"I have no name for him," Grass Woman cries.
She struggles to hold the child up so that the tribe may see their newest member.
"Children should not be born in sorrow, and yet my heart is full of great sorrow," Grass Woman says, wiping tears from her eyes.
Onendah's face wrinkles into a sour expression, which makes the baby laugh.
"Do not name him 'Heart Full of Great Sorrow'!"
Grass Woman manages a laugh. "I would never."
Several weeks pass, and her tribal sisters begin to grow weary. They visit Grass Woman's tepee. Her voice is coarse from calling Lone Wolf's name over and over. The women complain that she's cried too much and sounds like a dove.
"I like the name Soaring Eagle."
"I don't. I like Thunderbolt," Blooming Flower, a young girl, says.
The women wrinkle their faces and shake their heads.
"That is a terrible name," Glances Then Glares says.
Yellow Sparrow shrugs. "A name is a name."
"No!" Grass Woman protests. "A name is everything!"
"If it is so important, then name him Lone Wolf!" Yellow Sparrow counters.
"Oh, I cannot do that," Grass Woman protests.
"Why not? It is a good name!" Blooming Flower encourages.
"He must earn that name. Everyone knows that!" Glances Then Glares chides her.
"Let's see. He has the love of his people. I can certainly see that," Grass Woman says. "And his father was a great warrior." She pauses for a moment, then feels the word form and slip from her lips. "K-i-o-w-a."
The women search one another's expressions as they repeat the name.
"I think I shall call my brave little man Kiowa!"
"That's a wonderful name!" Glances Then Glares compliments Grass Woman, squeezing her shoulder in approval.
"The people will embrace him, and he will embrace his people!" Grass Woman says, pressing Kiowa's soft, warm body to her chest.
For two springs, Paw scours the earth in search of a silver fox. Though he unearths many foxholes, he never finds what he's looking for.
Perhaps I am approaching this wrong. Maybe I should ask my brother to guide me. He kneels down and lowers his lips to the earth. "Brother, if you can hear me, lead me to this demigod. I am tired of searching and am ready to give up."
No sooner has he finished his prayer than he feels a strong energy in his legs. It is a strength he has never felt before. His muscles want to run, so Paw cuts them loose and lets them go. He sprints through grassy meadows, across streams, and high up steep mountains. When his legs tire, he sits down, realizing he has run all day and past the night. Now the sun sends her daughters to dance fresh light across foggy mountaintops.
"Oh, how you have played a dirty trick on me, brother. Or perhaps it is some cruel Cheyenne medicine man's spell," Paw complains while he rubs his sore feet.
He looks around, finding a direction that he knows will lead him back to his village.
"At least I gave it my best effort." He stands up and bends down at the waist to tighten his moccasins.
Right next to his foot, he spots a tiny fox footprint.
I see now that my eyes cannot be trusted over my pants. Lead my feet on, brother.
YOU ARE READING
Kiowa and Anoki lock hands and stare into each other's eyes. They listen intently to Onendah, the medicine man, officiate their wedding. "Yours is a forbidden love. Because you are from a war tribe, Kiowa, your people will not let you marry this pea...