for “Blossom”
Elisi- Grandmother (maternal side) in the Cherokee Language

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1 Comment
  • Cici'sTimes

    Oh wow! This was very pretty. I will do a review later. Expect me to come back lol


    6 months ago