historical fiction: the theft of old man buffalo stone

an excerpt from a novel in progress

photo by erica blair

excerpted from the print magazine…

Mountain Horse wrapped the young girl in the center of the travois and snugged the cradleboard between rolled up hides. The girl scowled and stuck out her lower lip, making the old woman laugh. “You don’t like being still where you can’t see what’s going on, do you little one?” She lashed the board securely with a long strip of rawhide laced between the travois poles. “Next thing you know, Eagle will be landing on that lip, thinking it’s a good ledge for a nest.” The lip retreated.

“We travel fast today, Little Snake Woman. Thunder’s coming back. He told Calf Shield in dream where we should greet him.” She tied the end of the rawhide and tugged to test that it held tight. “Thunder will crash his big voice to say, ‘I’m home. Have you kept my ways sacred? Have you honored me in the ways I gave you?’” She rubbed the girl’s belly, bringing a wide grin from the till now serious face. “Calf Shield and Yellow Star will open the Pipe Bundle, give prayers, and show Thunder, ‘Yes, we have lived true.’ Then there will be dancing and feasting and stories.”

The scowl returned. Mountain Horse stood up, still looking into the round black eyes that stared back accusingly. “To keep you safe. We will stop to see Old Man Buffalo at his stone. Until then, rest well little Snake Child, and maybe you will keep awake for the stories tonight …”

Alanda’s grandparents homestead is in southern Alberta, where her father was born. From an early age, she heard from him the stories of the land and people of that area and these were beginning nudges for her recently completed historical fiction novel, Alberta Story. This section about the Stone is taken from that.

Copyright ©2007 ascent magazine, first Canadian yoga magazine, yoga for an inspired life